Aptera User InterfacePosted by dean-mcmanis on October 6, 2021 at 7:14 pm
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?
- 112 Replies
- MemberOctober 6, 2021 at 7:14 pm
Given the relatively small number of units and cost of software it would be great if the infotainment system had a hdmi port which could work when parked (safety rules). This would seem to be the easiest way to allow streaming when dc charging or camping and would work with any foreseeable current or future technologies. Hdmi out on phones, tablets, laptops and media devices etc is common.
Obviously development and collaborations done for things like Netfllix and games requires massive software development and hardware is expensive but a simple port is relatively easy. Aptera can’t be expected to match dev budgets for infotainment that big companies (that stay with T) can but this would provide much of the same value with a simple wire and offload those software costs.
- MemberOctober 6, 2021 at 9:19 pm
Probably past the point of incorporating new features in the first production Aptera. Beta engineering is complete and Beta build in progress. From this point on Aptera will be validating lessons learned from Alpha and refining features to production quality
An excellent idea for Aptera 2.0
- MemberOctober 8, 2021 at 9:01 pm
It’s a great idea – in principle – but it looks as if USB-C is on the way to replacing the much larger HDMI port.
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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._)
- MemberOctober 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.
- MemberOctober 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
- MemberOctober 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 !
- MemberOctober 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….
- MemberDecember 18, 2021 at 6:25 pm
Here some nice bits of already known and additional information about the creation of Aptera’s GUI:
- MemberFebruary 22, 2022 at 1:37 pm
Last week I was thinking I might want to get into an EV earlier than Aptera’s delivery. I drove my Audi A5 Sportback to CarMax to check how much they would give me for it. A lot!
While there I test drove a Tesla. Meh. Great acceleration and handling. Lousy UI. The seat heater was on and my back starting sweating. It took me nearly five minutes to find how to turn it off. The display shows where vehicles it has detected are around the car; more distracting than informative.
The oddest thing was, at the end of the test drive, I pulled on the door handle to open the door. A big message popped up on the screen stating, “Use the UI to open the door; it will lower the window first. Using the handle will tear the seal around the frameless window.” Gee, my Audi has frameless windows. When you pull the handle to open the door the first thing that happens is the window slides down about 1/8″. Tesla couldn’t figure that out?
Also, this CarMax had 10 or so Teslas from 2019 to 2021, some with only a few thousand miles. It seems like in this area (DC Metro) some people aren’t too happy with them.
Happy 2 22 22!
- MemberFebruary 22, 2022 at 2:05 pm
There is a button on the door to open it, you used the emergency handle which you should only use in an emergency. Tesla’s have frameless windows which have to be rolled down before you open the door. If you had pressed the right button that would have happened automatically. The car will automatically roll up the windows and lock the doors when you walk away from it. Tesla tries to make everything as automatic as possible. The UI is more advanced then you are used to but if you owned the car you’d figure it all out in about 5 minutes.
- MemberFebruary 22, 2022 at 6:57 pm
Tesla has forged the way for what an EV startup can be. In many ways Aptera is using the exact same playbook and that isnt a bad thing. The vehicle design is amazing and any partnership regarding tesla charge plugs would be a bonus. Service is an ongoing challenge for Tesla and like their paint and gaps we can hope that they will take the recent criticisms to heart and fix the problem with more service staff and parts inventory. Right to repair and general efficiency are the two big advantages Aptera has over tesla and I believe that will be enough to carve a niche in the market.
- MemberFebruary 24, 2022 at 7:22 pm
The handle I pulled was in no way hidden. It was were a door handle should be. Next, you have all missed my comment that my Audi rolls down the window when you touch the door handle. Tesla couldn’t figure out how to do that ?
As far as the seat heaters, again, Tesla couldn’t make the controls obvious? If I have to remember three levels of menus to perform simple actions, then Tesla fails.
My first personal computer I bought in 1985. (Jose, that was before you were born.) I worked in DoD and the IC for 35 years. When ever I heard a contractor say, “It’s a training problem,” I knew it was a poor design problem.
OK, this old, retired guy may be wrong, but if Aptera delivers a vehicle requiring multiple menu level memory, they will limit their sales. I like to keep my eyes on the road.
- MemberFebruary 28, 2022 at 5:56 pm
I would also like to see all repair manuals to be available on the main screen, including maintenance records and schedules. Even if I had to have much of this on a USB drive and plug it into a port on the screen or dash/consul that would be okay, maybe even better if I could also plug it into my computer as well, and with the ability to make copies of the drive. I might even want to video record a repair and make it a part of the permanent repair records.
While we are at it recording, why not also have the ability to record any or all video displayed on any screen or from any camera (sentry mode?)
- MemberApril 4, 2022 at 9:30 am
So while I am very interested in all the aspects of Aptera, as an artist I am always very interested in the look and aesthetics of things. One thing I would love to see / request in my new Aptera would be the ability to have custom skins for the UI (user interface). Just a way to make the Aptera more personal and more reflective of the individual customer. Some might like the very “echo minded” look where the interface has more green and lighter looking designs. Other might want something that is more edgy and futuristic. At a minimum if skins were cost prohibitive having backgrounds and colors of the various UI elements be customizable would be a good place to start.
So my question to the community is… What would you like your UI to look like? For me as a big fan of Syd Mead I would love a very retro-futurism / synthwave look, similar the main screens in the spinner vehicle from Blade Runner or even the digital dash from Subaru XT turbo of the late 80’s. 🙂
- MemberApril 4, 2022 at 9:32 am
I’d personally would like to be able to tint the screen red to ease the strain on the eyes. Have dark mode, etc.
- MemberApril 4, 2022 at 10:32 am
I would love to have the ability to change colors and font size at the very least, if they could give some customization about what information is displayed on the bottom of the home screen that would be great but at the very least colors and font size.
I’ll give you an example of something simple that Tesla has messed up in the last couple of years. The battery level icon was green when I first got the car, now it’s gray. The human eye is most sensitive to green which made reading that icon easy, now that it’s gray it’s much harder to read. The other problem with gray, vs black for example, is that it’s low contrast. I suspect that Elon is color blind which is why they made the change. Making colors configurable allows people to optimize the display for their needs. I’m 67, I still have 20/20 vision but I need a lot of light and higher contrast. On my computer I set terminals and XEmacs to display black on white, I’ve noticed that young people seem to do the opposite, i.e. white on black which I find nearly impossible to read. Clearly young eyes and old eyes have different needs, please make the display configurable to accommodate this.
- MemberApril 5, 2022 at 10:20 am
Large fonts!!!! We use white backgrounds with black type for old eyes but often the core menu fonts remain at a default of tiny. Most annoying. The brightness should be easily adjustable while driving.
- MemberApril 5, 2022 at 12:05 pm
I am an engineer and a NG pilot. So as plain/simple as possible with clear display of the data in simplest and easiest form for quick understanding. Emphasis on simple design