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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pre-production testers sought for range-extending technology

Hi Everyone,

Smartpedal invested the last five years developing a new technology that increases the mileage and range of electric, hybrid, and combustion vehicles. For purposes of credibility, I should mention that we have already been awarded multiple patents in the US (with more pending) and have been both field- and closed-course tested on a very wide range of vehicles, especially commercial and defense platforms.

We describe what our technology does as "pedal signal correction." Physically speaking, it's software and electronics encapsulated in a small device about the size of an iPhone charger. When snap fit between the accelerator pedal and the pedal wiring harness, Smartpedal analyzes and corrects the electrical signal generated by the pedal to eliminate unintentional changes in requested power by the driver.

Before you say "I never do that," let me explain that these unintentional changes are an unavoidable phenomenon of driving over a roadway: all roadway surfaces have imperfections that cause vehicles to move up/down while passing over them. This cyclical motion typically occurs at least once a second and more commonly several times a second even at relatively low speeds. (FYI, a vehicle travels 36 feet per second at 25 MPH.)

This motion in turn causes the driver's foot to change pressure on the pedal continually, usually about 100 ms after the original vehicle movement. That 1/10th of a second timing is important: it's far too brief for human reflexes to respond, but enough for an automated process to analyze and correct the signal.

So that's how it works. In terms of performance, in testing to date Smartpedal adds an extra 20-30 miles of driving per tank for vehicles with average mpg. For many drivers, that's equivalent to another a extra day of driving between fill ups. And that's not a "best case" marketing number: we've been doing a lot of testing with members at Priuschat and most drivers there are getting an extra 40-50 miles of driving per tank with Smartpedal.

The technology is rock solid, but we would like the opportunity to collect additional performance data on a few additional platforms before the public release. We're particularly curious about performance on the Honda Insight 2nd Gen. If we do well, we'll add this platform to our supported list on our release.

We think the performance will be similar to that on the Prius. We are not sure, but we suspect that eliminating the unwanted changes in requested power may also improve battery life. We won't claim the latter in our marketing, but I'll be curious as to the opinion of Insight owners that have tested Smartpedal.

We launch publically in about 45 days. Between now and then, we are looking for 3-4 insight owners that would like to test pre-production units. This isn't "beta"; this is well tested and well built gear that is safe to use after five years of development.

The ideal candidates are people who:
- are highly attentive to mileage;
- own a 2nd gen Insight;
- travel at least 300-400 miles every two weeks in mixed city/hwy driving;
- do not drive with cruise control; and
- drive in a "regular" style that most consumers would recognize (i.e., not hyper-miling).

Please post here or me directly if you want to participate. If you're a good candidate, I'll send you a promo code for ordering a no-cost test unit (it's a loaner) through our website: smartpedal.com. We pay the outbound and inbound shipping, so there's no money out of your pocket at any point.

The testing will likely run for about 4-6 weeks with a new driving mode tried every two weeks. In addition to mileage data, we want your subjective feedback about driving experience. At the wrap up of the test, we will gift full production units to participants to express our appreciation.

You're also welcome to post here any general questions and I'll answer as quickly as I can. If you decide that you may want to participate, please include with your response your vehicle make/model/year, odo reading and most recent mpg.

Thank you for reading this.

Best regards,
Marc
 

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A claim of credibility is not credibility in and of itself.

For actual credibility, please link the patents you claim to possess.
 

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Interesting. Is this like a Throttle Smoothing Mod?
 

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Yes. This is a fluffed up TPS mod.

Can't wait to see how much the want for a resistor and a capacitor...
AutoSpeed - Giving the Insight a Good Driver
+1^
I'll bet this accessory could catch on with many drivers of throttle-by-wire vehicles, especially with good marketing , and if there's another fuel shortage featuring expensive gas.

fwiw: I found this website for Smartpedal. Didn't see prices yet.
More details on the product here:
https://pedallogic.zendesk.com/hc/en-us
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A claim of credibility is not credibility in and of itself.

For actual credibility, please link the patents you claim to possess.

Hi S Keith,

I'm a new member to the forum, so the site will not let me post the links, but you can go directly to the USPTO website and read our patents there.

The USPTO website is uspto[dot]gov and the numbers for the already issued patents are: 9,387,861 B1 and 9,481,375 B2.

Word of warning: if you print them to read, you'll need about 1" of paper. They are fairly detailed.

Marc
 

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Yes. This is a fluffed up TPS mod.

Can't wait to see how much the want for a resistor and a capacitor...
Hi samwichse,

The TPS mod you linked too is a simple two-component lag filter that slows overall acceleration. Studies show that slowing acceleration overall does not improve mileage--instead it reduces mileage. This is because the slower acceleration delays the time for the vehicle to reach it's fuel economy sweet spot--the optimized area of the BSFC mapping. The best practices in this regard is to accelerate "briskly" to the target speed and then cruise. That's why a lag-filter approach to better mileage does not make sense.

In contrast, Smartpedal has about 60 components. It utilizes probabilistic analysis to determine whether the current position of the accelerator pedal likely reflects the driver's intent or has been influenced by vehicle movement. If the latter, we correct the signal to reflect what we think was the actual likely intent of the driver.

You'll notice in the above that this is an expert system. Powering the system is a 32-bit CPU, which is informed by data from an accelerometer as well as historical pedal data. To make a correction, the system has to reach a threshold determination that a particular acceleration event was unintentional (or at least exaggerated) due to vehicle movement.

The end user can adjust the correction threshold by selecting between the different driving modes built into the beta units. A "high" threshold means Smartpedal must be very sure that acceleration was unintentional before making a correction: these thresholds increase mileage without any noticeable change in performance or handling.

On the other hand, a very "low" threshold can result in over corrections that also influence intentional acceleration by the drive. Drivers tend to respond to the by consciously or unconsciously over-accelerating. For this reason, we find that "moderate" settings generally produce the best mileage. Nevertheless, as an experiment, in the beta units we also include a mode 5 set to an extremely-low threshold.

Our website has more details too, plus a nifty video we made.

Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
+1^
I'll bet this accessory could catch on with many drivers of throttle-by-wire vehicles, especially with good marketing , and if there's another fuel shortage featuring expensive gas.

fwiw: I found this website for Smartpedal. Didn't see prices yet.
More details on the product here: [link omitted]

Hi, AbCaRed00,

Actually, you found the Smartpedal support site, which we host with Zendesk. The main website is located at smartpedal.com. We have a green button in the bottom right corner of each page to enable visitors to search/contact support as quickly as possible.

With regard to pricing, after collecting feedback and suggestions from other pre-production testers over the last 5-6 months, we tentatively set pricing at $149 for Smartpedal Prime. We plan a Kickstarter campaign to publicly launch the company. During that campaign, Smartpedal Prime will be $99.

At those prices, it's a very fast payback even at current fuel rates. But I'm not here to sell. My goal is to collect data to see if it makes sense to offer a product for the Insight community. I think Smartpedal would perform well, but I don't know yet.

Marc
 

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Hi S Keith,

I'm a new member to the forum, so the site will not let me post the links, but you can go directly to the USPTO website and read our patents there.

The USPTO website is uspto[dot]gov and the numbers for the already issued patents are: 9,387,861 B1 and 9,481,375 B2.

Word of warning: if you print them to read, you'll need about 1" of paper. They are fairly detailed.

Marc
https://www.google.com/patents/US9387861?dq=9,387,861&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjY7Y_R7Z_TAhXD54MKHdwzAfUQ6AEICjAA

https://www.google.com/patents/US9481375?dq=9,481,375&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2urmT7p_TAhVq7YMKHUEVBzMQ6AEICjAA

Seems like "a resistor and a capacitor... but implemented on a computer" to me.

Sam
 

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Well, at least Marc isn't blowing smoke up our asses about the patents.

Whatever the case may be, I will only be impressed if testing is done in any kind of scientific way on controlled courses in reasonably controlled conditions. With the Prius' fuel bladder, increases in range are meaningless as the fuel bladder is very finicky and fueling is not even remotely consistent - at least with pre-2010 models.

Closed or at least controlled course. Two cars. 3 simultaneous runs each. One car is the control with no modifications. The test vehicle is run once with mods, once without and again with. All ambient conditions recorded for the duration of the drive.

Instead, I suspect we'll see only anecdotal evidence.
 

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Chris22104 sells it on eBay for the Gen1, but I'm Not sure about the Gen2.
This may be a nice plug and play version for those who do not want to hack/splice into ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Seems like "a resistor and a capacitor... but implemented on a computer" to me.

Sam
Sam,

The "resistor and capacitor" mod you refer to is a simple smoothing/lag filter that affects all acceleration, including both intentional and unintentional acceleration. It literally reduces the rate of acceleration in all instances and reducing overall acceleration usually reduces mpg.

Smartpedal utilizes probabilistic analysis to identify and correct for momentary _unintentional_ acceleration caused momentary changes in pressure by the driver's foot on the pedal as the vehicle bounces up/down during travel.

This approach is "smart" in that it saves fuel by correcting for unintentional while preserving intentional acceleration. The other slows down all acceleration and reduces mileage. There's a world of difference between the two in terms of goals, implementation, and results.

Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Seems like "a resistor and a capacitor... but implemented on a computer" to me.

Sam
Sam,

The "resistor and capacitor" mod you refer to is a simple smoothing/lag filter that affects all acceleration, including both intentional and unintentional acceleration. It literally reduces the rate of acceleration in all instances and reducing overall acceleration usually reduces mpg.

Smartpedal utilizes probabilistic analysis to identify and correct for momentary _unintentional_ acceleration caused momentary changes in pressure by the driver's foot on the pedal as the vehicle bounces up/down during travel.

This approach is "smart" in that it saves fuel by correcting for unintentional while preserving intentional acceleration. The other slows down all acceleration and reduces mileage. There's a world of difference between the two in terms of goals, implementation, and results.

Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, at least Marc isn't blowing smoke up our asses about the patents.
Thanks... I guess.

Whatever the case may be, I will only be impressed if testing is done in any kind of scientific way on controlled courses in reasonably controlled conditions. With the Prius' fuel bladder, increases in range are meaningless as the fuel bladder is very finicky and fueling is not even remotely consistent - at least with pre-2010 models.

Closed or at least controlled course. Two cars. 3 simultaneous runs each. One car is the control with no modifications. The test vehicle is run once with mods, once without and again with. All ambient conditions recorded for the duration of the drive.

Instead, I suspect we'll see only anecdotal evidence.
Hi S Keith,

With OEMs we've done plenty of both closed course and open-road testing. They typically like to use the process you described, but then also repeat the entire test sequence after reversing the rolls of the test and control cars. The goal is to account for even minute differences between the two vehicles. And the runs were typically increased to 9 segments, instead of 3.

I'm not sure why a finicky fuel bladder would make calculated fuel consumption less accurate, but all of our testing for the Prius was on 2010 and later models.

In any case, I think you're assuming our testing is limited to the Prius. It's not. We've tested on probably 20 different platforms by now, including vehicles from Honda, Nissan, Ford, Chevy, Tesla, Hyundai, Acura, and others.

Marc
 

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Marc,

Good to hear it. I wish you the best. Looks like you have a taker in Natalya.

Steve
 

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The idea is sound. Imight be interested to help test it, if installation is not too involved. Let me see if I can figure out how to send PM here ...
 

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I know Julian Edgar did something like this with a couple of simple electric components for the G1.

Anyway, I'll sign up to be a guinea pig. I own a G2. I don't have cruise control. I drive about 200 miles a week. I haven't had time for hypermiling recently.

Send me a PM.
Im down as well,I dont use cruise control, I drive 1000 miles a week so ill see if this is the real deal. I have a 2012 model. PM me
 
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