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Old 11-05-2013, 05:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello, can anyone help me? (doctoral student researching "ecometer" display approach)

Hello everyone,

My name is Rich McIlroy and I am a second year Engineering Doctorate student conducting research in the field of ecodriving at the University of Southampton, and wondered if people here might be able to help me. I am looking for drivers who have experience in ecodriving, that is to say they are knowledgeable about the types of driving styles and behaviours that characterise fuel-efficient use of the vehicle - particularly the behaviours whilst driving (rather than, for example, vehicle maintenance or purchasing choices) - so I can set up interviews to find out more about the decisions people make, and the information people use in guiding those ecodriving decisions.

As part of my research I am conducting a study to investigate an in-vehicle information presentation system that helps drivers to save fuel when they drive; though there are a number of 'ecometers' and fuel-efficiency support tools available in many different modern vehicles, their safety (in terms of distraction and workload) and their efficacy is mixed (as I'm sure everyone here is aware). As part of my doctoral research I intend to address this challenge from an academic viewpoint, drawing on theories of human behaviour. Before designing any system, though, I think it important to understand the decisions made by people when they drive in a fuel-efficient manner; based on this knowledge, and experience in human factors and ergonomics (particularly interface design, which we have here at the university), we hope to design a system that takes into account the actual human decision making and thought processes involved in the task of ecodriving.

As such, my aim is to interview ecodriving experts about the types of decisions they make whilst on the road so I can better understand the decision-making processes involved whilst undertaking such activities (this will later go on to inform the design of a fuel-efficiency support tool to be tested in the University's driving simulator). If possible I would like to arrange one-to-one interviews, either over the phone or face-to-face, depending on the availability and location of potential volunteers.

Unfortunately, being a lowly doctoral student, I cannot offer any payment for this, but those who do wish to help me in my quest to support novice drivers (novices in both eco-driving and driving itself more generally) adopt fuel-efficient driving styles can take some benefit from the knowledge that they've both helped me in my research, and have contributed towards the design of a system that could potentially be fitted into new vehicles (my research is partly funded by Jaguar Land Rover and partly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, so my research findings may well go on to inform future in-vehicle systems in Jaguar vehicles).

If you would like to participate, to know more, or have any questions or comments at all, do please email me (r.mcilroy@soton.ac.uk). Indeed I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this research project even if you are not able to participate.

many thanks in advance,
Rich

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Old 11-05-2013, 07:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds interesting.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ya, sounds interesting to me too

Something I've wanted to see in instrumentation is how well I'm doing today on a particular stretch of road compared to a previous day/week/<time period>. I imagine some kind of a unit which combines the functions of a GPS (which can determine and store specific routes) and a ScanGauge. As I'm driving, I would want to see the "level of difference" between current and past FE ... e.g. 3 levels over/under maybe 0-5%, >5%-<25%, >25% (or whatever) ... so I can see at a glance how I'm doing.

my $0.02...
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Since we are now integrating EVERYTHING into cars, shortly after they put the espresso button next to the radio on/off button, the car should be able to warn me of new routes.

If I am driving on a new road, aka new to me, it should warn me of a stop sign or maybe a red light if I set it so. Often I find myself driving in a new area to come around and whoops, stop sign right ahead! 2nd gear, max regen until I NEED brakes, then come to a stop (or crawl). Lame.

Also, GPS by fuel economy. Sure, the turnpike is the fastest. Google will have me drive an extra 15 miles because in the end it saves one minute over another route- if one can enter the max speed they will travel at, 59 for me, then it should be able to calculate that. Why take the 70 mph highway if there is a 55 that would be better?

I would sooner drive an extra mile if it meant avoiding a stop sign.

Even a "driver preference" section that would allow me make some choices like that, or see routes by their stops signs/red lights.

I have forgotten a lot that I think while I drive- "Man, this would be so much better if..."
For example, all lights should have a simple count down stating when they will turn. Red to green, green to red. So I can know, should I cut my engine for 2 seconds? Or am I burning speed so when I get to the light, it's already back to red. Grr. Rare occassions, but if this was public info, we'd be penetrating even the dullest of minds.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds interesting -- I'm willing to participate. Will send you email shortly.

Will you be able to share your research with us afterward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richcmcilroy View Post
As part of my research I am conducting a study to investigate an in-vehicle information presentation system that helps drivers to save fuel when they drive; though there are a number of 'ecometers' and fuel-efficiency support tools available in many different modern vehicles, their safety (in terms of distraction and workload) and their efficacy is mixed (as I'm sure everyone here is aware).
Agreed. I suspect serious ecodrivers (those who actively monitor fuel economy while driving) could greatly improve safety with a head-up display.

I also wonder if directly observable numeric dashboard gauges are always the best route -- seems to me we could make use of auditory / tactile feedback too. Or something like an LED bar that is observable using peripheral vision while direct vision is aimed down the road.

Another key would be driver configurability -- ie. drivers will have differing opinions on what they deem to be intrusive feedback. The ability to shut something off is probably important.

Darin
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes rite

I am so with you on the red light timer.
Even if they just use the new idiot blinking blast light.
Three quick blasts from its intense beam to tell waiters that its engine start time.
Also 30 years too soon I guess the 200sx that talked needs to come back.
Its obvious that a new consumer groupes dont mind that technology so much anymore. "YOUR DOOR IS A BOTTLE."


Last edited by justme1969; 11-07-2013 at 08:37 AM.. Reason: felt like it?
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