Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me? - Scion IQ Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Default Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

Hi folks. I googled "Scion IQ forum" and this was the one that stood out, so I thought I'd start here.

First off, I am not an IQ owner. I'm not even sure if they're available here yet (Canada). I saw an ad for one for the first time today, and I noted how similar it looked to my Smart Fortwo. I was intrigued so I started looking at the specifications and noticed that the IQ, just like the smart, failed to come with any form of cruise control either standard or as an option.

My company, SmartieParts, co-developed an aftermarket cruise control for the smart car that was very well received. Many people have stated its one of the best cruise controls they've ever used in any car. We made a few minor design mistakes, but considering it was my companies first major electronic automotive system, it was, by all measures, a success. I always wondered if another car would come out without cruise, where we could apply that gained expertise. Perhaps the IQ is it? I don't know.

Some technical considerations exist. Does anyone know (beyond guessing) the answer to these questions:

1) Is it drive-by-wire? For those that don't know, that means that the accelerator pedal is NOT physically connected to the fuel/engine systems, but rather its just a specialized potentiometer that feeds electrical signals to the car's computer. You can quickly identify this if there's nothing more than an electrical plug going to the pedal.

2) Is the pedal easily removed? For the smart, one simply removed 4 bolts and the plug and that was it.

3) I'm sure the answer to this is "yes" given 2008 changes to US automotive regulations... is there a standard OBD port in the driver cockpit and does anyone know if it is CANBUS (again, I believe all 2008 and newer vehicles are required to use CANBUS so if you don't know... don't worry about it).

4) Is there interest?!?! For the smart car, smart/Mercedes made the mistake of assuming that people would only ever drive their smarts in the city and never on longer routes. They were wrong. Smart car owners are rabid fans of their cars and utilize them in every situation a "normal" car would be. I suspect IQ owners will be the same way. Or maybe Toyota is right in leaving cruise off the feature/options list?


Cool car however you slice it!

- Steven
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

Steven,
I own an iQ...
I can get those answers and more if needed as I am a bit of a gear head...
List out the question needed answering and I'll get them to you...
I would love a cruise control for mine...

Life is a journey to the grave with the intention of "not"arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, worn out, and proclaiming, “WOW” what a ride !!!!
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

We can start with the Q's already asked above.

I'm not exactly encouraged by the lack of response though

- Steven
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

No problem..
Give me a couple of days work schedule nuts right now,,,,
But, should not be a biggie

Life is a journey to the grave with the intention of "not"arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, worn out, and proclaiming, “WOW” what a ride !!!!
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

Steven,
Yes its fly by wire, yes the pedal can be easily removed, yes it has a OBT port in the cockpit.
I can find out if its CANBUS....
If you give me your email address I will send you pictures....

Life is a journey to the grave with the intention of "not"arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, worn out, and proclaiming, “WOW” what a ride !!!!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

Its almost certainly CANBUS. I'd appreciate pictures. PM sent. Cheers.

- Steven
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

Thanks for the photos sent via email. That confirms that, in theory, a cruise control should be relatively simple for us to develop if there were interest.

Remaining problems/questions that need to be solved/answered:
  • Is there interest? The development costs will run likely around $50k. Given that, and assuming the per unit production costs are similar to that of the smart car, are there ~500 to 1000 owners that would buy one at ~$400 to $500? As a reference point, the smart car units sold for $480 each and we moved very close to 1000. We had a lot higher development costs because we were doing everything from scratch. If we took the IQ on, a lot of the work has already been done so the price should be closer to the $400 mark or even a bit less
  • Can we get a car? I haven't seen one of these in real life yet and our local Toyota dealer said they had no info as to when they'd be available here.
  • Does anyone know the location of the car's ECU (computer) and how accessible it is?
  • Where to put the controls? And what type? For the smart, what we did was replace a part of the window wiper control arm with one that incorporated a button on the end for cruise operations. It wasn't too fancy but did the job and looked incredibly stock (which was very appreciated by many owners). We were lucky in that the end of the wiper handle just popped off and the interior of the handle was hollow, making for easy routing of cables. The simplest/cheapest option is to just put an off-the-shelf button(s) somewhere but then it won't look factory. The best/most expensive option is to find an existing removal piece (like the wiper control arm or perhaps a portion of the steering wheel) that we can 3D laser scan and incorporate a factory-looking button into it and custom produce new parts. But this is big $$$
It'd be really great if I could see a car in person. Failing that, a ton of interior photos from various angles would be great. As would a VERY close up of the accelerator pedal's plug (and a note of any markings/part numbers) and/or the pins inside the plug if they are reasonably easy to remove.

In general, to make the cruise work, we need to connect our "black box" to the accelerator pedal, to the CANBUS (that's easy), and to power (that's easy too), and then spend innumerable hours decoding the computer (that's hard... but is our specialty) and then figuring out an algorithm that keeps the car's speed steady (90% of that work was done with the smart car project)

If you know of anywhere else to post, on a different forum perhaps, to get more owners' eyes on this...

Cheers.

- Steven
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

Don't know where you at but my iQ is in the driveway in Mesa AZ...
I can take all the pictures you want...
I'll have the plug and any an all marking I can find or see tomorrow for you...

Life is a journey to the grave with the intention of "not"arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, worn out, and proclaiming, “WOW” what a ride !!!!
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2012, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

I'm near Vancouver in Canada... so a ways off. Looking forward to the photos.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Developing a cruise control... can you answer a few questions for me?

I just found this webpage. I am an IQ owner in Baytown, Texas. My husband was very upset the IQ did not come with cruise control. We would definitely be interested in one developed by your company. There is interest for sure!! Keep us posted!
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