Plug-in request: Vehicle Maintenance (for the gifted coders out there)
UPDATE: ANY TAKERS FOR DEVELOPMENT? LOOKING FOR A PARTNER TO HELP DEVELOP THIS. I HAVE SOFTWARE SPECS WRITTEN OUT, AS WELL AS SKIN DESIGN.
I have an idea for a CF plug-in (I have a few in fact, but gotta start somewhere), and I am hoping someone with the skills and time will want to attempt putting this together for everyone.
Concept: Vehicle Maintenance: log mileage and service logs, and get reminders for upcoming services.
Ok, first off, I am a firm believer that a CentraFuse application needs to be very simple, from a UI standpoint. How simple? PALM simple.
I've been using a Palm application called KarKare for about 5 years now. It's a really nice, simple program. If you have a PalmOS based device, download it and give it a spin (trial version available here)
Let me run you through the features real quick:
1) Mileage calculator. You enter the current mileage at refuel, the date, cost, octane, and total gallons -- it will then generate an entry in the maintenance logs with corresponding MPG calculation. You can also capture the name of the fueling station from an 'Address Book' of frequent stations you go to.
2) Maintenance: You create one entry for every maintenance item. Example: Oil change, brake inspection, etc. You can set up alarms by mileage and/or by date (ex.: every 5000 miles, or every 6 months, whatever comes first). When service is due, the program shows an alert. You then have the opportunity to enter 'service info' once completed. (you log date, cost, place, etc.) and it all goes into the maintenance logs, alongside refuels etc.
Note that the programs will always know the current mileage of the vehicle, because you are periodically entering your mileage when refuelling etc.
3) Reports: You can run a report which will include Total distance, Avg Distance/Tank, Total Fuel cost, Avg Fuel cost, Fuel Cost/Mile, Total Maintenance Cost, Maintenance Cost/Mile, Average MPG. (no bar graphs on palm version, but that would be really nice!)
4) Vehicle Info: A screen containing all vehicle info, such as: VIN, model, Insurance claim number etc. and some other useful information.
I would of course add the ability to SKIN the app -- a given really.
I also envision that folks would create standard 'maintenance schedule' files for each vehicle, and share them.
ATTACHED IS THE SPECIFICATION DOCUMENT:
Reserved for Pics (wishful thinking!)
You read my mind. I've been thinking about exactly the same type of application, except that it uses GPS data to estimate some of the maintenance/mileage stuff and display alerts.
Originally Posted by tj!2k4
Yeah, GPS based would be better I think, as more people around here have GPS than OBDII...
Well, I wasn't requiring OBDII in the specification.... it really is not needed for this. GPS data in my opinion might complicate matters way beyond what is needed here.
Too much manual input the way you want it.. I don't have OBD II but if a prog like this auto filled in milage, gas, etc. info via OBD, I'd buy both right now!
The reason I envisioned a GPS-based app, is because it's something that probably more than 95% of us already have and make use of, so why not gain even more functionality from it -- and it's not like it requires any additional hardware, just a software port splitter such as Xport3, and that comes at no additional cost.
Yes I realize that a GPS-based maintenance application would not be as precise as OBD integration, but I also envisioned that the app would be able to "learn" based on reconciliation.
In the vision I had, GPS would give the additional ablilty to APPROXIMATE such things as distance left til tank empty, upcoming oil change, maintenance, etc, etc... this additional functionality would be nice since it would automate notification processes.
All I'm really trying to say here is that I think the app could be enhanced by integration of use of GPS data.
This is not my thread, so I'll shut up now.
Originally Posted by justintime
What other way than?
Originally Posted by tj!2k4
But please, do go on, your ideas are great! These are features that my car doesn't have stock, so it would be awesome to integrate them somehow...
The only draw back I'd see to the GPS solution, is that GPS sometimes loose connection (or at least mine does...) and that could be a problem calculating distanse or speed...
Cris: The way it would calculate distance is very simple: you input your current odometer reading upon refuel. The software takes the new reading, substracts the old reading, and you get the total distance travelled since your last refuel. Common guys, you just punch a few numbers.