DaimlerChrysler to Bring Teeny Two-Seater to U.S.

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Now that's a cool hobby. And so peaceful...

Y'know, they make SUCH a BIG deal about "crumple zones". The term even makes it into advertisements. The NHTSA makes dramatic videos (vividly displayed in automaker adverts) showing the effect of such "crumple zones". The idea of the "crumple zone" is that the energy of the impact will be *slowly* absorbed, so that Mrs. PorkPie's internal organs won't suffer G-forces sufficient to extrude their liquid contents into her minivan's cupholders and kill her.
Now -- get this -- all of a sudden, the "Smart" car does not have to have "crumple zones"! Somehow, it will violate all the laws of physics while protecting its occupants! Instead of slowly converting impact energy into deformation, the "Smart" is "bounced around like a pinball", so all the energy is dissipated in bouncing the car around. But wait..you're IN that car...
Transport Canada rigged frontal impact tests for 1998 model year cars to make sure automakers would have to install airbags without having the threat of legislation forcing them to do so. At the time of this occurrence (around 1996), a major bureaucrat boasted that TC had done this. This avoided the need for a vote in Parliament. I think the "Smart" benefited from that sort of rigging, and that this particular "rigging" was done in order to allow the introduction of the sort of car the commie pinkos liked.
Canada requires (and is the ONLY country that does so) that bumpers be able to absorb the forces of a 5 mph impact into a fixed object without damaging the car's "safety" systems". Well, have you ever looked at an actual "Smart" car? The only reason the lighting system is protected from damage is because it is quite high up, almost at windshield level. The wheels and suspension...hmmm...There is a 5mm layer of plastic between intruding objects and the tires and nothing else. Is that "safe"? The slightest bump, and your steering goes...
Seems to me that Daimler Chrysler have tugged at the enviro/safety heartstrings of the powers-that-be, and have convinced them that something as expensive and demonstrative as the "Smart" MUST be a Good Thing. Therefore the "Smart" should achieve certification for Canadian roads on account of its moral goodness, and nothing else. Seems like US lawmakers are now similarly in thrall to this nonsense.
My suspicion as to why the "Smart" shows low collision and injury rates? Because nobody under the age of 50 drives one. Nobody under the age of 50 can AFFORD one. 50-year-olds have collision rates far below those of younger drivers.
Forty inches between your steering wheel and the front bumper. Think about that. Go measure it against your own car. Go sit in a "Smart" once they become available, and think for yourself.
Smart is stupid.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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TeGGeR wrote:

well, /i/ like it. i'm just a grease monkey.

crumple zones are definitely useful, but the truth is, many cars' crumple zones "activate" at speeds well below that necessary to prevent serious injury. it's a /fantastic/ mechanism for ensuring vibrant health of motor manufacturers and local body shops however. particularly when they're arranged such that the body shell becomes irreparable or seriously expensive at say 6mph. "fix or repair daily" are /experts/ in this. their initial deformation zones are usually /behind/ the engine, not in front!!! that's BIG $$$$'s and it's hardly enough of a slam to have even spilled your frappa-latta-mocha-chino.

to be honest, i've not seen this particular vehicle up close - it's a long time since i've been to europe or canadia, but i seriously doubt it has no crumple zones. the important thing is that it has a sufficiently strong passenger cell.

that used to be the case here in the states, but you can bet your sweet little rear end that the auto and repair industries scotched that pdq once they felt the bleak wind of dramatically fewer repairs/write-offs blowing around their sensitive parts. which they did for a few years in the 70's.

they would be if they weren't much more enthralled at the, er, "contributions" that big oil still lavishly slops around the d.c. area. do /not/ misunderestimate the impact this has on current nhtsa policy.

maybe, but a responsive nimble car probably has something to do with it too. in addition, if it's lighter, there's less energy to absorb.

energy = force x distance moved. for a given impact, if the force necessary to deform a crumple zone is low, it needs a larger deformation distance over which to absorb that energy. provided the deceleration rate does not exceed that which causes injury, and with seat belts and air bags, it's a lot higher than it used to be, there's no reason to have large scale deformation if more limited deformation does the job.

come on tegger, don't be bashful - how do you /really/ feel?!!!
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They say that is a great place to find a lot of the parts one needs for their Toyotas.
mike hunt

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There is some information about construction if you click on "why are they safe" http://www.zapworld.com/cars/smartcar.asp #
Click on the MSNBC link or go directly here to see a crash test http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?gH6fca78-0f3a-40db-aed8-7b1d97e08a61&
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They apparently use your skeleton in lue of crumple zones ;)
mike hunt
wrote in message

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Mike Hunter wrote:

fud
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the zone determines the amount of force applied to occupants while the depth of the zone (for a given stiffness) determines the maximum impact speed the zone can absorb. Short zones work just fine, but become ineffective at lower speeds than longer zones.
IIRC there is considerable disagreement on how much deceleration a human body can safely withstand, and air bags complicate that. The major concern is aortic rupture, and air bags alone have been known to cause aortic rupture at speeds as low as 10 mph. It still doesn't change the shape of things - longer crumple distances are effective to higher speeds than shorter ones. Where the cutoff is for the SMART car is something I couldn't find.
Mike
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Really? I was being paid big bucks to design crumple zones, when you where probably still driving a tricycle There is not enough room in a vehicle of that size to design a crumple zone that can sufficiently reduce the terminal speed of the third collision, at which ones organs will strike their skeleton, to prevent them from being killed at the mandated 35 MPH crash test speed Before we had test dummies we used belted an unbelted cadavers. Their livers, spleens, gallbladders, and etc would explode. If they had lungs capable of holding air, or blood under pressure, I'm sure they would have ruptured as well ;)
mike hunt

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On Sun, 2 Jul 2006 16:47:14 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Whoever paid you should ask for their money back

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My point exactly.
The "Smart" is a political vehicle. It is manufactured for political reasons. Politics is a poor substitute for physics.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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"TeGGeR����������������������" wrote:

hydrogen.
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Interesting article in Home Power magazine, No 114. August/September 2006 http://www.homepower.com /
The Myth of a Hydrogen Future by Ulf Bossel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Engineering
High Points:
--Hydrogen is not an energy source but an energy carrier (you have to create hydrogen from something)
--2.2 gallons of hydrogen is the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline, you will process 2.4 gallons of water to get that kilo of hydrogen
--To satisfy present fuel needs with hydrogen, Los Angeles would have to double it's water intake (already piped in from the Rockies) and use the energy equivalent of 80 power stations to crack the hydrogen & compress or liquidly it
-252.87 o C is the boiling point of hydrogen. To make it economical to transport, some combination of super-refrigeration and pressure will be needed to compress it
--because of low energy yield, it would take 22 gasoline truck-sized transports (hydrogen pressurized to 3500 psi) to equal the energy found in one tanker truck of gasoline
--it will require 30-40% of the hydrogen's energy to compress or liquefy it for transportation
--the power plant to wheel efficiency of electric cars approaches 60-70%, the best hydrogen fuel cells yield 17-23%
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Too true...
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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DUH. Everybody is different. Depending on Age, health, lifestyle, diet, genetics, gender, etc. One person may be fine sitting in a Toyota Corolla as it careens into the rear of a stopped Cadillac at 60mph. Bumps, bruises, broken bones, but no head trama. BUT the next person 50 years older would immediately die in such an impact as the brain matter sloshes around inside her head. Fatal Brain trauma and a snaped neck in the blink of an eye.
Genetics has a lot to do with how well a person fairs in a car accident. Some people are just built a lot more robust than others. Bone density is different from person to person. Epithelial tissue is different. Even the difference of being "relaxed" at the time of the collision rather than "tense" can make all the difference in what kind of injuries a person sustains. One example is all the drunk drivers who kill and maime other motorists while walking away from it all with no injuries. The Alcohol put them in a relaxed state which prevents the flesh from getting damaged as easily.
East-
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Now THAT is funny. ;)
mike hunt

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Does that mean that someone who is asleep at the wheel having pleasant drams is less likely to be injured than someone who is asleep at the wheel having nightmares?
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
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In a Nut Shell, Yes.
East-
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On 7/6/2006 1:16 PM snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake these words of knowledge:

Not me. I'm the same.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
--
Going to church doesn't make you devout, any more than standing in a
garage makes you a car.
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On Fri, 07 Jul 2006 02:21:32 GMT, Dave Kelsen

You're unique... just like everyone else.
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