Power vents

dleewla

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luxury yes, but another thing that can break and add cost to maintenance. there are times when simpler is better. this is another one of Tesla's influence on Rivian design that's probably been added simply to match Tesla.
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I have a 2008 Infiniti with a 360 camera, so the tech is not new. What has surprised me over the years is how slow the auto industry has been in embracing the 360 degree camera. The 2008 Infiniti also has push button start. That feature was also very slow to be embraced.

These details make me wonder whether there might be patents that block the quick adoption of these techniques -- that is, whether an automaker needs to make payments to *someone* to be allowed to incorporate 360 camera or push button start.

Otherwise, I can't figure out what these features have received such slow adoption. The 360 camera is essential for back-up parking, parallel parking, and even just checking your alignment with the stripes whilst parking. Push button start lets you keep your keys in your purse or pocket.

All of which leads me to think that the 360 camera may require a payment to a patent-holder, causing RIVIAN to wait until the last minute to turn it on by OTA.

On the plus side, this could mean that 360 functionality may arrive as soon as major orders are delivered, or perhaps in a major update some time in 2022.
IIRC, Nissan & the Infinity brand debuted the tech under possibly trademarked name or names. I have seen 360 Degree, Around View, Surround View, Bird’s Eye View, and probably a ton I’m forgetting. If there is a license cost associated with it then I think it can’t be that expensive since even Hyundai/Kia have an implementation.
 

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A quick non legal google patent search turned up a few, but many expired, and other active ones have weirdly specific claims that would be hard to argue infringement for a generic vehicle system.
 

SoCal Rob

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luxury yes, but another thing that can break and add cost to maintenance. there are times when simpler is better. this is another one of Tesla's influence on Rivian design that's probably been added simply to match Tesla.
If anyone is concerned about potential repair costs then I doubt any of today’s luxury or near-luxury vehicles are a good choice. All have gotten so complex that even luxury brands once considered a good long-term value, like Mercedes, are no longer the “for-life” vehicles they once were.

Back to our Rivians… Unlike the relatively mild inconvenience of a broken air vent aiming system, failure of the multi-zone climate control, power windows, power seats, power locks, power steering adjustment, air suspension, electric parking/emergency brake, power outside mirrors, hydraulic-linked kinetic suspension, and power charge port door all concern me more than the vent position.

I am buying this vehicle with the expectation that it will be expensive to maintain if I keep it long enough. We’ve made some very expensive repairs to our Land Rover with 230,000 miles and counting over the years (air springs and electric parking brake were at the top of the list and the Rivian has both) but I never regretted the costs because of the capability provided by the vehicle.

I’m more concerned about being able to get repairs made at all than I am the cost. I’ve heard stories about Tesla parts availability issues and, during the pandemic, availability issues across the board, regardless of brand.

I guess one good thing about Rivian’s subscription revenue stream is that it gives the company an incentive to keep vehicles on the road longer so they can keep that money coming in.
 

Zoidz

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Just because you CAN automate something does not mean you SHOULD.

If the power vents were a deletable option, I would be on that like a 3 year old on a juice box. It's also one of the reasons I changed my order to an R1S. That power tonneau is going to be a Rivian legacy, and not in a good way.
 

SoCal Rob

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Just because you CAN automate something does not mean you SHOULD.

If the power vents were a deletable option, I would be on that like a 3 year old on a juice box. It's also one of the reasons I changed my order to an R1S. That power tonneau is going to be a Rivian legacy, and not in a good way.
It crossed my mind that the power tonneau may be to the R1T as the Falcon Wing doors are to the Model X.
 

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I worry more about the charge port door than the vents. In winter us northerners are frequently deicing our rigs to get to the fuel port door and even the cabin doors, from what I've seen of the charge port door it strikes me as frail.
 

Attesan997

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I worry more about the charge port door than the vents. In winter us northerners are frequently deicing our rigs to get to the fuel port door and even the cabin doors, from what I've seen of the charge port door it strikes me as frail.
Wonder if its heated at all or if that will make it into the G2 R1T? Nothing crazy, but something simple like the front winshield cameras on a Tesla.
 

RivRev

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I see both perspectives:

To some, it feels like needless complexity.

To others, it feels like luxury to have the vent positions tied to driver profile memory setting so they’re always where you want them.

edit: Similar discussion here…
https://www.rivianforums.com/forum/...oolest-pickup-truck-ever-made.2911/post-80371
But tying vent position to a driver profile doesn't really do or solve anything. You adjust the vent positions due to other external variables...the outside weather, the inside temperature, the clothing you are wearing, if you just got done working out and are hot, if it's cold outside and you want to blast warm air on your fingers or feet, if you parked in the sun or shade, etc. Driver profile memory doesn't solve any of these...all of the variables that would result in a driver wanting to adjust vent position are external and aren't solved by driver profiles. Unless the car can read my internal and external body temperatures and read my mind, I see this feature being more annoying than a luxury.

If there are zero external variables, then yeah sure, this is a cool feature. But, the fact is, there are countless external variables that play a role in climate control and where you want the air directed in a vehicle, and driver profiles don't solve any of these.

I will admit, that if you park in a climate controlled garage or live in southern California where it is always sunny and 75, then there are less external variables and driver profile for climate control might be more effective and practical.

But, I am definitely of the opinion that this is largely unnecessary, prone to break and malfunction, not practical, dangerous (eyes on screen versus road), and money and R&D better spent elsewhere.
 

r1t_kev

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I've heard the same "more things to break" argument in the motorcycle world too. Heated seats, heated grips, power adjusting windshield, lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, touchscreen infotainment, electronic locking saddlebags and fuel cap, proximity keys - the list goes on.

In my experience, these are areas where there are very few failures, yet they're the first place people point to as "something else to break". The concern around failure of these complexities is largely overblown. That's not to say they're failure proof, but not as prone as what people think.

To wit, the physical adjustment of the power vents is made with what? I'd guess a computer controlling......an electric motor? So we'll trust a company to implement a successful system for the propulsion of the whole vehicle, but not to implement a similar one to adjust an HVAC vent? Come on man.
 

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But tying vent position to a driver profile doesn't really do or solve anything.
For you.

People have different needs and wants. I only adjust the aiming of my vents when someone else has moved them. I know I’m not alone in this regard. So this makes a decent trade off of convenience versus potential failure for people like me.

I also understand why others would be annoyed by it or be concerned about another thing to break.

I think the best solution is having the vents power operated /(optionally) tied to a profile and they permit manual adjustment, too. If you could adjust your vents manually as frequently as you want and I could power-adjust or manually aim them then tie that setting to my profile then we’d both be happy. I think that would satisfy nearly everyone* but there may be a technical limitation which caused Rivian to choose this path over any other.

*This won’t satisfy the people who don’t want to pay a penny on a feature they don’t use and don’t want. Car buying today is frustrating for those folks no matter what brand until you get into the super luxury realm.

edit: typo
 

Dbeglor

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But tying vent position to a driver profile doesn't really do or solve anything. You adjust the vent positions due to other external variables...the outside weather, the inside temperature, the clothing you are wearing, if you just got done working out and are hot, if it's cold outside and you want to blast warm air on your fingers or feet, if you parked in the sun or shade, etc. Driver profile memory doesn't solve any of these...all of the variables that would result in a driver wanting to adjust vent position are external and aren't solved by driver profiles. Unless the car can read my internal and external body temperatures and read my mind, I see this feature being more annoying than a luxury.
Surely you can realize that you are in the extreme minority with the level of variation in how you use climate control, and to expect a manufacturer to tailor to such an outlier use case is asking a bit much?

I think it's useful to think about how as a business, nothing is done without thinking about the end user, but out of necessity they must think about the average. Therefore, it stands to reason that the benefits of power vents (user specific memory, more precise air flow, etc.) were found to suit the average consumer more than the old way of doing things. It's irrational to assume they did it because it seems "cool" but goes against the majority. With most things in life, the majority want a "set it and forget it". That's why AC evolved to have auto climate control and this is the next evolution of that. It's not for everyone, but it stands to reason it is for the most.
 

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I've heard the same "more things to break" argument in the motorcycle world too. Heated seats, heated grips, power adjusting windshield, lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, touchscreen infotainment, electronic locking saddlebags and fuel cap, proximity keys - the list goes on.

In my experience, these are areas where there are very few failures, yet they're the first place people point to as "something else to break". The concern around failure of these complexities is largely overblown. That's not to say they're failure proof, but not as prone as what people think.

To wit, the physical adjustment of the power vents is made with what? I'd guess a computer controlling......an electric motor? So we'll trust a company to implement a successful system for the propulsion of the whole vehicle, but not to implement a similar one to adjust an HVAC vent? Come on man.
I was reluctant with power windows after my parents got a Jeep. The mechanism in every window of the jeep broke at least once (twice for the tailgate window). The worst was when I was driving it to remote parking at O'Hare to go on a business trip. Rolled down the window to grab the parking ticket and the window just fell down.

Sometimes you get a lemon and the experience sours you to "needless improvements".

With my latest vehicle (RAM), all the electronics work great. and seeing as I adjust vents about twice a year, it won't really be an issue for me.
 

RivRev

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Surely you can realize that you are in the extreme minority with the level of variation in how you use climate control, and to expect a manufacturer to tailor to such an outlier use case is asking a bit much?

I think it's useful to think about how as a business, nothing is done without thinking about the end user, but out of necessity they must think about the average. Therefore, it stands to reason that the benefits of power vents (user specific memory, more precise air flow, etc.) were found to suit the average consumer more than the old way of doing things. It's irrational to assume they did it because it seems "cool" but goes against the majority. With most things in life, the majority want a "set it and forget it". That's why AC evolved to have auto climate control and this is the next evolution of that. It's not for everyone, but it stands to reason it is for the most.
Yeah, we can just agree to disagree on that. The first thing people do when they get in my car is adjust the air vents. It's the first thing I do when I get in an Uber. Adjusting air vents is very common. Not sure how you think it's not ever done and that I'm in the minority of people that adjust their air vents. Lol! They are literally made to be adjusted. Not allowing users to manually adjust the air vents (and only adjust via a custom, completely unique, UI on a touchscreen), just makes a very common practice more complex....and for what in return besides a $1,500 bill from Rivian to fix the motors in them when they break?
 

Zoidz

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I've heard the same "more things to break" argument in the motorcycle world too. Heated seats, heated grips, power adjusting windshield, lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, touchscreen infotainment, electronic locking saddlebags and fuel cap, proximity keys - the list goes on.

In my experience, these are areas where there are very few failures, yet they're the first place people point to as "something else to break". The concern around failure of these complexities is largely overblown. That's not to say they're failure proof, but not as prone as what people think.

To wit, the physical adjustment of the power vents is made with what? I'd guess a computer controlling......an electric motor? So we'll trust a company to implement a successful system for the propulsion of the whole vehicle, but not to implement a similar one to adjust an HVAC vent? Come on man.
Google "broken car vent" - 6.7 MILLION results. Yeah, it's not a common probem, is it? Now add bleeding edge power control to something that history shows breaks frequently, but has never been done in automobile mass production before. Rivian has already had this problem with the Tonneau cover.

By the way, it's a special type of "electric motor" used for absolute positioning. It's called a servo, and complex compared to a simple spinning electric motor. Rivian didn't design or assemble that.

FWIW, Google "K1200RS ABS Faiure" - 25,000 results. BMW built 37,000 K1200RS. Yeah, that's not a common problem, is it? K1200RS was one of the first bikes to have ABS. First time is a bitch.

Yeah, I'll trust RIvian to develop the power train, no problem, because they did the R&D internally themselves. From my knowledge of the auto industry (having done contract work for a Tier 1 instrument panel supplier to Toyota) it's 99% certain Rivian DIDN'T design the vent's mechanical/operational design. They most likely issued specs to a Tier 1 supplier who designed it, and who bought the servos from a Tier 2 supplier.
 
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