Problem is that all these new gadgets are dependent on imperfect sensors
and are sometimes are missing the sensors they need to really do the job
A good example of this that many people are well aware of is the ABS on
something like a 1T pickup, particularly when unloaded. What happens is
that you are doing moderate braking and hit a bump of some sort, due to
the stiff suspension, the wheel bounces up and out of contact with the
road and stops rotating until it contacts the road again. The ABS
mistakenly thinks the wheel has locked up since it lacks a sensor input
to tell it the wheel lost contact with the road (a Z axis accelerometer
would probably do the trick).
As a result the ABS freaks out and you loose a substantial amount of
braking capability for a short time. For some people this has resulted
in bumper taps in situations where the speed and distance would have
provided plenty of braking space if the ABS had not malfunctioned.
People who drive these vehicles regularly learn to scan the road surface
when braking and momentarily release the brakes when crossing any kind
of bump in order to prevent the ABS caused loss of braking.
All of these technologies are not quite perfect.... but they are closer to
perfect than the vast majority of drivers could ever hope to be.
Not one person here (on this cross posted diatribe) will admit that their
driving is flawed - Every last one of us has "moods", distractions, good
days, bad days - flaws ad nauseum and we carry those flaws with us where
ever we go....
If we all didn't blindly believe we are all so friggin' great, we wouldn't
need these features. Common sense would reign supreme and people wouldn't
die on the highway....
The clear case where the manufacturers have done nothing to address a
safety defect in their ABS systems since the fix would probably increase
the manufacturing cost $10 for the additional sensor needed to detect
the fault condition.
Actually, I will. I have a tendancy to pull in too close ahead of
people hiding in my blind spot due to lack of windows other than the
windshield and cab doors on my Tradesman (though I would argue that
the other driver is a co-moron to such an incident for hiding in an
obviously blind spot of a large vehicle). The blind spot eliminator
fisheye is also no help when the co-moron is driving a highway-colored
vehicle (tan, grey, silver, white, black and similar colors) and is
not driving with their lights on, especially under conditions they're
required to be lit up anyway (in tunnels, driving in the rain or fog,
on roads with poor visibility, etc). Pretty much have to drive as a
two-man crew to avoid the problem.
But was the reason you needed to swerve in the first place a result of
following too close or driving too fast for the conditions? I'd
actually rather let stupid drivers get hurt instead of have their
vehicle rescue their clumsy ass.
It adds about $100 to the price of a car.
Secondly, lets supose that a driver swervs the car to avoid
I think perhaps you are nuts. The anti-roll is not going to stop you from
going where you want to go. It is designed to help you go where you want to
go, such as to avoid the children while not going sideways and taking out 20
adults at the bus stop. It does not take over the steering, it controls
wheel spin and skidding.
As for the side airbags, when I got T-boned by a Mack truck, they would
have been nice to have. Maybe would have save a big lump on my head and a
trip to the hospital.
Rather that talk about possibilities that you are unaware of, drive a car
with these controls. I've played with mine in the snow and ice and I know
it gives me control that would be impossible without it. I switched it off
and tried it. Controlled turns, straighter braking. Sure, the best way is
to not get into those situations, but at one time or another, it can happen
and while I'm very experienced, I'll take all the help I can get.
Unsure as I am about which NG you are replying to, I congratulate you on
being one voice of sanity....
Auto makers are desparately trying to reduce their exposure to frivilous
lawsuits and are introducing "vehicle dynamic systems"..... Small wonder in
a society where people don't expect a cup of coffee to be "hot".
Many years ago, I spent insufficient time trying to learn how to be a good
race driver... I learned a lot - but, since you aren't watching me Sunday
afternoon - earning a whole whack of money for going real fast and turning
left - I didn't make it. But I did come away with a better than average idea
of vehicle dynamics and the physics implicated....
I welcome my ABS.... I don't have to spend time modulating brake pressure...
Interestingly, if I did modulate my brake pressure right - my ABS would
I recently purchased an 05 Mustang for my loving bride.... This car has a
traction control system. If I wanted to be an abject idiot, this system has
the possibilty of changing my day.... If I use my head, the system enhances
my driving experience....
Electronic controls will never mitigate "stupid"..... but they go a long way
to keeping "ooops" from happening....
wrote in message
How often does one see adults at school bus stops after the first week
of school? Seems like any parent who is going to take enough time out
of their morning to wait for the bus with their kids is just going to
drive them in themselves anyway...
That might not entirely be a bad thing if it means we get a functional
transportation infrastructure that isn't so mismanaged that the only
possible tools for many jobs are expensive (for the average household)
airline tickets and personal cars. Pretty much the rest of the first
world, even over geographically large, population sparse areas tend to
have better mass transit than you will find in most North American
cities (and pretty much all but New York, Seattle and Portland in the
I think airbags could be cost justified if the steering wheel airbag
was replaced with a steel pike by mandate. If collisions resulted in
gauranteed death to the driver, that might just provide enough
incentive to make bad drivers and Californians learn what they're
doing before they get behind the wheel.
IMO there's a difference between real safety equipment and nanny-isms.
Take lawnmowers for example: deflectors and shields that prevent the
mower from throwing a rock straight in the operators face are real,
practical, valid safety devices and have been around since the 50s.
Blade brakes and "dead man" switches, on the other hand, are
nanny-devices that replace the common sense skills that I was taught by
age 10: "Don't stick your hand under a running mower, and turn it off if
you walk away from it."
In the same vein, brake/gearshift interlocks on cars are nanny devices
that replace the common-sense training of "put your damn foot on the
brake when you shift into gear unless you are 100% ready for the car to
I was thinking more of devices like ABS, seat belts, dual braking
system, disc brakes, air bags, safety glass, improved suspensions,
improved tires, etc. But yes it is also a good idea to have a car
that can't be started unless it is in park and the foot is on the
brake. I wish we didn't have to design cars for the lowest common
denominator, but we do.
Actually, we don't. That's sheeple thinking that safety nannies want you to
believe. For example - where was the runaway rate of cars mowing people
over as their owners started them up without their foot on the brake?
Right - there never was a problem here. Yet - it's too common to find
people jumping on board that this must be a great idea. In reality, it's a
solution in search of a problem. Likewise the requirement to put your foot
on the brake to shift an automatic out of park.
And here was I thinking that the '"dead man" switch' was to make sure
that the self-propelled mower, snow thrower, etc., wouldn't just keep
charging ahead if the operator slipped and fell or actually even dropped
dead. How silly of me!
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