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Old 11-10-2010, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Adjustable fuel economy buzzer?

I had a thread going on about how I put a sticker on my speedometer to encourage me to slow down.

That did get me thinking about what it would take to design some sort of an audio cue to indicate that a person is driving too fast or not getting good enough fuel economy.

If you can get speed and RPM data from the car through the OBDII port, what would it take to design a device that would buzz, chime, or playback a repeating audio file when your speed was above a preset limit. (Arduino-based?) Alternatively, could it be set for a certain RPM or calculate to buzz when you are below a certain fuel economy?

The idea is that when you drive bad, you get punished with the audio reminder, that doesn't stop until you drive nicer.
Sort of like how the new hybrids all have little visual diagrams of a tree that grows with branches - it helps "teach" you how to drive.

I suppose it could also be set up to turn on a red LED or some other visual reminder.

I'm just trying to think of something simple to help improve driving, which could be retro-fit to vehicles.

Your thoughts?

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Old 11-10-2010, 06:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good idea! Mostly because I've thought for a long time that some kind of audio signal to help "driving with load" at a specific target would be useful & potentially safer than having to visually monitor a fuel economy readout. (Though heads-up display would solve that somewhat also.)
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think there are enough external irritants available today without adding more self-imposed ones. I'm aware of my driving when I want to be, and when I don't want to be, I know it already.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lol, well we know what NOT to get you for xmas then frank
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What? No train with 18 loud siren noises and a whole boatload of extra batteries to fuel it with?!? Waaaaaaaahhhhh!!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I also think it might be a little overboard to have some buzzing going on. At least for us folks, we've been doing this for long enough that we are all probably acutely aware of what's going on, and not prone to drifting off focus, unless we have a fairly good reason to do so.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Paul badger actually had a piezo on his mpguino design, and I have figured out how to control the pitch and volume (and even the attack/delay) of it, it needn't be an "alarm" to provide useful feedback. And allowing you to keep your eyes on the road more isn't a bad thing.

http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/...num=1228475606
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just mount a car horn to the dash and have it go off whenever the brake lights are on. That'll improve your driving in a hurry.

You're kind of limited in which bad driving techniques you can reliably detect. You could detect excessive RPM, TPS, and MPH, but there's situations where 3000 RPM, 80% throttle, and 74mph are appropriate, although not all at the same time.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I like the horn brake idea Excepting for engine braking/hand braking, that would reward (or punish less) good braking habits, i.e. brake quickly and early (or not at all).

There is certainly an appeal for a game-like aspect to efficiency. Might want to think about incorporating some of these "alerts" too. Arcade Sound Clips i.e. if you don't beat your high score for a gps tracked leg of your trip or ???

Obviously a mute button is needed too
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Ultragauge also apparently has user-settable alarms. UltraGauge Alarms

Not sure if you could tie it to the speedo or MPG function. Also, looks like it requires a manual reset, which would be counter-productive in terms of driver focus.

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