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(Wall Street Journal)   The NTSB wants cars to have mandatory collision avoidance systems, which will bankrupt automakers just like seat belts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes did   (blogs.wsj.com) divider line 137
    More: Interesting, National Transportation Safety Board, gears, Transportation Safety Board, rulemaking process, National Highway  
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2435 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Nov 2012 at 11:09 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-15 11:45:19 AM  

johnphantom: t3knomanser: But that's a bad way of counting system errors. Humans are part of the system, and not counting human errors as system errors is wrong.

Damn, I love the PEBKAC defense.


I prefer to think of it as "operator headspace out of tolerance".
 
2012-11-15 11:45:50 AM  
A lot of wannabe John Henrys in this thread.
 
2012-11-15 11:46:29 AM  

JackieRabbit:
The purpose of collision avoidance systems is to prevent emergency situations from happening, not tell you what do to in an emergency. If a system could tell you that there is not enough room to change lanes, that you are drifting off the road, or that you are in danger of rear-ending the car in front of you, I think you'd find this useful. Most of the highway accidents (60% according to the NTSB) are due to these three mistakes and all of them are due to a lack of effective attention. We all get distracted sometimes when we drive and systems such as this could be a big help. I think the cost of such systems would be offset by lower auto insurance rates.


If it's purely informational, I'm fine with it. More people should have Gilbert Gottfried's voice screaming 'STOP TAILGATING YOU ABYSMALLY STUPID FARKWIT!" from their dashboard. I think backup cameras are an awesome idea. I just think anything that interferes with controls is a bad idea.
 
2012-11-15 11:47:25 AM  
Anyone else think this is going to cause more accidents than it prevents?
 
2012-11-15 11:48:56 AM  

colinspooky: ..........mandatory collision avoidance system,..........

Didn't that used to be called a "driver" back in the old days ?


I think my car already has that. Is it those big clear things on the sides that I can see out of?
 
2012-11-15 11:49:13 AM  
Now that more women have driver's licenses than men, this can't come soon enough.
 
2012-11-15 11:49:29 AM  

FatherChaos: Anyone else think this is going to cause more accidents than it prevents?


I don't see how. The worst observing, reasoning, and reacting part of the car is the driver. How could it get any worse?
 
2012-11-15 11:50:16 AM  
Does it sound like a missile lock warning? That'd be fantastic in a Smart Car, the beeping and flashing, while the car attempts to change direction, but it can't... The number of heart attacks caused by small dents will skyrocket. People with near misses will turn in their licenses faster than Cougar turning his wings into Commander Stinger.
 
2012-11-15 11:52:04 AM  

dittybopper: Lost Thought 00: Explodo: Adding more safety equipment is at odds with adding more fuel economy.

No, it just means you need to cut back on that 250hp grocery getter.

No: Doesn't matter if the vehicle is a full-sized Dodge EarthFarker, or HappyPlanet Mini-Cart. Adding any additional equipment to either will reduce the fuel economy of both vehicles by a small, but measurable amount. The effect will be more noticeable in the smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle, however, for a piece of safety equipment that weighs X and consumes Y amount of power.


The original post was making the point that you can't have both safety and fuel economy. My point is you can but you have to sacrifice power.
 
2012-11-15 11:52:41 AM  

johnphantom: t3knomanser: But that's a bad way of counting system errors. Humans are part of the system, and not counting human errors as system errors is wrong.

Damn, I love the PEBKAC defense.


That defense, as you called it, is in fact the reason a majority of the time people are using machines they barely understand. This is why auto mechanics, doctors, IT professionals, and network engineers are so jaded.
 
2012-11-15 11:53:07 AM  

iron_city_ap: "
Also, 'what the hell is it doing now' gets said more often than you think regarding the auto pilot in airplanes. Cars would be MUCH MUCH worse.


How often it is something the human should have done but forgot? As autopilot became more ubiquitous have plane accident increased or decrease?
 
2012-11-15 11:53:14 AM  

FatherChaos: Anyone else think this is going to cause more accidents than it prevents?


I don't think it will cause more. I think it won't have any effect at all, or at best a very tiny one. That's because everyone has their own personal, subconscious risk level that they are comfortable with, and if you make a perceived activity safer, they will (subconsciously) adjust their behavior to conform to their level of risk.

If you had a 5" dagger blade pointing out of the hub of your steering wheel, would you speed or tailgate? Of course not, unless you are insanely reckless. Now take the dagger away, and replace it with an airbag. You will almost certainly drive faster, and follow closer, because your perceived risk is less.
 
2012-11-15 11:53:28 AM  

vpb: inner ted: driving is going to get very boring in the future

[i.ytimg.com image 480x360]

Good. Computers can't suck at driving as much as people do. Besides, what do you think is going to happen when people get wearable displays and can watch You tube while driving?


no. not good. boring.

&
that they'd get a ticket for distracted driving just like if they use a cell phone / eat a burrito / jack off their passenger etc.
 
2012-11-15 11:54:07 AM  

Wile_E_Canuck: I just think anything that interferes with controls is a bad idea.


How do you feel about ESC?
 
2012-11-15 11:55:59 AM  

JackieRabbit: Wile_E_Canuck: In an emergency situation, the absolute last thing I want is the vehicle telling me it knows better than I do how to react.

The vehicles with steering that reacts differently depending on conditions is another horrible idea. Turning the steering wheel should give you the same reaction on your wheels every time, not more or less depending on speed or whether the system thinks it's icy.

The purpose of collision avoidance systems is to prevent emergency situations from happening, not tell you what do to in an emergency. If a system could tell you that there is not enough room to change lanes, that you are drifting off the road, or that you are in danger of rear-ending the car in front of you, I think you'd find this useful. Most of the highway accidents (60% according to the NTSB) are due to these three mistakes and all of them are due to a lack of effective attention. We all get distracted sometimes when we drive and systems such as this could be a big help. I think the cost of such systems would be offset by lower auto insurance rates
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHA!
Yeah right.

 
2012-11-15 11:56:33 AM  

Lost Thought 00: dittybopper: Lost Thought 00: Explodo: Adding more safety equipment is at odds with adding more fuel economy.

No, it just means you need to cut back on that 250hp grocery getter.

No: Doesn't matter if the vehicle is a full-sized Dodge EarthFarker, or HappyPlanet Mini-Cart. Adding any additional equipment to either will reduce the fuel economy of both vehicles by a small, but measurable amount. The effect will be more noticeable in the smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle, however, for a piece of safety equipment that weighs X and consumes Y amount of power.

The original post was making the point that you can't have both safety and fuel economy. My point is you can but you have to sacrifice power.


"Adding more safety equipment is at odds with adding more fuel economy."

That's a literally true statement, and it applies to every size vehicle. Unless you *FORCE* people to not buy them by making them illegal, people will still buy Ford GaiaRapers.
 
2012-11-15 11:58:56 AM  

dittybopper: Lost Thought 00: dittybopper: Lost Thought 00: Explodo: Adding more safety equipment is at odds with adding more fuel economy.

No, it just means you need to cut back on that 250hp grocery getter.

No: Doesn't matter if the vehicle is a full-sized Dodge EarthFarker, or HappyPlanet Mini-Cart. Adding any additional equipment to either will reduce the fuel economy of both vehicles by a small, but measurable amount. The effect will be more noticeable in the smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle, however, for a piece of safety equipment that weighs X and consumes Y amount of power.

The original post was making the point that you can't have both safety and fuel economy. My point is you can but you have to sacrifice power.

"Adding more safety equipment is at odds with adding more fuel economy."

That's a literally true statement, and it applies to every size vehicle. Unless you *FORCE* people to not buy them by making them illegal, people will still buy Ford GaiaRapers.


If people could passively drive and entertain themselves otherwise, the automated driver could drive with more fuel efficiency. (See every idiot who drives a Prius over 70 mph ever)
 
2012-11-15 11:59:56 AM  

iheartscotch: Maybe we should just make an auto pilot system for cars.

/ it would potentially reduce accidents by 1,000,000%


Are you implying auto-pilot would cause an uptick in the birth rate?

Hmm, I suppose it'd make farking while driving a lot safer...
 
2012-11-15 12:01:29 PM  

tricycleracer: Wile_E_Canuck: I just think anything that interferes with controls is a bad idea.

How do you feel about ESC?


my biggest problem with ESC is that the way Toyota has implemented it: through a fly-by-wire control system, makes it impossible to feel the road through the controls. In a car with mechanical linkages I can feel when the car is going to let go well before it becomes a problem but driving my wife's Corolla I don't get that feedback from the vehicle.
 
Ehh
2012-11-15 12:01:30 PM  

netcentric: Wait...weren't automakers going bankrupt?

I thought we had to bail them out.....


So they were right about how airbags would bankrupt them!

/unions
/Ralph Nader
/anything but themselves
 
2012-11-15 12:03:43 PM  

Director_Mr: I think the cost of such systems would be offset by lower auto insurance rates
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHA! Yeah right.


I many states, the rates auto insurance companies can charge is regulated by the state insurance commission. The allowable rates are set based on actual losses incurred in that state. So if losses fall significantly, insurance commissions will require a reduction in premiums. Unfortunately, several states - especially those where Republicans are in control - have abandoned insurance regulation in the last few years. But even without regulation, if a state's losses are low, insurers will voluntarily lower rates to lure customers from the competition. There are some advantages to free markets.
 
2012-11-15 12:09:54 PM  

tricycleracer: How do you feel about ESC?


I see what you're getting at with ESC, and it's probably a net benefit. Same with ABS. Anything that stops slippage is pretty much always a good thing.

What I see as the difference is it's an enhancement to the decisions the driver has made. ABS enhances a maximum effort panic stop. It doesn't hit the brakes for you. ESC keeps your wheels from losing traction when you've turned the wheel beyond where you should have. It doesn't initiate a maneuver.
 
2012-11-15 12:12:52 PM  

Carth: dittybopper: It will add cost, and it won't make a difference. See: Risk Homeostasis.

Except some cars already have them and they do work. They make you less likely to get into a car accident and less likely to be injured in those that do happen.


There are system that work very well, but they are pretty pricey. Currently they are only being install on luxury vehicles and fleet vehicles like Semis because it is easier to hide the $4000 price tag in the cost of a $100,000 car or a $250,000 truck than it is in a $12,000 econobox. The real cost is in the automatic breaking system. The systems that work well use LIDAR, basically radar, but using a laser instead of radio waves. LIDAR is expensive, over $1500 for the sensor alone and that doesn't include computer or interface with the breaking system and the throttle. There are other very inexpensive alternatives such as RADAR or SONAR based systems, but they don't work well in heavy rain or snow. They tend to see the thousands of individual drops/snowflakes as a single large stationary object in your path and lock the brakes. Lidar sees the individual drops and ignore them.

If you are a very smart engineer who wants to get obnoxiously rich design an inexpensive modular LIDAR system that can be sold for a reasonable price. There are tons of people who work in robotics and the automotive industries who would love you.
 
2012-11-15 12:14:19 PM  
The main problem will be when Skynet decides to reverse the polarity in all these automated systems and causes millions of car crashes all at once.
 
2012-11-15 12:19:22 PM  
This technology can't be rolled out too soon. I'm tired of my 47 km (1 way) commute taking 90 minutes some days because idiots will always drive like idiots and tie up the roadways with fender benders. Hell, I would PREFER that I just get into the vehicle and it would drive me to work but that isn't going to happen for a long time. Or maybe I could build a teleporter...yeah.

No one cares, but I have to commute since I can't get a job in my city in my field (and I love my job). My spouse works near home though, so moving to where my job is wouldn't help (no matter what, one of us will have to drive). There is currently no transit option for me, but they are saying that 2-way GO service will be here in a couple of years, I would still have to walk "last mile" but that isn't bad.

/dislike driving
//my 15 years of commuting notwithstanding
 
2012-11-15 12:19:42 PM  

GranoblasticMan: iheartscotch: Maybe we should just make an auto pilot system for cars.

/ it would potentially reduce accidents by 1,000,000%

Are you implying auto-pilot would cause an uptick in the birth rate?

Hmm, I suppose it'd make farking while driving a lot safer...


I was attempting to employ sarcasm; my sarcasm generator seems to be less than functional.
 
2012-11-15 12:20:56 PM  

tricycleracer: A lot of wannabe John Henrys in this thread.


So, what you are saying is, you have a thing for steel drivin' men?

/ nttawwt
 
2012-11-15 12:22:11 PM  
In the past, safety systems mandated to cars did not bankrupt the industry -- they simply passed the cost onto the general public making the price of a new car outrageously high.

In the early 70's, you could buy a new Ford Maverick for $1,999.00. Safety features consisted mainly of seat belts and doors that would not occasionally pop open when going around curves. Today, a similar car, with air bags, seat belts, crush zones, long life engines, ABS, collapsible steering columns and disk brakes will run roughly 8 to $10,000.

Also, as a result, you will not have rear wheel drive, no wing windows, headlights that are a single unit and costly to replace, no chrome bumpers, some will have no crash bars in the passenger doors and thinner metals or composites in the general shell.

Of course the engine will no longer basically self destruct around 60,000 miles, but we have the Japanese to thank for that by proving not only did this not need to be, but increased the resale value. Nor do cars begin to rust out within 30 days of rolling off the lot.

Though, you can't home tune your engine anymore with just a few tools because of cramming so much into a tiny engine compartment and all of the new electronic stuff piled in.

Your bumper is actually a bumper cover that happily cracks if impacted at any speed and costs a bundle to replace.

So, automakers often find ways to pass the costs of improvements onto you.

Consider this though. In the late 1950s, cars were built like tanks. You could roll them down a hill and still probably drive them off with a few dents -- though you'd need to hose out what remained of the passengers first. No seatbelts or any interior safety devices.
 
2012-11-15 12:22:40 PM  
I object to more expensive, unrepairable crap that will never be available anywhere but a dealer, much like airbags, ABS, and most engine computers. Your CAS took a shiat? Your car won't run without it? Please insert $3200 for $8 worth of circuits.
 
2012-11-15 12:30:32 PM  

Rik01: In the past, safety systems mandated to cars did not bankrupt the industry -- they simply passed the cost onto the general public making the price of a new car outrageously high.

In the early 70's, you could buy a new Ford Maverick for $1,999.00. Safety features consisted mainly of seat belts and doors that would not occasionally pop open when going around curves. Today, a similar car, with air bags, seat belts, crush zones, long life engines, ABS, collapsible steering columns and disk brakes will run roughly 8 to $10,000.


Funny enough $2000 in the early 70s is about $8000-10000 today after inflation. Strange how that works.
 
2012-11-15 12:33:26 PM  

Carth:
Funny enough $2000 in the early 70s is about $8000-10000 today after inflation. Strange how that works.


True, but subby's fictional car also costs $20,000+ today, not $10k

/how many new cars can you name that start at less than $15k MSRP?
//of those how many aren't complete crap
 
2012-11-15 12:33:36 PM  

iheartscotch: What happens if the manufacturer pushes an update when I'm asleep, traveling 90 mph?


I would highly doubt that they would push over-the-air updates. You'd get an update when you bring your car in for its 20K mile service. Even if they had a system for issuing emergency hotfixes over-the-air, the system would wait till the car's ignition is off before applying them. I'm sure the DOT will have rules on when and how it is all done, along with the frequency and robustness of checks needed.
 
2012-11-15 12:33:57 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: Elvis_Bogart: The only piece of new equipment needed is a cellphone signal jammer in each car.

Are you going to tie women's hands to the wheel so they don't apply make-up while doing 80 in the center lane?


Back in the 80's we drove by a guy reading the newspaper on the Interstate. Propped fully open on the steering wheel. Yeah, we made lots of room between us and him.

If the technology will keep drivers from riding my bumper at 80mph when there is plenty of room to pass, it can't be all bad.
 
2012-11-15 12:37:38 PM  
Or just put the billions of dollars that this would cost over the years in to mass transit or more bike paths/lanes?

Or seriously, mandate governors on every car that won't allow them to go over 80mph.
 
2012-11-15 12:38:35 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Carth:
Funny enough $2000 in the early 70s is about $8000-10000 today after inflation. Strange how that works.

True, but subby's fictional car also costs $20,000+ today, not $10k

/how many new cars can you name that start at less than $15k MSRP?
//of those how many aren't complete crap


I can think of a dozen or so. If i had to drive one of them it would likely be the Honda fit or Nissan Sentra
 
2012-11-15 12:44:03 PM  

Gleeman:
If the technology will keep drivers from riding my bumper at 80mph when there is plenty of room to pass, it can't be all bad.


but it isn't just tailgating. It's the guy in front of you on the on-ramp who enters the highway at 45, it's the chick who decides she needs to be in the turn lane after they've already stopped at the light, it's the college kid who gets drunk and decides they need to drive home at 105 mph, it's the woman who needs to text her kids/friends/whomever in bumper to bumper traffic. In my State it takes very little more than standing in line for a while to get a driver's licence, I would argue that a real, comprehensive driving test and required drivers training would do far more to eliminate accidents than any conceivable safety feature added to a car.
 
2012-11-15 12:46:06 PM  

Carth:
/how many new cars can you name that start at less than $15k MSRP?
//of those how many aren't complete crap

I can think of a dozen or so. If i had to drive one of them it would likely be the Honda fit or Nissan Sentra


MSRP for both is more than $15K
 
2012-11-15 12:52:04 PM  

Rik01: Consider this though. In the late 1950s, cars were built like tanks. You could roll them down a hill and still probably drive them off with a few dents -- though you'd need to hose out what remained of the passengers first. No seatbelts or any interior safety devices.


I have seen enough crash test videos of older cars to have concluded that they weren't even very good tanks. The lack of crumple zones meant that any significant crash pushed the engine through the firewall, dash and eventually you.. Your legs would be severed and your face turned into mush.

Now if you took that much metal and applied modern engineering and used better alloys, then they probably would be tanks.
 
2012-11-15 12:55:21 PM  

thecpt: Also, if this doesn't add to car initial cost the manufacturers will up the price tag anyways.


Oh it will add to the price alright. This isn't the same thing as slapping a few dollars worth of material in for seat belts. All of the automated vehicles in the DARPA grand challenge needed LIDAR units that cost more than most new cars. That is just for one sensor. Automated collision avoidance at highway speeds is not cheap, or easy.
 
2012-11-15 12:58:34 PM  
When the Honda Accord has rear view cameras standard, and lane change, lane watch and front collision warning options, you know collision avoidance by itself cannot be too pricey.
 
2012-11-15 01:07:39 PM  

pkellmey: When the Honda Accord has rear view cameras standard, and lane change, lane watch and front collision warning options, you know collision avoidance by itself cannot be too pricey.


A brain transplant can't be that hard! We can transplant hearts, lungs, livers etc, so it can't be that hard! I don't know shiat about what I'm talking about!!!
 
2012-11-15 01:07:52 PM  

Carth: dittybopper: It will add cost, and it won't make a difference. See: Risk Homeostasis.

Except some cars already have them and they do work. They make you less likely to get into a car accident and less likely to be injured in those that do happen.


The IIHS's epidemiology is notoriously shaky.

There's also a first-mover effect -- people who drive the most cautiously tend to be the first to purchase things like this. Wait until everyone else tries before seeing what effect it has.
 
2012-11-15 01:08:49 PM  

HK-MP5-SD: The real cost is in the automatic breaking system.


I disagree. I used to have an old Ford Escort that had an automatic breaking system. Didn't add any cost to the vehicle. In fact, it made the vehicle's purchase price that much cheaper.
 
2012-11-15 01:11:11 PM  

Wile_E_Canuck: Anything that stops slippage is pretty much always a good thing.


Except on gravel, loose dirt, or snow-covered roads. Those surfaces use plowing for effective breaking, which ABS prevents.
 
2012-11-15 01:13:14 PM  
How about a system that activates the turn signals when the wheel is turned a minimum number of degrees?

/lude
 
2012-11-15 01:22:23 PM  

Carth: Funny enough $2000 in the early 70s is about $8000-10000 today after inflation. Strange how that works


So you're saying that we're getting more functionality for roughly the same price, adjusted for inflation? That's AMAZING. It's like we live in the future, or something.
 
2012-11-15 01:24:32 PM  

Carth: Rik01: In the past, safety systems mandated to cars did not bankrupt the industry -- they simply passed the cost onto the general public making the price of a new car outrageously high.

In the early 70's, you could buy a new Ford Maverick for $1,999.00. Safety features consisted mainly of seat belts and doors that would not occasionally pop open when going around curves. Today, a similar car, with air bags, seat belts, crush zones, long life engines, ABS, collapsible steering columns and disk brakes will run roughly 8 to $10,000.


Funny enough $2000 in the early 70s is about $8000-10000 today after inflation. Strange how that works.


You can't get a car with ABS for $10k.

A car that cost $2k in 1972 would cost $10.6k today.

You *COULD* buy something like a base model Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio for that price, but it won't have anti-lock brakes, or probably even a radio for that matter. The Ford was a much larger car, with more passenger and especially more trunk space.
 
2012-11-15 01:37:12 PM  
My only issue with all this new technology is that our vehicles have become incredibly difficult and expensive to repair. In order to properly diagnose an engine issue you need a $500 tool for your specific make, and specialized tools to even get some things apart. Not to mention that the parts themselves for these systems will be ridiculously expensive. Just wait until someone backs into your car in a parking lot and flees. That's a $1000 repair by itself if the bumper is damaged. If they manage to set off the air bags or damage the collision avoidance system, have fun with the $5000 bill and the giant jump in your insurance rates.
 
2012-11-15 01:37:54 PM  

umad: I don't know shiat about what I'm talking about!!!


OK, and do you want someone to give you a gold star for that?
 
2012-11-15 01:46:11 PM  

This text is now purple: Carth: dittybopper: It will add cost, and it won't make a difference. See: Risk Homeostasis.

Except some cars already have them and they do work. They make you less likely to get into a car accident and less likely to be injured in those that do happen.

The IIHS's epidemiology is notoriously shaky.

There's also a first-mover effect -- people who drive the most cautiously tend to be the first to purchase things like this. Wait until everyone else tries before seeing what effect it has.


So wait until everyone has one before you require everyone to have one? I'm not sure that would work.
 
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