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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brand new Eclipse Cross PHEV - seems OK based on a few 10's of km so far.

But ... three of us here can't figure the logic behind the two regenerative braking paddles on the steering column. There is no issue with the operation of the system. It is just the sheer madness, to us, of the labeling and the language in the user manual that has us wondering what went on ...

The right paddle is labelled with a plus ('+') sign. The left is labelled with a minus ('-') sign.

Using the left, minus, paddle increases the regen braking force and the multi-display indicator rises from, say, 'B3' to 'B4'.

Using the right, plus, paddle decreases the regen braking force and the displayed 'B' number falls.

The user manual reinforces this weirdness. For example here is a quote: "Each time you pull the "+" paddle towards you, the regenerative brake force lowers by one level." And there is a reciprocal statement for the "-" paddle.

The logic here defies us (to the extent it matters, we are electronics engineer, a human factors specialist and other technically minded people in this household). We can't wrap any interpretation or language around this that makes any sense of a "+" operation decreasing a control set point like this. The best we could come up with is that by pulling the "+" paddle you are increasing the coasting distance. But such linguistic gymnastics is not anywhere in the manual at all; that only talks about braking level or force.

As I said, this isn't about correct operation of the system. We can do that. We are just astounded that this cognitive disconnect got through even basic technical and marketing review.

Can any one wrap language around this that may explain what when on during those user experience planning discussions? Are we missing something basic?

Bye for now, Ian
 

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Hi Ian, welcome to the forums.

While I can't speak for the Mitsubishi engineers, I can offer my perspective as a long time Mitsubishi driver. I've had the paddle shifters for more than a decade in various vehicles and (-) had always be to down shift (lower gear) and (+) had been for upshifting (higher gear) -- and by "gear" I of course mean CVT belt ratio ;). I must assume they work the same for the PHEV models when in non-EV mode. Making the + increase the regenerative braking, would be the opposite function. If you are accelerating, you want less braking as you would want a higher gear ratio. Similarly you would downshift as you slow and would want increased breaking.

Think in terms of HVAC. When in heating mode you increase the thermostat setting to increase the load on the furnace, but when in cooling mode, you lower the setting to increase the load on the AC unit.

It would seem counterintuitive for me to have to check the mode of the vehicle and transpose paddle functions mentally. I think it's logical from a behavioral standpoint to think in terms of left paddle=slower (ie. lower gear or more braking) and right paddle=faster (less braking and higher gear). No?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It would seem counterintuitive for me to have to check the mode of the vehicle and transpose paddle functions mentally. I think it's logical from a behavioral standpoint to think in terms of left paddle=slower (ie. lower gear or more braking) and right paddle=faster (less braking and higher gear). No?
I see what you are saying, however, in practice the initial error rate for all of us (now a sample of N=4) was high implying some cognitive disconnect. Of course, after a day or so we would learn what paddle to achieve the desired outcome and it becomes ingrained, automated and no longer requires higher level cognitive functioning. But, the first part of reducing human error is to "make the right way the easy way".

And, while I know you were illuminating the point, there is no CVT on the PHEV (fixed ratio). The paddles are just regen braking force. I agree that if the paddles were dual purposed, and state dependent (i.e. braking or accelerating), there may be difficult compromises. Not here though, I think.

(We aren't stumped or stopped by it - just chatting about an issue. Doing so gets more people thinking about designing the world for humans. Which is actually something that car companies have generally been leading the world in. So it is a bit disappointing to see what seems to be a bit of a howler.)

Thx.
 
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