All discussions on Ather Scooters’ features and specifications to be done here.
No side step or USB port was a bit of a disappointment. I somewhat get the logic behind USB port but without a sidestep I won’t be able to take my mom for a ride occassionally (although she’ll be able to take me for one).
A small rock/stone should solve the no brake lock problem which I usually use even for scooters with a brake lock or even bikes sometimes.
And a properly designed side stand is more convenient than a centre stand. During the test drive I saw that it doesn’t take up much more space to park than if it were on a centre stand.
Agree with you on all the points. All valid.
For the side-step, honestly, we did not anticipate it to be that much of a concern as the footrests are decently sized and can be reached even when sitting sideways. However, given the real need for it, we will definitely include it in the future products and will try to include it on the current version. No promise on this one though.
As for the USB port, it is possible to be added to later versions, however, for a city commuter, with onboard navigation, the need for it is very limited. In case users really want it, we will add it to the future versions.
Since you are planning to add many features in the future versions, do owners of 1st gen Ather scooters get a free upgrade?
I think sidestep is a desired feature for many of us. May be you can consider providing it as an additional accessory? Given the current design of the 340/450, I don’t know if it is possible, but I am sure the design engineers can come up with ideas. If not in 1st gen, it will be helpful to design it for the 2nd gen Ather scooters.
Based on my discussion during my test ride I came to know that you guys are not planning/providing any color variants for Ather bikes. Even though it makes sense in initial stages for production cost optimization, there can be some workarounds that you guys can arrange like partnering with 3rd party vendors like 3M for vinyl wraps. It would make it super cool and be an icing on the cake if enthusiast and early adopters (like me) can get an alternative to get their ather in some more color variations. Wrraping won’t even require any change in production planning. Just an aftermarket option which can be enabled in supervision of Ather. What do you think?
Given the utility and demand for it, we are considering if an accessory can be made. However, given the current design, it is very challenging to add a side-step, as there is no location where it can be mounted without making it a big contraption.
As for future if there are hardware added features, it will not be possible to add them to current versions, as they most likely will need a design change in some component, as opposed to being an add-on accessory.
As for the software features, all vehicles will receive them irrespective of version.
We are not discarding the possibility of having more colors in the future. In the short term, however, it isn’t going to happen.
As for the vinyl wraps, their finish can never match a good factory paint job. Plus the durability and life of the wrap are not close to that of the real paint.
Honestly, it will be easier and cheaper to increase color options rather than getting vehicles wrapped in different colors through a partner. Most shop technicians doing aftermarket wraps are fairly well trained and do not need partnering with Ather, or our supervision to do it
HORN : This point is from my test ride sometime back. The horn loses its intensity and it is not the same when I hit the button. I am also against honking, however it is necessary to at times. May be you guys should take a look.
Shreyas, usage of USB port is not for the navigation using personal mobile. It is rather to charge phone at times. It is novelty add on if the user wants to charge his phone.
DISPLAY - Incoming call: Does the onboard display indicate the incoming call if the phone is connected? Just incoming call indication would be good (rider should not be allowed to pick the call while he is riding). The intention of this feature is to pick the call by pulling the scooter to the kerb in case of the emergency calls.
I mentioned this orally during test ride a month back, just adding here for documentation. The screen brightness should be auto-adjusted for ambient light. I rode it some what late evening and while passing through some of the densely shaded areas of Indiranagar, the screen brightness was a bit distracting. I understand there is a manual option to adjust it but dong that twice a day just wont’t cut it for me.
Also, if there is an option to increase screen sensitivity to allow use with gloves ON, it’ll be great!
One more point, I noticed that the rear wheel air inlet valve is pointed to towards the drive belt while the front wheel one faces the other way. The rear valve is such that it is directly behind your rear sprocket which would make it difficult to use with the straight rod type air fillers at petrol pumps. Since these are Tubeless tyres, with separate valves, I don’t see any reason why they can’t be positioned towards the right side of vehicle which would solve this very easily.
This isn’t something we’ve come across before, might have been an issue with the vehicle you took the test ride on. Will get it checked on AtherSpace vehicles.
I agree that USB port is not used only while navigating, and can come in handy at times when the phone’s battery is low. We haven’t seen a real need for it yet, but if there is a strong requirement, we can add it to future versions. The vehicles in immediate production will not have it, however.
Display- Incoming Calls:
This is something which we really wanted to add, however, with the current hardware it isn’t possible. To have this feature, it requires a local connection using Bluetooth or Wifi, since neither of those is available today, this feature cannot be enabled.
User’s phone connects to the vehicle via a data connection, which cannot support this feature.
Auto brightness control required an ambient light sensor(ALS), which is an added hardware. We used to have an ALS on early prototypes but took the decision to remove it as we’ve got a workaround for it without adding hardware.
Since the vehicle is connected to the server, it can get data on ambient light based on the time of the day and weather conditions. Since the vehicle is used outdoors, the change in brightness isn’t as dynamic as it is for phones, and hence a well-written algorithm can take care of auto-brightness control. We are working on it and will roll it out one completed. The manual over-ride will always be there.
Screen sensitivity is being worked on, it’s difficult to find a balance where it’s sensitive enough to accept inputs using gloves, and not too sensitive to avoid accidental touches or water droplets.
In any case, the issue is known and we will try to get it to improve over time.
Air valve direction is easy to change if there is an issue. I’m not sure if that’s the intended direction or was it only with the scooter you saw. Will check it with the design team and get back to you on it.
Good stuff on the brightness control logic! Hope it works as expected.
Regarding the touch sensitivity, there can be a toggle button to enable “Gloves ON” mode (older nokia windows phones like 620, 730 etc had this feature)
Regarding Air valve direction, I had the same thought that it could be that particular vehicle but i checked the 5-6 odd vehicles at the Ather space and they were all the same. I had pointed it out to the store manager also.
Horn: Please check the intensity with the following two conditions. 1) Intensity (frequency in technical terms) after few seconds 2) Intensity once the brake is applied (say some other electrical load is applied). In both cases, intensity should remain the same.
Connected Display: Yes, either Bluetooth or Wifi connection is needed to connect with the mobile phone. These days this chip cost less than a dollar and it is much needed in the advanced vehicle. If the present model will not have this feature, then it will be a big miss from ‘future’ vehicle. Anyway, my suggestion is to design the next version of PCB with the same PCB size with BT/Wifi chip so that just board can be replaced for the present model for upgrading.
Checking the feasibility of the toggle for touch sensitivity adjustment with the SW team.
As for the air valve direction, the idea is to keep the air valve away from the vehicle’s disc brakes, which can get hot after braking, and have a risk of burns to the person filling air in the tyres.
Since the discs are placed as FL and RR, the valves are placed as FR and RL.
For the horn, will do that tests. It shouldn’t happen if the power supply to both peripherals is isolated.
As for the call display feature, have passed on the same input to the dashboard team. Thanks!
@iamgyan, spoke to the SW team on the glove-mode feature.
As of now, we cannot increase the sensitivity of the screen, as it is already at the threshold value. It does work with gloves, however not as easily as without them. Here are a few things to keep in mind while using gloves:
Gloves should not have excess padding at the tips, or be loose, this increases the distance between the fingertip and the screen. Well-fitted gloves with normal padding should work.
While tapping, a bigger contact patch with the finger helps the screen read the touch.
I doubt that an algorithm at the server can help decide the screen brightness. Think of the scenario mentioned earlier: when you pass through a dark patch to well lit on the streets, only a system on board can accurately change brightness.
I too agree with Vishal’s comment. Think about a scenario of riding the vehicle below the underpass! Ambient Light Sensor is only effective and faster way to control. Ambient light at MG Road is not the same at JP Nagar especially during rainy season.