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Discussion Starter #1
On the Center LCD Display, include a maintenance screen that tracks when ICE maintenance required by Engine Hours or time elapsed if the ICE is rarely used. Also, since memory is cheap, include the ability for electronic record keeping of the maintenance/repairs performed in vehicle’s memory. Make this information accessible via the LCD touch screen. More importantly, allow Chevy dealers to interface with the vehicle's electronic maintenance log via the USB port. Chevy dealers should be able to update the vehicle’s maintenance log for customers automatically when they perform maintenance or repair work.

If you really want to get out front of the competition, have the maintenance log track the accumulative vehicle operation hours, and annotate the cumulative hours on a part when it fails and is replaced. Have your dealers download this information when they repair/replace any part and have them send it back to a central data base…use this information and share it with your suppliers to justify reliability improvements on parts that don’t meet requirements. Your goal should be continuous improvement, and having the actual data to share with suppliers along with the ability to conduct 6-sigma failure analysis is invaluable.
 

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Is this for certain that there will be a USB port available to the user that contains performance and technical information? I figured there will be some kind of OBDII port, and am interested to see what kind of information extensions are available beyond the standard CARB data - assuming we can get past the proprietary nature of some of the data.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
USB Port

There will be a USB port for your iPod/MP3 player. So why not take advantage of it as I suggest above?
 

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There will be a USB port for your iPod/MP3 player. So why not take advantage of it as I suggest above?
What you suggest is technically possible, but the two computer systems are logically (and almost certainly physically) separate. I can't think of a reason to connect the drivetrain/power management computers with the entertainment computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm not recommending connecting to the Engine Computer directly through the USB port. I'm recommending that the "Entertainment Computer" have enough memory set aside that the dealer (or driver) can store the vehicles maintenance (service) records, by date, mileage, "ICE" hours and "Electric Power" hours. I'm also recommending the "entertainment computer" be programmed with scheduled maintenance intervals (based on ICE hours, Power-on Time, Mileage, etc.), and have it track that accumulative information and notify the driver when it's time for preventative service.

To your point, it would also make sense to output the engine computer trouble codes to the "Entertainment Computer Maintenance Screen" as well, but I would recommend OUTPUT only. The dealer could then reset the engine trouble codes in the engine computer the standard way once a repair is completed. So for the record, I am not recommending the ability to interface directly with the Engine Computer via the USB port (to change settings, etc).

As for my "6 Sigma Recommendation", assume the A/C compressor fails before the warranty expires. If the "entertainment computer" (or the engine computer) is tracking power on hours for major components in its memory, the dealer could download that information at the time of repair. (i.e., it failed after 750 hours of operation, and it's designed to have 5000 hrs MTBF), and send that information (indexed by VIN number) to a central GM data base. Having the ability to collect that kind of information on all vehicles is extremely powerful. Done correctly it allows you to quickly trace failure trends to a specific production lot and ask, "Is this failure trend a fluke, or is it the result of an identifiable production issue that will affect other A/C compressors from this lot." If it’s a production issue, what are we going to do about it? If I was in charge, I’d have a contract in place that says my A/C compressor vendor will exchange all A/C compressors in vehicles from this production lot, since they were at fault. Then I would contact Volt owner’s with A/C compressors from this lot and tell them to bring it in so we could replace it free of charge, before it fails. Having the actual data gives you the leverage with a supplier to do that. Of course, all this would go on behind the scenes. All a Volt driver would know is he/she was contacted by the dealer for an unscheduled A/C compressor service to proactively address a problem before it becomes an issue, free of charge.
 
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