Your thoughts on this issue related to cruise control

snipped-for-privacy@snowcrest.netnet wrote:


<and I snipped down to this>

According to the NHTSA, there were only 37,261 deaths due to traffic accidents in the USA in 2008; a new low, and lot less that 2,000,000.
--
Cheers, Bob

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snipped-for-privacy@snowcrest.netnet wrote:

<and I snipped to>

According to the NHTSA, there were only 32,761 deaths due to traffic accidents in the USA in 2008; not 2,000,000.
--
Cheers, Bob

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On Fri, 04 Sep 2009 06:07:06 -0400, Bob Willard

Must have grabbed the wrong figure. Still, the concept is the same. Far mor deaths occur on the highways and byways , yet nobody calls for outlawing vehicles.
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On Tue, 01 Sep 2009 05:36:02 -0700, Auto Tech wrote:

If it doesn't have a date and information on the periodical it was originally published in then it's a rumor, and not something you should give much weight to. _Any_ unattributed email or news posting should bring the needle of your BS-O-meter well off of zero.
And if the car is "hydroplaning" it can't have "literally flew through the air" -- the two are mutually exclusive, for a variety of reasons. Given that, This statement should bring the needle of your BS-O-meter pretty close to the peg.
So why are you forwarding material that pegs the needle of your BS-O- meter? Or, if your BS-O-meter needs a new battery, why are you forwarding material at all?
_Any_ closed-loop feedback control system has a process variable that the designer _really_ wants to control, a measurement of the process variable that the controller can see, and a command variable that the controller actually pushes around. In the case of cruise control the process variable is the speed, the command variable is (directly or indirectly) the throttle setting, and the measurement of speed could be taken from a variety of sources.
A cruise control that regulates the speed of the car by sensing the speed of the driven wheels won't run away like that, although it may surge to an astonishing degree if the wheels lose enough traction. The reason is because the measured speed is the driven wheel speed; if the car was going to go faster than the wheel speed then you're in deep **** anyway. The only way that a closed-loop system could run away as described would be if the system is sensing the speed of the non-driven wheels, _and_ if those non-driven wheels are going slower than the actual speed of the car -- then the controller will 'try' to increase the speed of the car even though it's already correct.
What _is_ sensible is that in slippery conditions you shouldn't be driving at a constant speed! If you start to hydroplane and you're the least bit sensible you take your foot OFF the gas, GENTLY, and let the car slow down. Cruise control won't do this -- it'll maintain speed like it's designed. That's not "running away", but it's certainly going much faster than it should be, and would seem like running away to someone who slows down on slippery roads without really thinking about it.
So don't forward any more BS, but don't trust your car to drive for you in the rain and snow.
--
www.wescottdesign.com

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This is a help and discussion forum, and his post was not out of line.
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hls wrote:

Which forum is that?
Last week a CHP officer, off duty and driving a loaner Lexus, was killed along with others of his family. Early reports were that the driver could not control the speed of the car. Someone actually called 911 from the speeding vehicle just before the crash.
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/aug/31/bn31chp-lexus-crash/?metro&zIndex 8181 or http://preview.tinyurl.com/m67odj
I never paid much attention to cruise control, even though I had two cars with the option. Then it became something of a habit, in my most recent three cars. It still scares me, but I use it only in fair weather, on long, uninterrupted stretches, with little traffic. And it still scares me.
Nice motive for the original post. My view, you ought to take it for what it was: a warning to be careful who and what you depend on. Try not to be so technically literal. Find the value, and say "Thanks", offer a careful, thoughtful, calm suggestion if you have one.
--
Frank ess


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The forum that you are reading right now. That is what these newsgroups are. He was not out of line.
This was crossposted to a number of newsgroups, all of them having to do with automobiles and driving. There is nothing wrong with that either.
If you dont like it, dont read it.
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hls wrote:

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hls wrote:

Oops. Quite a challenge, there, liking or not liking before reading.
I was just interested in knowing which of the newsgroups the post was originated in.
If you don't have a civil answer to a straightforward question, don't respond to it.
--
Frank ess
from autos.makers.ford.mustang
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wrote in message

I saw your post neither as straightforward or civil. If I were wrong, you have my apology.
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Oh it did. This has been floating around for years. Someone sent it to me yet again recently and I've been debating them over the merits of what strikes me as cartoon physics and auto-tech issues within the story that ignore certain realities of how CC generally works, what the overall road environment is likely to be if hydroplaning or slipping on ice is an issue. I decided to post it in some auto forums to see what kinds of feedback it inspired so this other party would see that it's not just me that sees a degree of b.s. in it.
My position is that the primary problem isn't cruise control but not adjusting for diminished conditions. If you're hydroplaning you're going too fast. You lose a small amount of time to decel with the cruise on that would otherwise happen as soon as your foot comes off the gas but you should have been slowed to begin with. The story demonizes CC without really addressing the fundamental issue, and actually obscuring it. The story indicates she was driving at a "safe speed" but apparently not.
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On Tue, 01 Sep 2009 13:00:08 -0700, Auto Tech wrote:

It sounds like something that would come up in Reader's Digest.
I didn't see the original publication info in your post, so I assumed you just got it anonymously.

I think we agree on that point, then. The problem with cruise control isn't what it does to the car, the problem is that it takes away the deadman switch, and lets the car go full speed while the driver's attention wanders. About the only time I use it is when I'm on flat empty road and I'm constantly exceeding my comfortable speed (and I'm driving someone else's car) -- then I'll use it just to keep me from a ticket.
--
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If you can't maintain your attention while using CC, then you shouldn't be driving at all. CC is a valuable tool, gets better mileage than you do and maintains a set speed far better than any 'manual' driver. Nothing is more annoying than following someone down the road who is not maintaining a set speed.
Harry K
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harry k wrote:

You get better mileage at a set throttle position, not speed. Maddening on uphills.

He's probably maintaining a set throttle position :-)
--
Cheers, Bev
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Yep, and at a set throttle position, his speed varies up and down hills :).
Harry K
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It can be termed running away. This just happened to me a couple of years ago. I never gave a thought about using cruise control on wet pavement until my blazer did go out of control.
I was just cruising along at 50mph down the right hand lane of a five lane highway. Puddles were forming in the right hand lane. Evidently I started to hydroplane. The truck slowed and turned slightly sideways. The wheel speed seemed to increase also.
After passing through the puddle the combination of a slightly sideways truck and over speeding tires took hold of the road, but not evenly. One rear tire seemed to grab the road and send the truck into an immediate turn. I tried to correct, but with the cruise control in charge of the accelerator and me in charged of trying to straighten the truck out it became a perpetual right/left, right/ left over correction fight between me and the cruise.
I only gained control by quickly shutting the cruise down. Once done the perpetual right/left, right/left could be stopped.

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Interesting, dramatic story. You mean during all the time you were fighting off the instability-right/left etc- you never tapped the brakes? Would have been a lot faster and simpler than playing around with the cruise control function lever. MLD
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No! Tapping the brake when the car is already out of control could of made the situation worse. I consciously bypassed the brake and went directly for the switch.
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On Tue, 01 Sep 2009 16:41:15 -0400, tnom wrote:

Hate to say this, but that sounds more like driving too fast for conditions.
If you were going to use the cruise, you should have set it at least 5 mph slower.
Or, not use it at all.
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wrote:

How would you know this? Crystal ball?

5 mph slower than what? Seeing how you seem to know what speed it was?

When the road is wet I agree.
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