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(Reuters)   This will end well: Nissan is introducing a "steer by wire" so you can crash while trying to reboot your car   (reuters.com) divider line 125
    More: Stupid, Cuban Missile Crisis, cold-war, Air France Flight 447, Infiniti, car companies, reboot, wires, engine control unit  
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6987 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Oct 2012 at 4:20 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



125 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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Archived thread
 
2012-10-17 02:40:42 PM
Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-10-17 02:53:21 PM
Is there an app for that?
 
2012-10-17 03:05:28 PM
Land Rover has been doing this since 01
 
2012-10-17 04:10:35 PM
Did they put it in the Deltawing?
 
2012-10-17 04:21:58 PM
I'm only interested in drive by wire if the computer is doing the driving.
 
2012-10-17 04:22:20 PM
Don't VW's have this as well?
 
2012-10-17 04:23:26 PM

minoridiot: Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.


The concern isn't really the new technology it's when it needs to be implemented on a minimum budget/maximum profit scale.
 
2012-10-17 04:23:48 PM

minoridiot: Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.


i.imgur.com
 
2012-10-17 04:24:17 PM
Four engineers are driving down the road when the engine starts running rough. They start arguing about the cause.
The ChE says "We've got a fuel problem; we need to drain the tank and refill it".
The ME says "No, the wheels are unbalanced; we need to get a front-end alignment and a wheel balance"
The EE says "You're both wrong; the ignition controls are messed up, we need to get the timing circuit checked"
The Software Engineer says "How about we just pull over, turn it off, and restart it?"

/thanks, I'm here all week
//try the veal
 
2012-10-17 04:24:24 PM
In unrelated news, all roadside walls will be painted Microsoft Blue.
 
2012-10-17 04:25:49 PM
My Nissan just blew a cylinder, so I am not getting a kick.
 
2012-10-17 04:26:10 PM
Sounds like it should allow quite a few interesting improvements going forward, but also a bit worrying. Not like the car isn't almost totally run by a computer anyway even now though.
 
2012-10-17 04:26:54 PM
Considering theres still alot of people who can't figure out the cruise control, this will not end up well.
 
2012-10-17 04:27:09 PM

blatz514: My Nissan just blew a cylinder, so I am not getting a kick.


It was just Ice Cream, I SWEAR!!!
 
2012-10-17 04:27:59 PM
My Acura is drive by wire. It's an 05.

Everything works great until have battery problems.
 
2012-10-17 04:28:14 PM
minoridiot
Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.


I thought Toyota Camrys already had technology.
 
2012-10-17 04:29:13 PM
Another way of putting the steering wheel where ever you want to:

www.strangecosmos.com
 
2012-10-17 04:29:46 PM
I thought Toyota Camrys already had [that] technology.

/One line and I blow it.
 
2012-10-17 04:30:58 PM
Pffft. Pontiac was toying around with that back in '87.

images.hemmings.com
 
2012-10-17 04:31:21 PM
"Under the new system, the driver's intentions are transmitted more quickly to the wheels because of the quick speed of electronic signals"

Because people are always complaining about how long it takes rotational input to travel from one end of a steering shaft to the other?
 
2012-10-17 04:32:36 PM
[sarcasm]
It will be nice when cars no longer give feedback through the steering wheel. One less variable to worry about processing.
[/sarcasm]
 
2012-10-17 04:32:38 PM
This... is not new. It is a necessary step for self driving cars though. It will be easier to get electronically controlled wheels to do what the computer wants once cars have autopilot mode.

I like getting road feedback though...
 
2012-10-17 04:37:15 PM
FTA: "...we would be able to place the steering wheel wherever we like, such as in the back seat..."

ok, where's the 'car of the future' from the old cartoons with the mother-in-law in a capsule in the back?

Soon, I'll be able to drive my car from my desk! I can send it to run my errands!
/Exxxxxcellnet...
 
2012-10-17 04:43:38 PM
Doesn't Google already have a car you can run through your search engine?
 
2012-10-17 04:44:19 PM
I'm not too worried about this. Wouldn't buy a 1st generation drive by wire system though, but the 2nd generation on might be helpful. I suspect a lot of people will fly off the road going around corners because their wheel isn't responding like an old analog wheel used to. You know how it is, that tighter feel it gets as you go around a corner, the tighter it is, the more likely you are to fly off the road..one reason driving in video games is so hard. You can't tell when you're about to slip except by the gauges and on screen action.
 
2012-10-17 04:44:48 PM
My understanding is that in the next few years the US government will require electric steering as part of the stability control.
 
2012-10-17 04:45:37 PM
I can only imagine this working like that wireless steering wheel I had on my Nintendo 64. When the battery got low or the connection dropped, you found out about it by plowing into a wall. When I have steering problems in an older vehicle, I find out about it by turning being difficult or though mechanical feedback. Even when the power completely fails, I can still use "armstrong steering" to safely get to a good place to fix it.

On that note, most new cars don't give enough steering feedback as it is. I don't understand why anyone would want zero. Do you not care what the surface you're driving on? Even if I can't see the ice or loose gravel on the road, I sure find out about it through my steering wheel.

Besides all that, what's the point? It's not like conventional power steering is any less fuel efficient than steering by wire. It's just one more thing to break, and when it does, you have no backup system.

Keep that crap out of my car.
 
2012-10-17 04:45:40 PM
This will end *so* well.
 
2012-10-17 04:45:43 PM

Bleyo: This... is not new. It is a necessary step for self driving cars though. It will be easier to get electronically controlled wheels to do what the computer wants once cars have autopilot mode.

I like getting road feedback though...


I've seen some interesting experiments with steering wheel haptics - putting vibration motors and such in the wheel that could give the driver various cues, for example, if they are oversteering or another vehicle is in their blind spot.

Shouldn't be too hard to replace the road feel with something more useful. Also, the road feel is mostly feedback about wheel position - this would have to turn the steering via a motor anyway to keep it all in sync. If anything, you'll regain some feel in a performance car, and adjust it to your taste.
 
2012-10-17 04:47:04 PM
It will be really entertaining when the electrical system craps out and the car just wanders off the road. I can also imagine that will be good times at the local Goodyear shop to try and fix
 
2012-10-17 04:47:06 PM
I don't believe any cars have ever had steer by wire. You may be confusing it with electronic power steering (electric power steering pump) or drive by wire (electronically controlled throttle).
 
2012-10-17 04:48:20 PM

Bleyo: I like getting road feedback though...


If the point is to help disconnect the driver from the driving process then there's no need for feedback.
...or a steering wheel, for that matter. A joystick should more than cover the job.

/Freeing up alot of legroom.
/granted, they could simulate feedback. It probably wouldn't satisfy more drivers tho.
 
2012-10-17 04:48:43 PM
If it's good enough to help crash an Air France airliner into the Atlantic, it's good enough to help crash granny into a farmers market.
 
2012-10-17 04:48:56 PM
Toyota has drive-by-wire
 
2012-10-17 04:50:03 PM

minoridiot: Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.


We already have stuff like that for steering on ice, etc. Those of us who actually learned how to drive on ice (I was taught in the middle of a blizzard in Colorado by a former demolition derby driver) refuse to drive with those systems :)
 
2012-10-17 04:50:33 PM
I love the skeptics and naysayers. Their ancestors were saying all the same things about those newfangled gasoline powered contraptions never replacing the horse and buggy.
 
2012-10-17 04:53:37 PM
Power steering is overrated. Unless you have a quite heavy car, manual steering can be an advantage - except for turning around in a very tight spot. Both my '68 Plymouth Valiant and my Datsun 280Z have manual steering, and honestly, I think that the sensitive feedback I get from having direct mechanical contact with the tires, and therefore the road, allows for much more precise driving, especially at high speeds. But, then, I'm an old car geek who doesn't even like automatic transmission, so I'm sure someone who views cars as nothing more than a conveyance from A-to-B would love the idea of a car with automatic...everything. Self-driving and drive-by-wire are pretty cool from a tech standpoint, but...I prefer to keep it simple.
 
2012-10-17 04:54:51 PM
Need for Speed was doing just the opposite with this by adding Force Feedback to joysticks so you could feel the simulated roads.

So now real life is trying to get closer to video games by taking OUT the feedback so you don't feel the roads.

/dnrtfa
 
2012-10-17 04:56:53 PM
This application
STEER BY WIRE 2.03
will be shut down. If problem persists, contact the vendor.

RRRRRRRRRRRR Crash!
 
2012-10-17 04:58:17 PM
Hasn't this been in use for a while already? Doesn't Nissan use it?
 
2012-10-17 04:59:34 PM
Meh. My 2004 Saturn ION is DBW
 
2012-10-17 05:00:19 PM
Based on my personal on-road experience most of you suck so bad at teh driving in general that I welcome an idiot buffer between you and the wheels. Let the car do the work since most of you don't have the coordination to master Velcro-fastened shoes.
 
2012-10-17 05:00:54 PM
Steer barb wire.

www.offthegridnews.com
 
2012-10-17 05:01:23 PM
TFA: Under the new system, the driver's intentions are transmitted more quickly to the wheels because of the quick speed of electronic signals, Asai said.

Color me skeptical that electronic signals move appreciably faster than the physical information of the movement of a rigid body. Obviously they're unlikely to be appreciably slower, either; I merely question the concept of the difference being anything other than negligible. Steer-by-wire is a solution in search of a problem.
 
2012-10-17 05:02:40 PM

FrancoFile: Four engineers are driving down the road when the engine starts running rough. They start arguing about the cause.
The ChE says "We've got a fuel problem; we need to drain the tank and refill it".
The ME says "No, the wheels are unbalanced; we need to get a front-end alignment and a wheel balance"
The EE says "You're both wrong; the ignition controls are messed up, we need to get the timing circuit checked"
The Software Engineer says "How about we just pull over, turn it off, and restart it?"

/thanks, I'm here all week
//try the veal


My previous car had a problem with the auto transaxle where it would get into a mode where it would keep abruptly shifting up/down between 1st and 2nd with a jerk. Pulling over and restarting the car would fix this for a while, then it would do it again a month later. Of course, it would never do this when the mechanic took it for a test drive, although he suspected a glitch in the electronic controller.

Finally it died completely. It spent a couple of days with the dealer trying to figure the mystery out. Finally, they gave up and just swapped out the whole thing and put in a brand-new replacement, and sent the bad one back to the factory for analysis.

Didn't cost me a cent. Ford paid for the tow and a rental for the 5 days.
 
2012-10-17 05:04:52 PM

Current Resident: Pffft. Pontiac was toying around with that back in '87.

[images.hemmings.com image 700x478]


That's, er, interesting. Did that car have a name?
 
2012-10-17 05:10:11 PM

AlanSmithee: That's, er, interesting. Did that car have a name?


Yep, Pursuit Concept
 
2012-10-17 05:10:22 PM
Scarebus, now coming to a highway near you!
 
2012-10-17 05:10:22 PM

Current Resident: Pffft. Pontiac was toying around with that back in '87.


Dear god that would be awesome to see on the road during the first real snow storm.

/ the first SAAB had those front wheel wells, was awesome for aerodynamics
// driving in the snow would cause ice pack along the sides until you couldn't steer anymore
/// Yes SAAB's were actually designed by airplane designers back then
//// less than 1/3rd the design team had a driver's license when they designed the prototype
 
2012-10-17 05:10:50 PM
I like the by-wire idea when everything's working right.

I don't like the idea of a car that, if the battery's dead, I can't turn the front wheels.
 
2012-10-17 05:12:12 PM

LoneVVolf: "Under the new system, the driver's intentions are transmitted more quickly to the wheels because of the quick speed of electronic signals"

Because people are always complaining about how long it takes rotational input to travel from one end of a steering shaft to the other?


Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too.
 
2012-10-17 05:13:13 PM
I'd like to drive using a game controller or a keyboard...
 
2012-10-17 05:13:54 PM

ChadM89: I like the by-wire idea when everything's working right.

I don't like the idea of a car that, if the battery's dead, I can't turn the front wheels.


I'm not too concerned. I am sure that there is triple redundancy built in with its own battery backup system that is constantly monitored. Sure it can fail, but you are probably more likely to crash due to a tire blow out than a failure of a system like this i'd believe.
 
2012-10-17 05:15:19 PM
There seems to be some confusion here with terminology. Allow me to clear some things up. What some people seem to think is drive by wire in existing cars is actually electric assist power steering. Instead of a messy hydraulic assisted steering gear there's an electric motor attached to your steering shaft that helps out with rotating. The new ones are pretty good at being variable assistive to give a good road feel. Still has a mechanical connection to the wheels so if the electrics go out you can still muscle the wheel to steer.

Steer by wire takes the mechanical connection out of the system and the steering wheel becomes a rotational sensor that sends a signal to a box that controls the steering mechanism. Lose power and you're SOL.
 
2012-10-17 05:19:16 PM

Loki009: ChadM89: I like the by-wire idea when everything's working right.

I don't like the idea of a car that, if the battery's dead, I can't turn the front wheels.

I'm not too concerned. I am sure that there is triple redundancy built in with its own battery backup system that is constantly monitored. Sure it can fail, but you are probably more likely to crash due to a tire blow out than a failure of a system like this i'd believe.


Also its not a new idea. Another random SAAB factoid is that they were working on this back in 1993. Complete with elimination of the steering wheel with a joystick instead.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-10-17 05:19:47 PM

Loki009: / the first SAAB had those front wheel wells, was awesome for aerodynamics
// driving in the snow would cause ice pack along the sides until you couldn't steer anymore
/// Yes SAAB's were actually designed by airplane designers back then
//// less than 1/3rd the design team had a driver's license when they designed the prototype


I think I remember seeing something about that on a Top Gear segment a while back.

/I think that it was TG, anyways
 
2012-10-17 05:20:49 PM
Will there be a "Ctrl Alt Delete"?
 
2012-10-17 05:21:07 PM

Millennium: TFA: Under the new system, the driver's intentions are transmitted more quickly to the wheels because of the quick speed of electronic signals, Asai said.

Color me skeptical that electronic signals move appreciably faster than the physical information of the movement of a rigid body. Obviously they're unlikely to be appreciably slower, either; I merely question the concept of the difference being anything other than negligible. Steer-by-wire is a solution in search of a problem.


I suspect the problem they are solving has more to do with making it cheaper to put the wheel on the left vs the right side of the car.

As far as steering loss goes... I don't really have any high ground to yell from, since I drive an Intrepid.
 
2012-10-17 05:21:26 PM
Drive by wire rally cross racing!

NOT
 
2012-10-17 05:23:27 PM
Has anyone mentioned how the design has a mechanical backup for the unlikely event that the power fails?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-17 05:24:07 PM
The article says there will be a clutch you can engage to provide a mechanical connection while you debug the steering computer.

$ strctl engage manual
Error: Manual steering setting conflicts with currently selected steer by wire mode.
$ strctl down sbw
Error: No such subsystem sbw.
$ strctl down tbw
Turn by wire subsystem disabled.
Warning: Front wheels are currently free.
$ strctl engage manual
You have selected manual steering mode. Please read and agree to the following:
Nissan and its subsidiaries, collectively referred to as "Nissan", have
agreed to provide you with a manual steering feature. In manual steering
mode the car will not automatically change direction. It is your responsibility
to guide the car safely. You agree that you will obey all traffic laws.
You agree that you will not use this vehicle to commit any illegal or
tortious act. You agree that you will indemnify and hold harmless Nissan
for any damage resulting from your use of the car in manual steering mode.
You agree that improper use of manual steering mode may result in serious
injury or death to you, an occupant of the car, or any other person, and
such injury or death will be your sole responsibility. This car contains
substances known to the state of California to cause cancer. You acknowledge
that if involved in a collision within the state of California, such substances
may be released. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Nissan for any
cancer or other injury you or any other person suffers as a result of release
of such chemicals. You further agree that this is a summary of the complete
terms of service of the manual steering option. The complete legal agreement
is found on the Nissan web site. You agree to be bound by that agreement as
if included in full here.

Do you agree to the above contract? (Y/N)
 
2012-10-17 05:25:51 PM
I know people always break out the lack of feedback argument whenever drive-by-wire is mentioned, but I don't really understand why.

1. It would be quite easy to give force feedback through a decent servo motor.

2. I don't believe I actually use the feedback from the tires to steer. In fact, sometimes the feedback makes going straight harder with all the ruts in the road around here.

I think ChadM89, whose post I just noticed wins the argument forever. I still want a joystick to control my car, though!

ChadM89: I like the by-wire idea when everything's working right.

I don't like the idea of a car that, if the battery's dead, I can't turn the front wheels.

 
2012-10-17 05:27:31 PM

Current Resident: Pffft. Pontiac was toying around with that back in '87.

[images.hemmings.com image 700x478]


Wtf, how would that car turn? Wouldn't the front wheels grind into the covering on the side there as soon as you turned the wheel at all?
 
2012-10-17 05:30:06 PM

Abner Doon: Wtf, how would that car turn? Wouldn't the front wheels grind into the covering on the side there as soon as you turned the wheel at all?


It did somehow. And it was a four-wheel steer deal, to boot.
 
2012-10-17 05:34:51 PM

Enemabag Jones: minoridiot
Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.

I thought Toyota Camrys already had technology.



My 2006 gas pedal is drive by wire. Went from a 1995 to an '06. Have to admit at first it felt a little weird, but I got used to it.
 
2012-10-17 05:37:04 PM
Steer by Wire?

They'll just email me some bull....
 
2012-10-17 05:38:22 PM

Current Resident: Abner Doon: Wtf, how would that car turn? Wouldn't the front wheels grind into the covering on the side there as soon as you turned the wheel at all?

It did somehow. And it was a four-wheel steer deal, to boot.


Bizarre. Wish car companies could bring stuff like that to market. That looks cool as hell, especially considering that it's from the '80s.
 
2012-10-17 05:38:41 PM

Lev_Astov: I know people always break out the lack of feedback argument whenever drive-by-wire is mentioned, but I don't really understand why.

1. It would be quite easy to give force feedback through a decent servo motor.

2. I don't believe I actually use the feedback from the tires to steer. In fact, sometimes the feedback makes going straight harder with all the ruts in the road around here.


Realistic force feedback is not a trivial problem. And force feedback isn't just bumps. It's how easy the wheel is to turn, which depends on the road surface conditions. If all of a sudden my steering goes really light, I know I'm on ice. Or something else bad is happening. Mud feels different from dirt, etc.
 
2012-10-17 05:40:04 PM
I can see some benefits to this, for example you could quicken the steering at slow speeds and slow it at high speeds. When you're going 70 down the freeway you don't need to make large movements in the wheel.

Also, what if you never had to adjust your alignment again? Want to zero your steering? Just position your wheel where you think the resting position should be, hit a button and boom, your steering is zeroed. You could adjust your alignment as easily as you adjust your power mirrors from the comfort of your seat.

It would also be possible to compensate for things like understeer or skidding dynamically. And finally what about different steering characteristics for different driving styles? Maybe grandma likes very slow steering with zero feedback, while junior likes quick, racecar like steering with lots of force feedback.
 
2012-10-17 05:42:58 PM
facepalm

all of you who are posting "my car has had this since XX" are not to bright. there is a big difference between:

- Drive by Wire (which is throttle and brake control)

and

- Steer by Wire (which is directional control)

currently there are NO production autos with Steer by Wire. the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.
 
2012-10-17 05:43:47 PM
The bluetooth connection will allow you to hijack -by-wire the car next to you.
 
2012-10-17 05:47:58 PM
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-10-17 05:48:11 PM

child_god: LoneVVolf: "Under the new system, the driver's intentions are transmitted more quickly to the wheels because of the quick speed of electronic signals"

Because people are always complaining about how long it takes rotational input to travel from one end of a steering shaft to the other?

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too.


I thought that too and then remembered some cars still use a steering box, even if the car has rack and pinion you still have the hydraulic assist to add to the lag or feeling of lag. Not that I think current steering is unresponsive, I just think it is very possible this could be noticeably more so, my big concern would be feedback or lack of it.
 
2012-10-17 05:48:21 PM

LSinLV: the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.


The system has a clutch and will default to mechanical steering if there are any problems.
 
2012-10-17 05:51:10 PM

Current Resident: Pffft. Pontiac was toying around with that back in '87.

[images.hemmings.com image 700x478]


How... how can the wheels turn on that thing?
 
2012-10-17 05:51:18 PM

PanicMan:
Realistic force feedback is not a trivial problem. And force feedback isn't just bumps. It's how easy the wheel is to turn, which depends on the road surface conditions. If all of a sudden my steering goes really light, I know I'm on ice. Or something else bad is happening. Mud feels different from dirt, etc.


Simbin and several other high end 'race sim' software houses already have their heads wrapped around simulating accurate force feedback with high end race-sim controllers. Hell with my Logitech G wheel I can tell when I'm up on the candy stripes, hanging a wheel in the grass, pushing the front, or getting chatter as I approach the edge of lock under braking. Simbin's GTR even goes as far to give me that same sick floppy snow-plow feeling as I'm trying to get my ass out of a gravel trap that I've felt IRL.

I'd imagine car mfgrs won't bother reinventing the wheel (hah) and will probably just use existing race-sim force feedback as a starting point for true fly-by-wire steering input.
 
2012-10-17 05:59:58 PM

FrancoFile: Four engineers are driving down the road when the engine starts running rough. They start arguing about the cause.
The ChE says "We've got a fuel problem; we need to drain the tank and refill it".
The ME says "No, the wheels are unbalanced; we need to get a front-end alignment and a wheel balance"
The EE says "You're both wrong; the ignition controls are messed up, we need to get the timing circuit checked"
The Software Engineer says "How about we just pull over, turn it off, and restart it?"

/thanks, I'm here all week
//try the veal


Isn't the Software Engineer supposed to recommend rolling the windows (get it?) down and bringing them back up?
 
2012-10-17 06:03:02 PM

ElBarto79: LSinLV: the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.

The system has a clutch and will default to mechanical steering if there are any problems.


What have you gained other than added cost if you include a mechanical backup system in a steer-by-wire design? Why not just have mechanical steering to begin with, like every other car?
 
2012-10-17 06:07:58 PM

screwzloos: ElBarto79: LSinLV: the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.

The system has a clutch and will default to mechanical steering if there are any problems.

What have you gained other than added cost if you include a mechanical backup system in a steer-by-wire design? Why not just have mechanical steering to begin with, like every other car?


They listed potential benefits in the article, I also surmised a few in a previous post. Also, if you read they article you would see they stated that hopefully they could eventually eliminate the mechanical backup if they can prove the reliability of the system.
 
2012-10-17 06:09:54 PM

ZAZ: The article says there will be a clutch you can engage to provide a mechanical connection while you debug the steering computer.

$ strctl engage manual
Error: Manual steering setting conflicts with currently selected steer by wire mode.
$ strctl down sbw
Error: No such subsystem sbw.
$ strctl down tbw
Turn by wire subsystem disabled.
Warning: Front wheels are currently free.
$ strctl engage manual
You have selected manual steering mode. Please read and agree to the following:
Nissan and its subsidiaries, collectively referred to as "Nissan", have
agreed to provide you with a manual steering feature. In manual steering
mode the car will not automatically change direction. It is your responsibility
to guide the car safely. You agree that you will obey all traffic laws.
You agree that you will not use this vehicle to commit any illegal or
tortious act. You agree that you will indemnify and hold harmless Nissan
for any damage resulting from your use of the car in manual steering mode.
You agree that improper use of manual steering mode may result in serious
injury or death to you, an occupant of the car, or any other person, and
such injury or death will be your sole responsibility. This car contains
substances known to the state of California to cause cancer. You acknowledge
that if involved in a collision within the state of California, such substances
may be released. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Nissan for any
cancer or other injury you or any other person suffers as a result of release
of such chemicals. You further agree that this is a summary of the complete
terms of service of the manual steering option. The complete legal agreement
is found on the Nissan web site. You agree to be bound by that agreement as
if included in full here.

Do you agree to the above contract? (Y/N)


Bravo.
 
2012-10-17 06:12:12 PM

ElBarto79: LSinLV: the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.

The system has a clutch and will default to mechanical steering if there are any problems.


then it's NOT steer by wire....

for a system to be truely steer by wire, there is no "physical" connection between the input and output. only an electronic sensor for input being read by an ECU which in turns signals a servo with a feedback circuit to manage the output.

you can't have a manual fail-safe and really call it steer by wire....there's more than just wire inbetween.
 
2012-10-17 06:12:41 PM
I'm all for "self-driving" cars so long as it gets you slather asses out of the goddamn left lane.

/and if it drives you into a bridge abutment, all the better!
 
2012-10-17 06:16:42 PM

PanicMan: Lev_Astov: I know people always break out the lack of feedback argument whenever drive-by-wire is mentioned, but I don't really understand why.

1. It would be quite easy to give force feedback through a decent servo motor.

2. I don't believe I actually use the feedback from the tires to steer. In fact, sometimes the feedback makes going straight harder with all the ruts in the road around here.

Realistic force feedback is not a trivial problem. And force feedback isn't just bumps. It's how easy the wheel is to turn, which depends on the road surface conditions. If all of a sudden my steering goes really light, I know I'm on ice. Or something else bad is happening. Mud feels different from dirt, etc.


In all honesty what you stated is actually more of a positive. This is where ESP really kicks in. And my understanding is that this is also part of the road map for next gen ESP systems.

There is a good youtube video showing human control vs a car with ESP on an ice late in Norway or something. First they do the course at 50mph on ice with ESP off and try to avoid some cones and a sytrofoam wall and fail spectacularly and then they turn ESP back on and do it again this time driving right by as if nothing happened. The computer can compensate and adjust 1000x faster than you can. Now there should be some warning system in place to let you know when you are in such a situation. Either a warning light or a force feedback system, but i say let the ESP system actually handle the situation.
 
2012-10-17 06:17:18 PM
As long as the OS doesn't have MacroShiat involved I would trust it....
 
2012-10-17 06:18:16 PM

LSinLV: ElBarto79: LSinLV: the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.

The system has a clutch and will default to mechanical steering if there are any problems.

then it's NOT steer by wire....

for a system to be truely steer by wire, there is no "physical" connection between the input and output. only an electronic sensor for input being read by an ECU which in turns signals a servo with a feedback circuit to manage the output.

you can't have a manual fail-safe and really call it steer by wire....there's more than just wire inbetween.


If the clutch is disengaged then there is no physical connection and the system is operating in a fully steer by wire mode. The mechanical backup only kicks in if something goes wrong.
 
2012-10-17 06:28:11 PM
ChipNASA: blatz514: My Nissan just blew a cylinder, so I am not getting a kick.

It was just Ice Cream, I SWEAR!!!


YOU ARE MY HERO!
 
2012-10-17 06:30:22 PM
This tech has a lot of potential benefits (reduced weight, more steering wheel positioning options, more cockpit space, variable steering ratios). but Nissan has an electronic system that's backed up by a mechanical steering system that is more complex than a standard steering system. It's costly feature, without much benefit (other than experience in using the tech) to the manufacturers, though it is a sexy feature if you can

but the real issue here that's kept the auto industry wary is the liability placed on the auto manufacturer. As soon as 5 of these things fail, the press could be all over it, it someone dies from a failure, the press and lawyers come knocking quickly.
 
2012-10-17 06:35:52 PM
I love my Maxima. I don't think I will ever need a Nissan with this "feature" and I expect it will only cost more money to have fixed.
Quit trying to make cars into computers that have computers inside their computers.
 
2012-10-17 06:46:54 PM
So where does the BSOD/kernel fault message display before you crash?
 
2012-10-17 06:55:52 PM
Dear Nissan,

Not in a million farking years.
 
2012-10-17 06:55:55 PM

Gleeman: So where does the BSOD/kernel fault message display before you crash?


I think the airbag would make the most sense...
 
2012-10-17 07:02:06 PM
I'll just leave this here. Link
 
2012-10-17 07:22:22 PM

Current Resident: Pffft. Pontiac was toying around with that back in '87.

[images.hemmings.com image 700x478]


Hey look! A 90's Mercury Sable!
 
2012-10-17 07:25:33 PM

DWitchiewoman: I love my Maxima. I don't think I will ever need a Nissan with this "feature" and I expect it will only cost more money to have fixed.
Quit trying to make cars into computers that have computers inside their computers.


Hey now, it's technology. It has to be better than what you had before.
 
2012-10-17 07:47:52 PM
"In the future, if we are freed from that, we would be able to place the steering wheel wherever we like, such as in the back seat."

I have frequent dreams where I am driving from the back seat. The problem for me always, is that I cannot brake.
 
2012-10-17 07:51:58 PM
If there is a mechanical backup, as some have said (requiring a clutch to engage?), I really don't see the point of this. If the linkage is there anyway then you aren't going to be saving weight, and you can already use the electric steering motor to do minor course corrections if that's what you're going for (I think Mercedes or somebody offers automated cross-wind correction this way; it gives a little extra boost in one direction to counter a cross wind when it detects it), so what advantage does this offer? The idea that taking your steering input -> digitizer -> transmit to processor -> process -> transmit to steering motor is going to be quicker than just turning a rigid shaft doesn't seem to fly, either. I suppose it would make it easier to install an autopilot or something, otherwise it really just doesn't seem to make sense - except, perhaps, for those poor souls who want to be totally disconnected from the task at hand and want a totally numb steering feel that doesn't transmit any of the bumps, bounces, or textures to their hands. That seems to be the only real reason to mechanically disconnect the steering.
 
2012-10-17 08:05:48 PM
Power steering went out on my PT Cruiser last Christmas as I was driving to my mom's. I could still steer it just fine with good old fashioned muscle power. I don't think I'd want to be driving a car where manual steering control was completely out of the picture.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-17 08:15:35 PM
As soon as 5 of these things fail, the press could be all over it

And then the federal government orders a recall, but the problem is software so nobody knows how to fix the problem. Manufacturer has to buy back 20,000 cars, and then face 20,000 lawsuits for emotional distress and fraud and consequential damages and so on.
 
2012-10-17 08:37:30 PM
static5.businessinsider.com


Thank God. For a minute there, Subby, I thought you said, "steer by wife."
 
2012-10-17 08:39:45 PM

FrancoFile: Four engineers are driving down the road when the engine starts running rough. They start arguing about the cause.
The ChE says "We've got a fuel problem; we need to drain the tank and refill it".
The ME says "No, the wheels are unbalanced; we need to get a front-end alignment and a wheel balance"
The EE says "You're both wrong; the ignition controls are messed up, we need to get the timing circuit checked"
The Software Engineer says "How about we just pull over, turn it off, and restart it?"

/thanks, I'm here all week
//try the veal


How the hell did that ME ever graduate thinking that the cause of a poorly-running engine could have anything to do with the wheels and suspension? He's an idiot. Is he a Phoenix?
 
2012-10-17 08:43:47 PM
Going to throw this out there, though it's likely been said.

Those of you talking about your "drive-by-wire" systems that you've had for years are talking about electronic throttle control, which removes the direct connection between your right foot and the induction system.

This is talking about removing the physical connection between the tires and the steering wheel.
 
2012-10-17 08:44:12 PM
The 777 is,completely fly by wire, every input the pilot given to the stick is interpreted by software which then determines what control surfaces to move and by how much. Absolutely no mechanical linkage.. 

If that van be done, steering a car isn't exactly science fiction
 
2012-10-17 08:58:19 PM

ZAZ: The article says there will be a clutch you can engage to provide a mechanical connection while you debug the steering computer.

$ strctl engage manual
Error: Manual steering setting conflicts with currently selected steer by wire mode.
$ strctl down sbw
Error: No such subsystem sbw.
$ strctl down tbw
Turn by wire subsystem disabled.
Warning: Front wheels are currently free.
$ strctl engage manual
You have selected manual steering mode. Please read and agree to the following:
Nissan and its subsidiaries, collectively referred to as "Nissan", have
agreed to provide you with a manual steering feature. In manual steering
mode the car will not automatically change direction. It is your responsibility
to guide the car safely. You agree that you will obey all traffic laws.
You agree that you will not use this vehicle to commit any illegal or
tortious act. You agree that you will indemnify and hold harmless Nissan
for any damage resulting from your use of the car in manual steering mode.
You agree that improper use of manual steering mode may result in serious
injury or death to you, an occupant of the car, or any other person, and
such injury or death will be your sole responsibility. This car contains
substances known to the state of California to cause cancer. You acknowledge
that if involved in a collision within the state of California, such substances
may be released. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Nissan for any
cancer or other injury you or any other person suffers as a result of release
of such chemicals. You further agree that this is a summary of the complete
terms of service of the manual steering option. The complete legal agreement
is found on the Nissan web site. You agree to be bound by that agreement as
if included in full here.

Do you agree to the above contract? (Y/N)


+1. Would LOL again.
 
2012-10-17 08:59:43 PM

demonbug: If there is a mechanical backup, as some have said (requiring a clutch to engage?), I really don't see the point of this. If the linkage is there anyway then you aren't going to be saving weight, and you can already use the electric steering motor to do minor course corrections if that's what you're going for (I think Mercedes or somebody offers automated cross-wind correction this way; it gives a little extra boost in one direction to counter a cross wind when it detects it), so what advantage does this offer? The idea that taking your steering input -> digitizer -> transmit to processor -> process -> transmit to steering motor is going to be quicker than just turning a rigid shaft doesn't seem to fly, either. I suppose it would make it easier to install an autopilot or something, otherwise it really just doesn't seem to make sense - except, perhaps, for those poor souls who want to be totally disconnected from the task at hand and want a totally numb steering feel that doesn't transmit any of the bumps, bounces, or textures to their hands. That seems to be the only real reason to mechanically disconnect the steering.


Indeed .... this seems like a seriously stupid idea if you're not going to use it for those purposes. It would have been better stated as "we added the option to decouple the steering shaft and use an electronic mechanism instead"

Speaking of saving weight, whatever happened to the much-hyped new 42V electrical standard and Canbus controlled lights?

My Nissan has enough software as it is ....

lh5.googleusercontent.com
 
2012-10-17 09:05:40 PM

LSinLV: facepalm

all of you who are posting "my car has had this since XX" are not to bright. there is a big difference between:

- Drive by Wire (which is throttle and brake control)

and

- Steer by Wire (which is directional control)

currently there are NO production autos with Steer by Wire. the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.


Thanks for pointing out the difference to the non-car people, it was bugging the hell out of me too.

As to aircaft, the computer system in the Airbus series is 5x redundant, with different manufacturers and software so they can't all fail with the same error. Output actuators for major flight control surfaces are typically 3x redundant.
 
2012-10-17 09:11:18 PM

dforkus: The 777 is,completely fly by wire, every input the pilot given to the stick is interpreted by software which then determines what control surfaces to move and by how much. Absolutely no mechanical linkage.. 

If that van be done, steering a car isn't exactly science fiction


Airbus has been doing this for decades ... the latest version apparently comes with a keyboard :)

www.galexander.org
 
2012-10-17 09:14:37 PM
By using radars, laser scanners and a camera, the system automatically brakes if it senses a risk of crashing into a person, object or another car, then steers the car to a free zone if there is one, Nissan engineers said.

So it'll crash if you're lucky. "Oncoming lanes" or "off a cliff" seem to fit the loose definition of "free zone".
 
2012-10-17 09:16:50 PM

ParaHandy: LSinLV: facepalm

all of you who are posting "my car has had this since XX" are not to bright. there is a big difference between:

- Drive by Wire (which is throttle and brake control)

and

- Steer by Wire (which is directional control)

currently there are NO production autos with Steer by Wire. the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.

Thanks for pointing out the difference to the non-car people, it was bugging the hell out of me too.

As to aircaft, the computer system in the Airbus series is 5x redundant, with different manufacturers and software so they can't all fail with the same error. Output actuators for major flight control surfaces are typically 3x redundant.


Yep. And that kind of redundancy will never make it into a mass-produced car. It would cut too far into the bottom line; corollary: the public won't want to pay for it.

I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, so I will: FBW is at least as old as the F-16; right off hand, I can't think of anything else that used it earlier.

Also, those that say they don't use road feel or feedback: you do, you just don't realize it. Agreed that gaming feedback systems would be the logical place to start, but I don't think it'll ever be good enough...
 
2012-10-17 09:25:52 PM

Millennium: Color me skeptical that electronic signals move appreciably faster than the physical information of the movement of a rigid body. Obviously they're unlikely to be appreciably slower, either; I merely question the concept of the difference being anything other than negligible. Steer-by-wire is a solution in search of a problem.


According to this guy, the motion of a rigid object can travel, at most, the speed of sound. The speed of an electrical signal through copper (or more likely gold) wiring will be much faster (albeit not quite the speed of light).

Granted, he was talking about pushing rather than rotating, but I think the principle is the same - a compression wave transmitting the information "we've moved" moves through the object at the speed of sound through that object.

You can see this in action in this video, in which a Slinky is held by one end (with the rest dangling below), and then released.

Anyway, your overall point (that there would be no appreciable difference in speed) is quite correct - just thought you might find find this as interesting as I did.
 
2012-10-17 09:27:26 PM
Even better Slinky video here.
 
2012-10-17 09:29:03 PM

minoridiot: Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.


What concerns me are the man oeuvres.
 
2012-10-17 09:30:15 PM
This sucks, but not for any of the listed reasons: Most days I move my car a space or two closer to my place as cars filter in and out over the evening. I have never once started it up to do this, because it's cold and wasteful and unnecessary wear and fark that, I'm tougher than a lousy ton-and-a-half piece of crap. In the future I might never be able to muscle a car around just for the hell of it, and that bums me out.

On the other hand, if it's an electric car anyway, starting it up might be instant, silent, and waste no more power than starting it up hot. Hmm. Something to think about.

But what the hell happens when the mechanical linkage is eventually removed and at some point the electrical system is damaged enough that you can't safely steer to the side of the road, or onto a tow truck? Not a good situation.
 
2012-10-17 09:36:07 PM

ParaHandy: dforkus: The 777 is,completely fly by wire, every input the pilot given to the stick is interpreted by software which then determines what control surfaces to move and by how much. Absolutely no mechanical linkage.. 

If that van be done, steering a car isn't exactly science fiction

Airbus has been doing this for decades ... the latest version apparently comes with a keyboard :)


As has Boeing , the 777 isn't exactly new....

Military aviation also uses it
 
2012-10-17 09:58:22 PM

ParaHandy: My Nissan has enough software as it is ....


Nice, you have a classic;)

Here's mine:

i305.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-17 10:14:51 PM
I know of a Puegot which acts in a similar manner going into snow mode in the summer on dry roads.


Day_Old_Dutchie: FrancoFile: Four engineers are driving down the road when the engine starts running rough. They start arguing about the cause.
The ChE says "We've got a fuel problem; we need to drain the tank and refill it".
The ME says "No, the wheels are unbalanced; we need to get a front-end alignment and a wheel balance"
The EE says "You're both wrong; the ignition controls are messed up, we need to get the timing circuit checked"
The Software Engineer says "How about we just pull over, turn it off, and restart it?"

/thanks, I'm here all week
//try the veal

My previous car had a problem with the auto transaxle where it would get into a mode where it would keep abruptly shifting up/down between 1st and 2nd with a jerk. Pulling over and restarting the car would fix this for a while, then it would do it again a month later. Of course, it would never do this when the mechanic took it for a test drive, although he suspected a glitch in the electronic controller.

Finally it died completely. It spent a couple of days with the dealer trying to figure the mystery out. Finally, they gave up and just swapped out the whole thing and put in a brand-new replacement, and sent the bad one back to the factory for analysis.

Didn't cost me a cent. Ford paid for the tow and a rental for the 5 days.

 
2012-10-17 10:25:49 PM

Sgt.Zim:
Also, those that say they don't use road feel or feedback: you do, you just don't realize it. Agreed that gaming feedback systems would be the logical place to start, but I don't think it'll ever be good enough...


Yep. FBW systems have always used feedback - it is incredibly important for the pilot to "feel" the control surfaces through the controls. As you said, we do use feedback when driving as well, it has just become second nature. Imagine if you nudge a rumble strip on the side of the highway - you feel it through the steering wheel. Same with driving on potentially slippery surfaces - you feel the grip of the tires through the steering wheel. Without that feedback (and the inherent g-forces), driving would feel like a video game. That disconnect would be pretty farking dangerous.
 
2012-10-17 11:53:52 PM
Poor Xzibit, not one "Yo dawg" reference.
farm5.staticflickr.com
 
2012-10-18 12:26:50 AM

Your Boss: Soon, I'll be able to drive my car from my desk! I can send it to run my errands!


Old technology.

Maxwell Smart was doing this over 40 years ago
 
2012-10-18 12:36:33 AM

Sgt.Zim: ParaHandy: LSinLV: facepalm

all of you who are posting "my car has had this since XX" are not to bright. there is a big difference between:

- Drive by Wire (which is throttle and brake control)

and

- Steer by Wire (which is directional control)

currently there are NO production autos with Steer by Wire. the greatest concern I have is that there is NO redundancy like there is in aircraft (miltary aircraft can have as much as 4-times redundancy, with commercial aircraft having at least an additional redundant system).

there is a difference.

Thanks for pointing out the difference to the non-car people, it was bugging the hell out of me too.

As to aircaft, the computer system in the Airbus series is 5x redundant, with different manufacturers and software so they can't all fail with the same error. Output actuators for major flight control surfaces are typically 3x redundant.

Yep. And that kind of redundancy will never make it into a mass-produced car. It would cut too far into the bottom line; corollary: the public won't want to pay for it.

I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, so I will: FBW is at least as old as the F-16; right off hand, I can't think of anything else that used it earlier.

Also, those that say they don't use road feel or feedback: you do, you just don't realize it. Agreed that gaming feedback systems would be the logical place to start, but I don't think it'll ever be good enough...


The Avro Arrow had fly by wire in the 50's. The Concorde was the the first commercial plane to have it.
 
2012-10-18 12:50:33 AM

minoridiot: Most apirplanes made today are "fly by wire" so this isn't new technology, but what concerns me is the statment: "Drivers can also man oeuvre cars more easily as the system cuts out what it deems as unnecessary feedback from the tires to the driver." I wonder what sort of feedback they will cut out. We all use the feedback from the road and tires to help us steer through traffic.


I would also question the quality assurance of a 20-40 thousand dollar piece of equipment versus a 30-100 million dollar piece of equipment
 
2012-10-18 01:26:34 AM

j0e_average: Drive by wire rally cross racing!

NOT


Are you a time traveller from 1992?

/[areyouawizard.jpg]
 
2012-10-18 01:32:02 AM

ElBarto79: I can see some benefits to this, for example you could quicken the steering at slow speeds and slow it at high speeds. When you're going 70 down the freeway you don't need to make large movements in the wheel.

Also, what if you never had to adjust your alignment again? Want to zero your steering? Just position your wheel where you think the resting position should be, hit a button and boom, your steering is zeroed. You could adjust your alignment as easily as you adjust your power mirrors from the comfort of your seat.

It would also be possible to compensate for things like understeer or skidding dynamically. And finally what about different steering characteristics for different driving styles? Maybe grandma likes very slow steering with zero feedback, while junior likes quick, racecar like steering with lots of force feedback.


The issue you're describing where zeroing your steering wheel would be beneficial likely means that your steering rack isn't attached to your frame and you're probably going to die soon. Wheel misalignment doesn't happen evenly across an axel.
 
2012-10-18 05:48:12 AM
Just in time for driverless cars.
 
2012-10-18 09:44:53 AM
Why are the choices only mechanical or purely electronic steering? There is a third option: steer by hydraulics.

1. Manual mode: steering wheel turns a gear pump, directly piping fluid to a two-hose cylinder that steers the wheels. System pressure, steering rigidity, and road feedback is maintained with an oil reserve pressurization tank in event of power or control failure.

2. Automatic drive mode: electronic valves are held open that allow "drive by computer" using a servo controlled gear pump and sensors on the hydraulic cylinder, bypassing the steering wheel gear pump. A secondary pressurization pump maintains the oil reserve tank pressure.

3. In event of power or system failure, the electronic valves automatically close, cutting off drive-by-computer, for full no-power manual steering.

This eliminates all raw mechanical linkages and allows a universal worldwide car body, that just requires swapping out dashboards with a hydraulic steering wheel, for left-side/right-side driver positions.

The throttle, brake, clutch, and shifter can all similarly use hydraulic lines rather than direct mechanical linkages.

,

I shall refer back to this post as prior art, if I see any patent filings related to this. ;)

- Dale Mahalko
 
2012-10-18 09:47:58 AM
I used to work in a rock quarry driving 75 ton trucks. All of the controls were electric due to excessive distance between the cockpit and the components they controlled. Never had an issue with that.

/The emergency brake however, did not work until OSHA made them fix it.
//Ah, the good ole' days...
 
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