The easiest user interface to understand is a knob. Of course, that statement breaks down when you reach a certain number of knobs. After that, it takes some very hard work to make a complex product useable.
Maybe the question should be: "What if Apple made cars?" They seem to have done the best job of making complex technology useable. No. They aren't perfect, but useability has always been their strong suit. Even without Apple in the car business, consumer would benefit if automakers studied Apple's UI design concepts.
63mpg at 40mph - shocking! I just found out how to reset the mileage computer on my '08 Focus, and was very surprised to find how much the efficiency of the 1.8 diesel engine improved at low revs.
I always assumed that engine efficiency was best at some mid-point of the rev range, so I would usually 'ride light' on the throttle while spinning the motor, rather than drop out of the power band by changing up a gear. A hangover from biking I suppose. Without mpg instrumentation I never knew how effective it was with petrol cars but if fuel is running low this modern diesel is sure to get me home, happily pulling 40mph at tickover in top gear!
There are many country roads around here that are 40mph limits, many that aren't safe above that, and plenty of times when traffic holds down speeds, so 5th gear miserly opportunities are plenty!
Anyone know what algorithm these things use for the mpg calculation? How long is the averaging window? Sometimes it seems stuck at 42mpg then suddenly we are getting 53. Of course maybe it was headwinds or just a different gear... we don't have any hills so it isn't that!
Let's see now. You mean, "If Microsoft made cars, you'd experience things like 'unintended acceleration?'"
Cheap shot, acknowledged.
Japan Inc. is finding it difficult to build cars with character, especially these days. The one brand that seems to give it a good try would be, IMO, Mazda. It's a shame, because the engineering that goes into them is quite good. The flair is lacking. It might have to do with too much "design by committee."
I know, off topic, just came out.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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