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Discussion Starter #1
The Power Flow Display shows the direction of flow but not the intensity (amount), so as you vary the accelerator you can't tell when you're approaching the switchover point between discharge and regen. In the old Honda Insight the main display (your eyes can stay on the road as you view it) shows a vertical thermometer type bar-graph labeled Accel at the top and Regen at the bottom, and the Red-Green boundary moves above and below the midpoint. Instead of the swooshing arrows in the Volt you could have a hollow arrow that fills repeatedly in the direction of power flow, first red then grey, to indicate the amount of power, and near the arrow have a numeric indication of kWatts.

Also the green ball on the main display is not intuitive. It does too much thinking for you, so you need only keep the ball within its outline. I'd rather just see the amount of powerflow and let my brain tell me that it's a proper amount considering how hard I'm accelerating, the speed I'm going, or how much regen I'm getting. I'd also like to see an indication when the friction brakes are being applied, so I can make all the power go to regen during deceleration.
 

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Regarding the green ball, you have think about the broader public. Most people will have a hard time just keeping it centered. But I agree that there should at least be some optional "data" along with the graphic arrows.
 

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Powerflow is an excellent idea.. similar to instant MPG in cars... That should be an easy software upgrade.
 

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This was a complaint voiced by the Advisory group. The display is just not as good as it could be. GM seems to think that too much information would be bad but it's easily enough ignored.
 

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I think Gm should consider a variant of system used on the Solectria EV ((20 year old idea) Simple is sometimes better The Solectria simply uses two small leds A red one and a green one As power comes out of the battery the red one flashes-the faster the flashes the faster power comes out of the battery As power goes into the battery from regn (or from charging) the green light flashes --Again the faster the energy flow the faster the flashes When coasting neither light is flashing When stationary you can easily judge the power used by the heating or ac

A small yellow light could added to show when the engine was on(perhaps it could even flash dependent on the engine speed then This very simple system would give a lot more info than is currently available and would not be instructive
 

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That and the fact that the greatest on-board MPG displayed is 250+, surely it isn't that difficult to actually display the value? I would think they would want to advertise it, mine is like 670 MPG right now..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes. The 250+ MPG display is frustrating; that's all I've seen since the first day. I can see limiting it at "999" (no reference to Herman Cain) so you don't need another digit. Puzzling choice.
 

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I'm inclined to agree. I understand making things simple for the general public, but I think the more information available, the better. I loooooooove me some real-time technical data :)
 

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This was a complaint voiced by the Advisory group. The display is just not as good as it could be. GM seems to think that too much information would be bad but it's easily enough ignored.
That's is what display options are for. If you want basic info only then select the display option that shows only basic info. If you are a power user and want detailed info then there should be an option to select to get it. Should only be a rather simple software upgrade. GM should make it available.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Keep it centered?

Regarding the green ball, you have think about the broader public. Most people will have a hard time just keeping it centered.
I'm not sure you can keep it centered while accelerating, or if you do you may get honked at alot. That's the complexity of having it think for you; "What is it assuming YOU would think?" So, if I could just see gauge that shows how strongly I'm discharging or recharging the battery, then my brain could tell me; "Gee, I don't need to be pulling that much power since I'm only 100 yds from a red light." This all raises another question, "Does it cost you more battery charge to accelerate quickly vs slowly"? Both accelerations take the same amount of energy to get you to X mph, so when the ball jumps up near the max while accelerating onto a freeway, is it being truthful? Is this really an inefficient rate of acceleration? I tend to think that a slow vs moderate rate of acceleration will cost you very close to the same amount of charge by the time you get to 70 mph. In a gasoline car, it actually costs you less to accelerate hard because the engine is more efficient with a larger load on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm inclined to agree. I understand making things simple for the general public, but I think the more information available, the better. I loooooooove me some real-time technical data :)
The art of designing a display is to make the most important stuff immediately obvious but to fold in the more detailed stuff in a more subtle way. For instance, you can use shades of color inside an arrow to tell what the temperature is, but also which way it's trending, and how fast, all at one glance. If you're only interested in what the temp is, you look at which line the gauge is filled up to and ignore the arrow and the color.
 

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I agree. There is definitely an art to making a display both technically informative, and intuitive and easy to look at. Personally, I'm a fan of imitated needle gauges - GM could display almost any information this way. I'd really like to see a more detailed depiction of the drivetrain - the ICE, M/G1, traction motor, their flows of energy, and current states, represented graghically. Nothing too complex, just in the same style as the current Power Flow display. Like Dr Mark said :)
 
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