Although there is more to do before I am happy to launch the Planner I think from the feedback I have had to date, it is fair to say that it is looking very promising.
So I thought I’d list a few things I am planning… just to let you know the direction I intend to take it and also it might show just how much work there is still to go.
So, in no particular order (I will not necessarily add these in this order):
Currently, the options page is just a sample of the criteria and data that you could enter to tune the planner to your requirements. Data values such as:
Your battery capacity
At the moment the Planner calculates capacity from the 100% range you specify and the power used per mile to give a calculated battery capacity. this is used in leg calculations to determine the power remaining at the end of the leg.
You will be able to enter your own battery capacity and if you do then it willl use your entered capacity instead of calculating an estimate.
You can enter that on the options plage but that is currently a single figure. If you know your efficiency at various speeds, say, 30/50/70mph then this could be used to give a more accurate power used estimate based on the road type.
Range lost with hills
Currently the Elevation chart is not part of the calculations or estimates. It is currently there just to give you a feel for the terrain and so to allow you to reduce your 100% range manually to more suit the terrain.
If you could enter an estimate of the amount of range lost in climbing hills, and if that was then used along with the terrain data, it would be possible to allow for the hills in the calculations increasing the power used estimates yet further. Both up and down (regen) could be allowed for and so you would also be able to enter the regeneration efficiency.
These calculations will not be easy to program (or even to determine how it should be done!) but it will be possible and although the calculations may take a few goes to get it close to being any use it will be worth the effort. If we can get clsoe with this then EV route planning will become much more accurate and even more useful.
End of trip not final destination
Currently the end point is always considered the point at which you will be able to charge. This is often not the case. Often your destination has no suitable charging (or no charging at all) and so we need to allow us to plan trips that go somewhere (not necessarily with charging) and then go on to a final charging stop such as a hotel or charging location.
This is very much linked to the next point.
Currently the only places you can plan to go via are charging stations. It uses the Google route planning to determine the route taken between those charging stops. We need to be able to put in non-charging stops through which Google will route us and then also allow us to enter the charging stops as now.
This will allow us to avoid motorways, take our preferred route and still calculate sensible charging stops.
As more networks publish their charger statuses in real-time so we can reflect the current status on the map icons. This may come from OCM if OCM has a live status feed, if not then from the network operator directly.
Don’t expect this one to be soon… it depends on the networks publishing their status data and they are showing little sign of doing that at the moment.
More OCM integration
At the moment the Planner takes all its charging station information from OCM. There is a lot of data held by OCM which the Planner is not using which we could use.
One data item I want to introduce is the new feature of OCM which gives an indication of data quality. If you could get an indication of how accurate/recent the data is then you are better placed to make decisions regarding using charging stations… perhaps having a better standby plan for stops at locations with low quality data.
This may go some way towards my concerns over OCM data quality which I have discussed in previous posts. So rather than not use the data I plan to offer the data for you to use but tell you of its quality score… it can then be up to you is you wish to rely on that particular data or not.
I also want to integrate into the Planner a direct and easy way to:
- Add a new charging location
- Add comments/photos directly from the Planner
- Confirm/Update the station data
- Automatic logging in to OCM directly from the planner making it easier to make OCM changes/add comments/add photos as you plan.
Better compatibility with other browsers
Currently the best browsers to use are Firefox or Internet Explorer.
There are many differences between those and Safari, Chrome and others. It would be good to make the Planner work properly with those other browsers, including tablet and phone browsers.
It would be great to have a mobile-friendly app. There are massive issues with this and I don’t expect that I will be able to develop it. However, if the desktop version is successful then it might be feasible to develop a mobile-friendly app. I don’t rule it out especially if people would be willing to pay a few pounds to use.
This is by no means the final list and I will be adding to this “Wish List” throughout the project.
I will be putting this list up on the EV Zone web site so that I can add to it as I go. How about you letting me know if there is something you’d like to see included? Comment here or on the EV Zone web site.