[Ovmsdev] Request for Comments - Charge Bay Alert

Mark Webb-Johnson mark at webb-johnson.net
Wed Nov 20 09:35:59 HKT 2013

Tom, Paul,

My feedback on vehicle license plate number vs some other identifier is that I prefer a different 'member' identifier. Regardless of the re-use of license plate numbers (seriously, USA, ?!?) and of one vehicle having many plate numbers (up to 3 here in Hong Kong), if we are identifying the user of a charging bay, I think it is better to identify the user rather than his vehicle (in particular if SMS is used as that is tied to a particular cellphone, not the car). That would better deal with issues like an owner with multiple cars, or multiple drivers of a particular car.

I do like the idea of a sticker with QR code as well as human readable text.

Regarding paying for SMS, I had a similar issue with paying for SMS provisioning for OVMS. The experiment I tried is that I would myself pay for all the bulk SMS messages, but put up a little 'donate' paypal button next to the part of the site that handled SMS provisioning. The result - somewhere around 1 in 10 users donate, but that is easily enough to pay for the SMS. It would not be enough to pay for hosting. At the moment, that is donated by TMC, but I suspect it would be possible to get users to contribute directly to that if necessary.

Bigger-picture, though, the problem is one of the critical level of adoption. Unless both owners use the same system, it is not going to work. I do like Paul's idea to address that - so long as the charging owner subscribes to the system, the wanting-to-charge owner has a strong incentive to sign-up there and then.

As a side-note, this goes beyond charger-sharing conventions. In Hong Kong, where I live, I often park in village car park spots for a few minutes to pickup one of my kids. I may be in someone else's car park spot when they return and want to park (they are kind of reserved for different houses, but there are no signs, and it is all very unofficial). The convention here is to leave your cellphone number in the window - but a general way of 'contact the owner' would also be a wonderful solution without the privacy concerns.

From an OVMS point of view, we have started with Open Charge Map integration. The short-term goal is to just get the charging stations into the Apps. The longer-term goal is to have a bi-directional automated feedback mechanism (opt-in) to feedback charge station occupancy as well as charge success/failure events to OCM.

The other thing to think about is that we have already moved to make the OVMS module vehicle-independent via the virtual vehicle model. Today, we've got support for Tesla Roadsters, Renault Twizys, iMievs, C-Zeros, Volts, Amperas, Think Citys, Leafs and generic OBDII (did I miss any?) - with more coming. What if the Apps could support the same virtual vehicle model with plug-in providers (of which the OVMS protocol is just one)? So one app could talk to OVMS servers, or carwings, or onstar, etc. That would greatly improve the number of vehicle telematics and users supportable by one system.

Regards, Mark.

On 20 Nov, 2013, at 3:18 am, Tom Saxton <tom at idleloop.com> wrote:

> Casey Halverson, a Seattle-area LEAF owner developed a similar system prior to June 4, 2012 (I don't have the original launch date, that's the date of the first email I could find referencing it). Casey's system doesn't rely on license plate numbers. You register your cell phone number and you get a system ID number which you print on a sticker or card.
> http://www.mobilesquared.com/chargesticker/
> People then text your ID to the system's SMS number and that sets up an anonymous 2-way communication channel via SMS between the caller and the owner. Cathy suggested he could put a QR code on the sticker, but not every smart phone can handle a QR code that sends a text message and/or different phones need different codes. Each owner gets an ID instead of each car using their license plate number as an ID. Using the license plate number doesn't work in the US because license plate numbers aren't globally unique: you can have the same license plate number in different states. For example, I know there are duplicates of the custom plate I have on our Roadster: AMPITUP. Further, I drive our car out of state.
> I don't see how this type of system integrates with OVMS, but there is another approach that came out of a conversation I had with a friend who works at the Google campus in Kirkland, WA. They have two parking spots per charging station and thus have to move charge cables around on a daily basis. Their system is that if you need a charge but can't plug in when you arrive, you pop open your charge port and put your Chargepoint card under your windshield wiper. When an adjacent car completes a charge, someone unplugs the full car, closes its charge port, moves the cable to a car that needs a charge, and starts the session with the owner's card.
> The system fails with the Model S because the J1772 adapter locks to the port and forces the charge port door to stay open, so you can't tell if the car is charged or not.
> It's also a pain that you someone has to go physically check the cars and also be an expert at reading all of the different ways the cars show their SOC externally.
> So, the idea was to have an app that displays the charge state of everyone participating in the charger sharing. That's something that could be done easily with OVMS, similar to how participating in a group allows anyone who knows the group name to see your car's position.
>    Tom
> From: Paul Churchley <paul at churchley.org>
> Reply-To: OVMS Developers <ovmsdev at lists.teslaclub.hk>
> Date: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 7:58 AM
> To: OVMS Developers <ovmsdev at lists.teslaclub.hk>
> Subject: [Ovmsdev] Request for Comments - Charge Bay Alert
> First, hello to everyone. I am a software/web developer in the UK. I own a Nissan Leaf and a Vauxhall Ampera.
> As more and more EVs get on the roads so the public charging locations are going to become more and more busy. Waiting to charge might not be the norm at the moment because there are still low numbers of EVs out there but as they become more popular so the public charging bays will become congested and having to wait while another car finishes its charge will become more the norm.
> Already we are seeing EV drivers leaving their mobile numbers on the dash so that drivers of EVs that arrive later can call to let the driver of the charging car know that someone is waiting to use the charger. They can then ensure they return to the car as soon as the car is charged to unplug and allow the newcomer to start their charge. Without this communication it is very possible that the driver of the charging car may not know someone is waiting and so may not return for some time after his car has completed its charge. Unplugging a car that has completed its charge is sometimes possible but in some jurisdictions this may be illegal and sometimes the charge post fails to allow further charging if the car is unplugged without using the original card. So we need an easy and simply way to contact the owner of a charging EV to inform them someone is waiting.
> Also, some people may not want to publicise their cell number on their dash for security reasons.
> About 18 months ago I developed a standalone web site that allowed an arriving EV driver to send an SMS message containing the licence plate number of the car charging in the bay and the web site would then look up the licence on its database to get the mobile number of the owner and then send a SMS message to that owner informing them that someone was waiting to charge. They could then send an SMS back to the web site with an expected return time. The web site would then SMS the waiting EV driver the expected return time and optionally the charging drivers mobile number. Using this system EV drivers could establish 2-way communication without any driver having to make their mobile number public. 
> The only requirement was registration on the web site prior to use to allow the mobile number look up to take place. Once registered a window sticker was sent out with the web address showing that the car was registered. Registration could be done via mobile too so an arriving driver could see that the charging car was registered and could then register themselves immediate and then use the system.
> I bulk purchased SMS messages from a provider that provided a API so I could send and receive SMS messages via PHP on the web site. I paid for these myself for testing but I would imagine that there must be some registration andor use fee to cover these and hosting costs. I wouldn't expect it to be much though as the emphasis is on providing the service and not profit. 
> The system was tested in the UK but there simply were not enough EVs in the UK at that time to justify having the system. Now things are getting busier I wondered is such a system might be benefitial so I would like to ask for comments.
> I thought that now we have OVMS perhaps there would be scope to interface it with OVMS in some way? I know that OVMS and Open Charge Map are potentially interfaced so it would make sense to leverage these systems where appropriate.
> Any comments would be appreciated.
> Paul Churchley
> Bio: I am a self-employed software/web site developer of 30+ years. I have PHP, mySQL and other programming skills and could contribute towards developing such a system or perhaps developing similar functionality in other systems such as OVMS.
> _______________________________________________ OvmsDev mailing list OvmsDev at lists.teslaclub.hk http://lists.teslaclub.hk/mailman/listinfo/ovmsdev
> _______________________________________________
> OvmsDev mailing list
> OvmsDev at lists.teslaclub.hk
> http://lists.teslaclub.hk/mailman/listinfo/ovmsdev

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openvehicles.com/pipermail/ovmsdev/attachments/20131120/08483d83/attachment.htm>

More information about the OvmsDev mailing list