Aptera Display Custom-mode?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Display Custom-mode?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Aptera Display Custom-mode?

  • Aptera Display Custom-mode?

  • Dean McManis

    Member
    October 12, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I understand that Aptera teamed up with Crank to build an easy to use, but informative software interface for the Aptera. After watching the Jay Leno video I was reminded that he doesn’t like technology much, and he prefers a simpler, stylish dashboard. And it got me thinking about the possibility for custom display skins, or a mini-display mode where you can have the basic dashboard screen display have a customizable picture that shows the most important driver information with a cool unique look. One screen could look like an old Rolls Royce-like binnacle, or a 60s Volvo P1800, or a Koenigsegg, or the Jetsons? Each carrying the essential driver’s data, but with a very unique look and style. And of course you could click back to the standard screen for more detailed tasks. This is just an idea, but it could make for a fun styling option that would separate Aptera from other (non-customizable) vehicles. What is your favorite vehicle dashboard?

  • Christopher May

    Member
    October 12, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    …. Now I’m thinking about all the crazy winamp skins you could get in the early 2000’s. And who knows, with Aptera’s right to repair focus, some of the code might be open source/easily mod-able?

    … I now need me dash infested with cute little rats scampering about.

    • Dean McManis

      Member
      October 12, 2021 at 10:08 pm

      Yeah, that is part of what I was thinking. Because it was just a graphic shell over the interface that made the program look distinctive, custom and cool.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    October 12, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    The current Aptera display!

    A good idea for perhaps a post production over the air upgrade or perhaps for Aptera 2.0.

    At this point, only bug fixes for the components of the Aptera software architecture. It is important to minimize changes which may cause delay or increase the expense of development until production delivery.

    Aptera is amazing as it is currently engineered.

    I drive a Model 3 with a similar interface. It seems to be pretty successful in the market place.

    • Dean McManis

      Member
      October 12, 2021 at 10:05 pm

      Yeah, you are right John. The best move right now is to just deliver what was originally promised and not expand the project scope. It might be possible to program in the possibility for later expansion, customization and updates. Tesla of course has vast resources for creating toys in their display software. But it is nice to have some fun with the interface, and give the Aptera some added character. Enhancing the user experience.

  • Titus Meusel

    Member
    October 12, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Personally I am not in favour of skins imitating fake dashboards on a tablet like screen. But as we have a rather huge screen estate with 4 screens wich can be a distracting light source I wonder if there will be dark mode UI that dims the main screen if desired.

    • Dean McManis

      Member
      October 12, 2021 at 10:18 pm

      Even if you just had a simple graphic mode with basic gauges, or a minimal driving mode that looked cool and not distracting. I like the dark mode UI idea for night driving. And I am not sure if this is possible with their design, but it would be great if you could share information with the rear view mirror display and side mirror displays to have an overlay of information like for GPS directions or music or climate controls. Since they are right there in the driver’s field of view.

  • Philip Raymond

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 1:01 am

    I think it’s a given the display software is open source. That is good for both economy of development as well as stability and ease of updating. Aptera has better things to do with their capital than spending it on proprietary solutions, when they don’t need to. Tesla uses a modified version of the Linux distro Ubuntu for their display and of course Linux is open source.

  • Loren Gilbert

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Sometime in the not too distant future we will all be piloting our own wingless aircraft, performing low level flight maneuvers. I think a user optional panel emulating an avionic display that is positioned where the left side vehicle information panel is situated would be appropriate. Altimeter, horizon indicator, pitch, roll and yaw info, and so on. While we are at it, how about having the mapping software produce ‘flight plans’ instead of driving directions. The data for such a panel could either acquired directly from the GPS sensors or calculated from that data.

  • Robert Klasson

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 10:45 am

    I hope they release the source for the user interface software. It would enable the users to translate the user interface into their own language and those with the skill could even customize the user interface for their own Aptera. The Crank software development environment might be a bit on the pricey side for private use, but perhaps Aptera clubs could purchase a few licenses or even a few laptops with the Crank software development environment that the members could borrow.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      October 13, 2021 at 11:01 am

      The source code for the interface is of course proprietary IP. The UI is integrated with most if not all systems in the vehicle. The Aptera UI is a part of the branding for Aptera. There is no technical or business reason for Aptera to release the source code and, depending on licensing Agreements may not be able to.

      Allowing third parties to modify the code may cause the “Aptera system” to fail to operate efficiently or at all because of the tight integration of the UI wIth other vehicle systems.

      Additionally, there is no business case as the small demand would not cover the expense of managing the release.

      • Dean McManis

        Member
        October 13, 2021 at 11:19 am

        Although it is an interesting thought to have the display optionally in other languages than English. (or at least subtitles).

        • Curtis Cibinel

          Member
          October 13, 2021 at 3:50 pm

          If Crank is doing good work it will be trivial for them to support all relevant languages. They might only ship English day 1 but if they have OTA update capability they can add resources for other languages quite easily. Limiting the market by not translating into ~5-10 common languages would be silly. As a software developer a common trick is to use “fo” as a language (english loaded with accents) to ensure things get resourced correctly.

          PS: French is annoying when localizing because it is almost always 30-40% more characters than english. Maybe they won’t support french due to their mission statement to be efficient 😉

          Edit:
          Crank actually provides Aptera as a case study client and actually tells us some technical specs on the infotainment that Aptera hasn’t released. Nice little tidbit is that they will run on a Toradex i.MX8 which provides bluetooth 5 and multitouch (very good for intuitive maps navigation). This puts it on par with a mid tier smart phone so don’t expect it to run Cyberpunk but it should easily handle the workload while having headroom for future potential fun features. They are also using a LG panel and running an embedded linux. The hardware only supports 2 CSI-2 camera inputs so the side cameras likely don’t make use the infotainment system at all (we need 3 including the backup camera); unfortunately this might mean no “sentry mode” (unless they handle the cameras with multiple networked controllers). For anyone still feeling hurt by apple is it worth noting that the controller has the potential for a headphone jack 🙂

          https://www.cranksoftware.com/resources/case-studies/automotive-aptera-motors-central-infotainment-display-embedded-gui-development

  • George Hughes

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Contrary to some respected posters, I would suggest the ability to provide alternate screen displays calling on the data collected by the vehicle in operation ought to be doable, if not encouraged.

    The reason I suggest this is the case is because the UI is a digital display that can be easily modified and customized by those who are competent in using Crank software and while there may be some procedures that must be employed to get into the system – think of opening a “C:\” window in windows; the embrace by Aptera of the right to repair philosophy should make allowing such mods and customizations a no-brainer.

    My expectation of this is the OS will be on a ROM chip that allows a full-factory restore if you screw up. I would think the robust nature of the CRANK overlay to linux may be on a separate ROM in standard configuration but the display characteristics, including the option to display what ever is available, would be a no-brainer under right to repair.

    As far as Aptera is concerned, they can fulfill their obligation under right to repair by making the digital brain of the Aptera as easy to modify and program as a “PC” …

    Aptera can then ask for those creating new looks to send them along (or make a special forum for owners to upload and download custom iterations, much like Invision Power Board makes a marketplace for the offer and sale of ‘skins’ for their forum software. (As I understand it, CRANK already offers an executable that will memic the display, although I’ve not seen one for Aptera … yet._)

    • John Malcom

      Member
      October 13, 2021 at 11:04 pm

      The UI is proprietary IP with releases controlled by Aptera. Even if you have the development environment you would not be able to make changes in the Aptera UI.

      Maybe a more relatable analogy would be simply because you have MS visual studio you are not able to make changes to MS Word

      • Curtis Cibinel

        Member
        October 14, 2021 at 11:07 am

        Thats actually a really good example. Word is created by microsoft but it has the ability for scripting and plugins to change things or add features. This comes with security risks so it might not be allowed anyway but theoretically they could let you add buttons and screens into the UI. Google chrome is another example. It would need sandboxing so you cant mess up the core functions and honestly would probably be more hassle than its worth but it is theoretically possible. This kind of openness would complicate software and I think isn’t a great use of limited funds but it is possible (maybe part of UI 2.0 in a few years).

        • John Malcom

          Member
          October 14, 2021 at 11:53 am

          Good points here expanding our understanding of this “Ask” from Dean’s original post. We don’t need every bell and whistle right now. (We need to get version 1.0 into production/ into the market as soon as possible)

          Then, from a list of the great ideas from enthusiasts posts on this forum and other sources Aptera can add functionality that will attract a majority of potential buyers to generation 2.0 and succeeding generations of Apterae.

      • George Hughes

        Member
        October 14, 2021 at 11:47 am

        John:

        Your reply suggests a static, fixed UI with fewer display options than GM offered in my Spark EV. and flies in the face of the stated embrace of right to repair.

        You may discount it but right to repair is a marketing position that acknowledges going forward that cars are ‘computers’ on wheels.

        Think marketing and draw the analogy of Aptera as computer hardware and the OS as DOS and where right to repair takes us is down the PC route vs. the proprietary Apple approach. Besides, the idea of proprietary when you’re using a Linux open-source OS at the base, is to me counter-intuitive.

        Said differently, you want an Apple; buy a Tesla, a Lyric or ID4. They will all restrict you to their narrow vision that they can provide EVERYTHING the world needs (utter BS.)

        What the world needs is an open platform that will give owners the opportunity to ‘improve’ the breed ’cause all that is coming down the pike these days are proprietary data suckers designed to provide auto companies with a tool for invading your privacy with impunity … for fun and profit.

        • Paul Schultz

          Member
          October 14, 2021 at 8:03 pm

          Well said.

        • John Malcom

          Member
          October 14, 2021 at 9:46 pm

          My guess, the UI software is version controlled by Aptera and has a copy right. Thus proprietary IP. Nobody can add, delete, or modify the source code without express authority from Aptera. <font face=”inherit”>I believe you extend “Right to repair” past repair to development/customization which I don’t believe right to repair includes. I would also guess that if an owner “Customizes” the vehicle in any manner that it will void any </font>warranty<font face=”inherit”> offered.</font>

          <font face=”inherit”>I will readily admit that these views may be the result of legacy SW engineering practices in a product development scenario as I am a senior, senior citizen.</font>

          <font face=”inherit”>I will not worry about it either way but will patiently wait for the final product announcements and T&C’s published by Aptera. </font>

          <font face=”inherit”>For me, the vehicle is utilitarian and I will be happy with what ever the Aptera engineers provide as I am with the Tesla Model 3 I currently drive.</font>

        • John Malcom

          Member
          October 15, 2021 at 3:06 pm

          I am sure you know I would disagree with you😉

          “Right to repair” is just that, the right for the owner to fix something that is broken by replacing parts or assemblies themselves or using a third party, perhaps even for warranty work. There is nothing in right to repair (The Aptera version or the version discussed on the web) that intimates the the manufacturer provide tools or capability to customize a UI. (It is not repair) Or that such customization of proprietary IP would be authorized.

          Of course the most ubiquitous UI similar to the Aptera is Tesla’s. You can not mod this display and it is the most “Purchased” UI in the world. Some would say that Aptera fashioned their interior and UI after the Tesla’s.

          Now if Aptra engineers built some customization into the UI that is fine since they own the software. At this point we don’t know what the full features set is for the UI. Until we do, we are just speculating and daydreaming about what it should be like.

          That is fine too!😀

  • Philip Raymond

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    For those who have some grasp of coding, Crank uses an architecture they call Storyboard. This is how anyone can build a GUI for whatever their purpose may be, using Storyboard.Here’s the link to their website that explains how to write code, using Storyboard….https://support.cranksoftware.com/hc/en-us/articles/360056943232-Storyboard-Architecture

  • Curtis Cibinel

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    I suspect they might (not certain) let you add a program or screen but not modify the basic driving Ui. This would potentially be a safety issue otherwise which would not be OK with nhtsa and other government orgs.

  • Philip Raymond

    Member
    October 13, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    My post was simply to educate those who can understand code, how it might work for Aptera. John seems to be implying I was encouraging hacking, which I was not.

    • Riley -_-

      Member
      October 13, 2021 at 11:34 pm

      Hacking is an unfortunate fact of our lives. I hope good intentioned hackers will hack aptera if only to bolster defenses against the bad guys. Intellectual property is very complex but i hope that aptera will not sue people who are able to hack and customize their own property.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      October 14, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      No not implying that at all! That isn’t a characteristic I would attribute to an Aptera enthusiast. I think “Enthusiasts” on this form are naturally creative people, idea people. The kind of individuals that are attracted to this type of enterprise either as workers, or buyers, or some other role.

      As Curtis Cibinel identified in an earlier post on this thread as independent thinkers in the First Principles mode.

      You have my apology if I created that impression in your mind

  • Michael Schmeltzer

    Member
    October 14, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    I’m really hoping for a nice simple display that would be mostly dark for normal driving and the option to see almost all variables even if it is an ugly text screen. Ideally many would be changable with a laptop for a truly customized drive setup. #Righttorepair

    • John Wiley

      Member
      October 15, 2021 at 7:17 am

      Yes. Thumbs up to the “mostly dark”. I love my “night mode” option on my 1999 Saab. It turns off all instrument panel lights except speedometer. Would love something similar on the Aptera.

  • Dean McManis

    Member
    October 14, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    It seems that the short term goals of the display are clear. To seamlessly monitor and control all of the vehicle and accessory services in a very straightforward and intuitive way. I’m sure that there will be a lot of attention given to ergonomics and ease of understanding and use. There should be mapping/GPS services, control systems, music and entertainment, connections to your phone and internet services., etc.. And I expect that Aptera and Crank will do a great job with this task. But they could also set up the groundwork/hooks in the interface for a future customizable GUI shell.On a simple level you could have presets for a minimal, simple display, and a dark mode for night driving. Plus I like the idea of dog mode, bored visitor waiting in the car mode, drive-thru fast food mode, grandma mode, play mode, movie mode, butler mode, reminder mode, etc.. And besides the practical needs of the interface, we will have high resolution interactive display and potentially nice sound system at our disposal. One of the greatest features of Tesla’s vehicle software is the fact that automotive features and capabilities can be enhanced and improved over the air through later iterations, so the car actually becomes better with age and not outdated. This is my hope for the Aptera’s UI as well.

  • rich garlick

    Member
    October 15, 2021 at 7:05 am

    As an NXP employee in Chandler, AZ I’m excited and pleased to see our Silicon going into the Aptera ! Our factory’s products are 80 % automotive to begin with and I know the iMX 8 line is scalable and robust. We are a perfect fit for Aptera and are able to meet demand as Aptera grows. High Confidence is design choice and ultimate user flexibility with the UI. I would really love to “test drive” the Crank software in Emulation mode if that is a possibility if anyone from Crank or Aptera is reading this forum. Exciting update !

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      October 15, 2021 at 8:39 am

      Out of curiosity do you know if the board supports any video of input (hdmi) ; specs aren’t clear on directionality? One awesome potential feature would be essentially hdmi input when parked to avoid the need to code every potential game and streaming app for the aptera; just plug in a phone, chromecast, laptop, tablet, etc. Would be nice for camping if the weather sours or for road warriors to work when charging.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      October 15, 2021 at 9:24 am

      The forum is not regularly monitored by Aptera. It is more for posting enthusiast comments. If you have a specific question it would be better to use the contact us form.

      The UI is proprietary IP and may be going through a copy right process. The vehicle is not in production yet. Beta engineering is complete and Beta build in progress. I think engineering and procurement decisions have been made but would not hurt to ask

  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    Member
    October 15, 2021 at 11:11 am

    https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/google-maps-eco-routing-motorists/ another reason to make it app based.

    emulate how notifications auto scrolls through pages with a certain length finger swipe in i-phone, so user doesnt have to scroll precisely like they would with a laptop mouse touch pad. to further make not require user to be carefull with finger (which is distracting especially when in bumpy ride from rough road), separate functions into groups ex. AC/heater in one page, another is speaker volume and phone call, another is radio/audio track setup made to seem complex (or software disable it) so user is encouraged to not use it unless they are at a stop or slow traffic with cruise control and maybe when theres no turns in the next estimated second or so, preventing distracted driving caused accident.

    • Harry Parker

      Moderator
      October 15, 2021 at 11:18 am

      Wouldn’t you rather have this feature built in? Seems easy enough: pick the shortest route in miles rather than in time. Others mapping folks have had that option for years. Used to do that with Garmin for cross country trips across upstate NY, when I had the time. Great way to see some country roads.

      • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

        Member
        October 15, 2021 at 11:27 am

        hypermiling guide could include data like total land sea level incline-decline, traffic data, cars optimal work per energy data in terms of speed etc can be inputted to aid calculation, car and tire grip limits can be accounted for in maintaining momentum, b/c thats more efficient and longer battery life than regen braking and speeding up again, etc.

  • richard garlick

    Member
    October 19, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Curtis, et al.

    the iMX8 board can do HMDI but the are three versions of the iMX8. So, ultimately it comes down to the Designer at Aptera and which Family of Boards Aptera goes with. there are 3 Families of boards in this Series alone. Since i dont know EXACTLY what is going into the vehicle we will have to wait and see. like i said before, they went with a very scalable system. so, ultimately the End User will have flexibility right up to the point of Aptera locking down the Hardware and the Deeper portions of the Software. Good News as far as im concerned….

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