What’s a Automotive Journey Laptop?

Nearly all fashionable automobiles have journey computer systems, however what are these programs and the way do they work?

The primary digital journey pc got here in 1978 and was fitted to the Cadillac Seville. Mechanical programs had existed earlier than, however the Seville’s skill to calculate its personal gasoline economic system and permit the motive force to enter the variety of miles to their vacation spot was a brand new thought.

Automotive journey computer systems have since advanced and turn into extra refined (particularly the place electrical automobiles are involved), however the precept behind them has remained unchanged. Right here, we element what a visit pc is, the way it works, and the sort of info you may count on to be fed from one.

What do journey computer systems do?

Journey pc (L to R, high to backside) on Mercedes C63 exhibiting distance traveled, time taken, common gasoline consumption and common velocity

Because the previous saying goes, a visit pc does what it says on the tin: it calculates the information related to a visit.

There are 5 key areas on which a visit pc offers info:

  • Time
  • distance
  • tempo
  • gasoline consumption
  • vary

Every of those 4 areas has its layers of knowledge, and whereas what a journey pc exhibits will differ from automotive to automotive, you may count on the next:


Journey computer systems will inform you how lengthy you’ve got been touring because you began your journey. If linked to Sat-Nav, they’ll additionally inform you how lengthy it’s going to take you to get to your vacation spot.


As you may think about, it will inform you how the automotive has traveled.


This provides you with the common velocity traveled by the automotive.

gasoline consumption

This may sometimes present two readings: your automotive’s common gasoline consumption, and quick gasoline consumption – i.e. what the automotive is doing from one second to the subsequent, permitting you to see how completely different situations (eg hills, velocity, how a lot you’re doing) are aggressive) with the accelerator) have an effect on gasoline consumption.


This may inform you how far you may go earlier than your gasoline tank is empty. Sometimes as your journey progresses and also you empty the gasoline tank, the vary determine will drop, for those who begin out within the metropolis after which head out onto the open highway, the place effectivity is best, the vary will drop. The determine may very well improve, as will the calculated change based mostly in your driving because the journey goes on.

Journey Laptop: Journey A and Journey B

Many journey computer systems present info for 3 ‘journeys’: journey A, journey B, and since reset.

This enables all the data described above to be measured individually and in parallel over the three time intervals. You’ll be able to reset every journey individually, or reset suddenly.

For instance, you should utilize Journey A to find out how far, how briskly, and the way effectively the automotive drives on every tank of gasoline, taking Journey A every time you fill the tank. let’s reset.

Nonetheless, you will additionally wish to see if a brand new route takes much less time to get to work, affords higher gasoline economic system or is quicker than your regular route. So you may reset Journey B to find out this, whereas leaving Journey A to maintain ticking within the background till the subsequent time it’s essential refuel.

So far as the ‘since reset’ info is anxious, many individuals by no means contact it, which implies it will probably present how far, quick and effectively the automotive has traveled since leaving the manufacturing facility (Or probably its battery was final eliminated).

Additionally be aware that for those who make a collection of quick journeys (eg decide up the children from college, go to the grocery store, go to soccer follow) then these journeys will usually be handled as a single journey by automotive, Which can normally reset itself to a brand new ‘journey’ after the automotive has been off for 4 hours or extra.

electrical automotive journey pc

Audi e-tron GT show exhibiting the remainder of the vary

Maybe the largest change on the earth of journey computer systems has been the appearance of electrical automobiles.

An EV’s journey pc will normally present you the entire info coated above, in addition to {the electrical} equal of gasoline economic system: as an alternative of miles per gallon, you will be proven miles per kilowatt hour (for instance when you’ve got a 100kWh battery and the automotive has 3 miles per kilowatt hour, you will get 300 miles off the cost – see right here for extra particulars.)

As well as, many EVs will synchronize their battery vary with the sat-nav, calculating how far you may go on a cost, and the place you will have to cease to recharge for those who’re taking a protracted journey.

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