Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

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PowDay
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by PowDay » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:18 am

barnaclebob wrote:What about the cars in front of you with autobraking that react faster and brake better than you, giving you less time to stop?
I believe you just defined tailgating. I am 100% responsible for ensuing that I leave enough space in front of my car to stop in a safe manner.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by lightheir » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:38 am

Even if you're 100% responsible for not tailgating, I guarantee that a good CPU will still respond significantly faster and better than you if, for example, a sudden accident causing rapid braking in the cars ahead occurs. Furthermore, if there is car-to-car communication, it will even respond before you can SEE that sudden slowdown, esp useful if you're behind a large truck or SUV you can't see over.

I could even see (far in the future) cars with proven automatic safety spacing between cars, intentionally reducing the gap to minimum distance (far too short for humans to respond) to take advantage of significant fuel efficiency benefits from drafting at high speed. (Which can save in the range of 30+% of energy if you're the vehicle in the draft, much like cycling.)

Humans have no chance at outperforming a correctly done autobraking CPU, and that future is literally happening as we speak.

sls239
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by sls239 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:48 am

I'm imagining a continuous line of cars with ACC and auto-braking in the right hand lane and it being impossible for a mere human to find a place to merge safely into it.

Have they studied what the overall effect would be if large numbers of cars utilized these features?

barnaclebob
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:54 am

PowDay wrote:
barnaclebob wrote:What about the cars in front of you with autobraking that react faster and brake better than you, giving you less time to stop?
I believe you just defined tailgating. I am 100% responsible for ensuing that I leave enough space in front of my car to stop in a safe manner.
Its not always practical to leave a safe stopping distance 100% of the time. Frequently highways are crowded with all cars moving 50-60mph and only 3 car lengths or less between cars. If you want a "safe" distance you'll have to go 5mph slower than the flow of traffic which causes cars to move around you and creates more traffic problems.

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victorb
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by victorb » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:19 pm

How many times have you seen cars being driven in the dark without lights on? How many times have you seen drivers go through red lights? How many times have you seen cars drifting in lanes due to texting, reading, whatever but paying attention to driving? There are way too many inattentive drivers and if the electronics help, great!

I would never go back to having a car without air bags, anti-lock brakes, fuel injection, skid control(driving management), etc. The safer the better in my book.

:happy

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by harikaried » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:36 pm

barnaclebob wrote:If you want a "safe" distance you'll have to go 5mph slower than the flow of traffic which causes cars to move around you and creates more traffic problems.
I believe by definition, if you're keeping the same distance behind a car whether tailgating or at a safe distance, you're moving at the same speed as the flow of traffic. If someone cuts in front of you, they won't be moving any faster than the flow of traffic if you were already going at that speed from a safe distance.

With adaptive cruise control on our Forester, I just let it keep its safe distance and find it amusing that people want to cut in because they're just wasting gas cutting in and adding to their stress for no gain. And because the car automatically adjusts the speed to give space to the car that just cut in, I don't really care because I no longer need to hit the brakes or accelerator anymore.

And I believe that's why some people really love ACC. It reduces driving stress significantly and makes driving enjoyable even in traffic.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:08 pm

Actually one issue with ACC in crowded traffic is that it opens up the following distance enough that people keep cutting in because they perceive a space in front of you as evidence you aren't going fast enough. I had to turn the the thing off in a couple of instances due to that.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by randomguy » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:41 pm

harikaried wrote:
barnaclebob wrote:If you want a "safe" distance you'll have to go 5mph slower than the flow of traffic which causes cars to move around you and creates more traffic problems.
I believe by definition, if you're keeping the same distance behind a car whether tailgating or at a safe distance, you're moving at the same speed as the flow of traffic. If someone cuts in front of you, they won't be moving any faster than the flow of traffic if you were already going at that speed from a safe distance.

With adaptive cruise control on our Forester, I just let it keep its safe distance and find it amusing that people want to cut in because they're just wasting gas cutting in and adding to their stress for no gain. And because the car automatically adjusts the speed to give space to the car that just cut in, I don't really care because I no longer need to hit the brakes or accelerator anymore.

And I believe that's why some people really love ACC. It reduces driving stress significantly and makes driving enjoyable even in traffic.
They are not moving any faster but you are moving slower. Lets say you have an 8 car gap and a car cuts in between moving at the same speed as the lead car. To maintain your speed, you would have to be happy with the 3.5 car gap. To increase the gap back up to 8 cars would require you to slow down before resuming going at the speed of traffic. Now with one car that doesn't make a difference but what would happen if every time the gap got to 8 car lengths, another car cut in. You speed would go from that of lead car to whatever the speed the car chooses to maintain distance.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by saladdin » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:51 am

The one thing I would want is a data blocker that while sitting in a car the driver's cell signal is blocked from texting.

I would be for outlawing radios from vehicles and phones (even handfree).

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:08 am

It seems like people who don't have ACC are confused by it. I personally love using it. I usually set it at the furthest distance to follow. But (as DBR points out) you'll often get cut off by people who think you're not going fast enough (even though you're going the exact speed as the car in front of you). Then when you're cut off, your car will slow down to increase the distance between the new car in front of you. I have multiple settings to tail closer, but typically don't want to. Sometimes I'll go with the middle setting, but the closest setting feels too close even with adaptive breaking.

I personally wish there was more safety features and less idiot drivers.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by BigFoot48 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:03 am

We just took a 300 mile Interstate trip with our new Highlander with Adaptive Cruise Control and I love it! Even used it in slower traffic on I-10 thru Phoenix and it eliminated a lot of manual braking and accelerating. I liked how it would alert me to a car moving slower ahead of me and I could decide if I wanted to pass long before I got really close to them or just move at the slower speed.

Totally sold on this technology.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by roymeo » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:10 am

Browser wrote:According to data compiled by NHTSA, as of 2010 the vehicle fatality rate was 1.10 persons per 100 million vehicle miles travelled.
Car safety has improved for the driver and passengers. All the things making it safer for the occupants tend to make things less safe for those outside the vehicle who have no control over how many tweets or whether you're marking that speed trap on Waze.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by theunknowntech » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:38 pm

Whatever new car you buy, please make sure it has a backup camera. Or install one.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:52 pm

theunknowntech wrote:Whatever new car you buy, please make sure it has a backup camera. Or install one.
I think starting next year whatever you buy will have a backup camera. Some may be more sophisticated than others.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by theunknowntech » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:56 pm

dbr wrote:
theunknowntech wrote:Whatever new car you buy, please make sure it has a backup camera. Or install one.
I think starting next year whatever you buy will have a backup camera. Some may be more sophisticated than others.
I can parallel park. I don't have a problem with that. The problem is, that nobody else can.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:38 pm

theunknowntech wrote:
dbr wrote:
theunknowntech wrote:Whatever new car you buy, please make sure it has a backup camera. Or install one.
I think starting next year whatever you buy will have a backup camera. Some may be more sophisticated than others.
I can parallel park. I don't have a problem with that. The problem is, that nobody else can.
Backup cameras are being mandated as a safety device to help people not run over small children or otherwise cause accidents when backing. Parallel parking is not the primary purpose. The backup camera on my car warns if I attempt to back out of a blind parking space and there is cross traffic behind me, or a person walking by. As diligent as any driver is or isn't, warning of an impending accident might be a good thing.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:03 am

Don't understand the fascination with adaptive cruise control. Unless your normal driving style is to insist on a 5-foot distance behind the vehicle ahead you don't need it. I generally allow a good distance between my vehicle and the one ahead when driving in traffic. Never seem to have a problem. Frankly I don't think it's a particularly good idea to set cruise control in heavy traffic such as I-10 in Phoenix and would never do it.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:38 am

Browser wrote:Don't understand the fascination with adaptive cruise control. Unless your normal driving style is to insist on a 5-foot distance behind the vehicle ahead you don't need it. I generally allow a good distance between my vehicle and the one ahead when driving in traffic. Never seem to have a problem. Frankly I don't think it's a particularly good idea to set cruise control in heavy traffic such as I-10 in Phoenix and would never do it.
ACC doesn't let you run at a five foot following distance.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:57 am

Haven't changed my original opinion that current safety electronics are unnecessary at best. Lane keeping assist is an un-needed nuisance; auto-braking crash mitigation actually scares me because I'd be worried the thing would malfunction and brake my car unexpectedly while I'm tooling along at 70 mph as it has been reported to do; and adaptive cruise control is a right foot relaxation tool and not a safety feature at all. The only sensible use of this technology that I've seen is Volve's City Safety. It's a standard feature of Volve cars and will provide last-minute braking at speeds of under 30 mph if an object or pedestrian is detected.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by tim1999 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:29 am

dbr wrote:Actually one issue with ACC in crowded traffic is that it opens up the following distance enough that people keep cutting in because they perceive a space in front of you as evidence you aren't going fast enough. I had to turn the the thing off in a couple of instances due to that.
One of my cars has ACC. Even if I set it to the "tightest" space setting, it still leaves enough room for someone to squeeze in.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:46 am

Browser wrote:Haven't changed my original opinion that current safety electronics are unnecessary at best. Lane keeping assist is an un-needed nuisance; auto-braking crash mitigation actually scares me because I'd be worried the thing would malfunction and brake my car unexpectedly while I'm tooling along at 70 mph as it has been reported to do; and adaptive cruise control is a right foot relaxation tool and not a safety feature at all. The only sensible use of this technology that I've seen is Volve's City Safety. It's a standard feature of Volve cars and will provide last-minute braking at speeds of under 30 mph if an object or pedestrian is detected.
Auto-braking is showing positive results.

Why doesn't your logic extend to the brakes themselves? Get rid of them because they might malfunction and that scares you. Of course, there has been a brake warning light for years that indicates malfunctions. But get rid that that warning light because it might malfunction and that scares you.

You need to get rid of everything that might malfunction for the good of your own nervous system since malfunctions actually scare you.

The fact is we are all playing the odds, and the evidence that is coming in indicates that auto-braking has favorable odds.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by lightheir » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:53 am

Browser wrote:Haven't changed my original opinion that current safety electronics are unnecessary at best. Lane keeping assist is an un-needed nuisance; auto-braking crash mitigation actually scares me because I'd be worried the thing would malfunction and brake my car unexpectedly while I'm tooling along at 70 mph as it has been reported to do; and adaptive cruise control is a right foot relaxation tool and not a safety feature at all. The only sensible use of this technology that I've seen is Volve's City Safety. It's a standard feature of Volve cars and will provide last-minute braking at speeds of under 30 mph if an object or pedestrian is detected.
I'd agree with you on the "CURRENT" statement. Current safety electronics are marginally helpful at best.

However, I'd definitely say that "FUTURE" safety electronics improvements will be unnecessary. They will save thousands upon thousands of lives, with little added cost, simply by removing common human errors. And this future is literally right around the corner.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:01 pm

Hey, I'm not making his stuff up. How about a little due diligence before shooting off ad hominem insults?
In the recalled vehicles, the system can become confused and step on the brakes when it detects another vehicle accelerating in front while simultaneously driving along an iron fence or metal guardrail, according to Honda, the maker of Acura.
http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-worl ... ng-system/
The recall centers on the most recent version of Subaru's Driver Assist System, an automatic braking system designed to prevent collisions with obstacles and other cars. If one of the car's brake lights aren't working, this braking system could fail, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/car ... /29279317/
Fail!!!! Volvo Automatic Brakes malfunction! Runs over a guy
The guy is OK!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY3bnZaNht0
But as auto manufacturers imagine a future of self-driving and always-connected cars, they'll need to worry about something else—electronic malfunctions and cyberattacks, according to a report released by the Transportation Research Board.
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/201 ... on-hackers
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by psteinx » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:13 pm

The Volvo City Safety system *IS* auto-braking (primarily, IIUC). Not sure why Browser draws a distinction between the two, liking one but not the other. Volvo's system gets good marks from the organization that rates things (mentioned upthread - IIHS I think?) as does Subaru's system.

Are these systems perfect yet? No. And they probably won't be perfect 10 or 20 or 50 years from now. But then, even older systems likel manually applied brakes are not perfect, as another poster mentions.

On the flip side, I'm not much of a fan of cruise control systems. Haven't liked them in the past, doubt the current better systems would change my opinion much. For me, it's not too hard to keep your right foot on the gas, and have nearly instantaneous ability to adjust acceleration as conditions warrant.

Lane change warning systems also seem fairly marginal to me.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:57 pm

The biggest failed safety feature in history was anti-lock brakes.

The field data indicates that they increase the fatality rate in the vehicle that has them while decreasing the fatality rate for others.

ABS were not mandated till the 2012 model year, and it was only mandated because it is required for stability control which was mandated that year and which actually works very well.

It's certainly true that some current features are unproven in some cases for lack of data.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by lightheir » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:00 pm

Browser wrote:Hey, I'm not making his stuff up. How about a little due diligence before shooting off ad hominem insults?
In the recalled vehicles, the system can become confused and step on the brakes when it detects another vehicle accelerating in front while simultaneously driving along an iron fence or metal guardrail, according to Honda, the maker of Acura.
http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-worl ... ng-system/
The recall centers on the most recent version of Subaru's Driver Assist System, an automatic braking system designed to prevent collisions with obstacles and other cars. If one of the car's brake lights aren't working, this braking system could fail, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/car ... /29279317/
Fail!!!! Volvo Automatic Brakes malfunction! Runs over a guy
The guy is OK!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY3bnZaNht0
But as auto manufacturers imagine a future of self-driving and always-connected cars, they'll need to worry about something else—electronic malfunctions and cyberattacks, according to a report released by the Transportation Research Board.
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/201 ... on-hackers
And all of these current small glitches will be completely overshadowed by the number of lives saved in the very near future by continued advancement in the auto electronics domains.

Even though it's not even a regular item yet, I'd much rather be on the street on Friday evening at 11PM with autonomous Google driving cars around me rather than post-alcohol partiers driving home. (Google's autonomous car has a pretty good driving record so far.)

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by BigFoot48 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:49 pm

Browser wrote:Frankly I don't think it's a particularly good idea to set cruise control in heavy traffic such as I-10 in Phoenix and would never do it.
On the contrary, I believe the radar monitoring distance feature greatly enhances safety. It reacts much faster to a car in front of me slowing and maintains the distance while alerting me to take possible other action. Not particularly useful in stop and go traffic but not our father's cruise control in flowing traffic.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by an_asker » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:01 am

I saw this link and HAD to share it here, though I havbe not even clicked on the link!

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:16 am

an_asker wrote:I saw this link and HAD to share it here, though I havbe not even clicked on the link!
Thanks for the link. I agree, that when auto manufacturers begin including some of this safety tech at something resembling a reasonable price then maybe more people will decide to have it. Right now, it's mostly just an upsell option. I have to laugh when I see that you can actually add things like aftermarket collision and proximity warning alerts and backup cams for a fraction of what these options cost on new cars. We're in the "novelty" stage for these things when a certain segment of customers think it's a big deal and are willing to pay up. This will evolve into the standard equipment stage when it won't cost an extra $2 - $4 grand to add this stuff to your new car. By then, maybe most of it will actually work properly too.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by sport » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:22 pm

Browser wrote:
an_asker wrote:I saw this link and HAD to share it here, though I havbe not even clicked on the link!
Thanks for the link. I agree, that when auto manufacturers begin including some of this safety tech at something resembling a reasonable price then maybe more people will decide to have it. Right now, it's mostly just an upsell option. I have to laugh when I see that you can actually add things like aftermarket collision and proximity warning alerts and backup cams for a fraction of what these options cost on new cars. We're in the "novelty" stage for these things when a certain segment of customers think it's a big deal and are willing to pay up. This will evolve into the standard equipment stage when it won't cost an extra $2 - $4 grand to add this stuff to your new car. By then, maybe most of it will actually work properly too.
The auto companies also "package" these features along with other equipment you might want. So, if you want leather seats, you must pay for those items as well.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by roymeo » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:56 pm

sport wrote:The auto companies also "package" these features along with other equipment you might want. So, if you want leather seats, you must pay for those items as well.
And vice versa. I recall a lot of digging through these expensive packages of silly things like heated seats while trying to find just the features I cared about. "OK, I guess we're paying for a backseat entertainment center no matter what--I guess we'll just put a porn disc in it."
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:55 pm

Talk about lifestyle creep. I once thought heated seats were "silly things," then heated steering wheels, now I want heated AND cooled seats... I wonder if a cooled steering wheel can be far behind.

Btw, don't be too quick to scoff at heated seats. On a cold day, they can do wonders for an old and creaky back.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by likegarden » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:16 pm

When we bought a new 2013 Camry we looked for not having leather seats, no navigation with a huge screen and no moon roof, but needed powered seats. We like good cloth seats, because then we do not need heating and cooling of the seats and have trouble with them. Afterwards we had to retrofit with a rear view camera because the trunk is so high. we also had to add window tinting, because Camry did not come with it, but our Buicks always had it. Luckily the Camry did not come with any of the new electronic Gizmos. I can imagine that at 10 years of age of a presently new car people with these gizmos will have great trouble getting them repaired when needed.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:42 pm

If I came home with a car without heated seats, I wouldn't be let in the front door. My latest has heated both front and back which puts me at the top of the chauffeur list in a certain person's social group.

However, the gist of the comment does have a point that most manufacturers today don't really give you a lot of pick and choose.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:20 pm

Just watched an interesting piece on tonight's "60 Minutes" TV documentary show on the development of self driving automobiles. One thing that caught my attention was that Google's self driving car has apparently been involved in 9 accidents so far during it's development. It was explained that none of them was due to the Google car but due to another vehicle on the road. Illustrates my point -- I don't care if I have this technology on my car now or in the future. But I care a lot if YOU do, so you won't be banging into me on the road. So I say, get out there and buy this stuff folks!
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by JimmyD » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:24 am

I was actually on the way to trade in my 2010 Mercedes C300 last week and when just 20 minutes from the dealership, I was rear ended, pretty severely by a Honda Civic sedan. He hit me first and then 4 or 5 other cars before coming to a stop on the shoulder. His car was totaled, without a doubt. I ran up to the driver window, pushed the air bags back, assessed the damage, asked him if he was ok, and called the police. His car started smoking from the engine bay and I could not open his driver side door, so I asked him if I could help him out of the passenger side door. Obviously, I knew this was a risk since I was touching a potentially injured person, but I wasn't going to leave him in a car that could have caught fire. I managed to help him slide out and make it to the side of the road without issue. He was completely fine except for a few face lacerations and being visibly shaken up.

Moral of the story, if he would have had collision mitigation braking, he likely wouldn't have hit me, would't have hit 4 other cars, wouldn't have totaled his, and wouldn't have left the scene in an ambulance.

I actually still managed to get my new car (a 2015 Acura TLX) with all the latest safety features except for adaptive cruise control and I feel much, much, more safe. Not to the point where I'm going to become reliant on it, but it is a wonderful second set of "eyes", just in case.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:44 am

I find it curious that brands like Acura charge several thousand to add their so-called safety electronics, and yet they lack simple merge warning. Some vehicles I've looked at recently, such as Volvo and Kia, have blind spot radar that looks backward and will alert you to approaching traffic from the rear on the left or right side -- quite useful when you're merging onto a freeway or changing lanes. Others like Acura just have a blind spot warning that triggers only when a vehicle is in just the blind spot area -- too late to be of help in merging. You would think these geniuses would think of that wouldn't you?
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by JimmyD » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:51 am

Browser wrote:I find it curious that brands like Acura charge several thousand to add their so-called safety electronics, and yet they lack simple merge warning. Some vehicles I've looked at recently, such as Volvo and Kia, have blind spot radar that looks backward and will alert you to approaching traffic from the rear on the left or right side -- quite useful when you're merging onto a freeway or changing lanes. Others like Acura just have a blind spot warning that triggers only when a vehicle is in just the blind spot area -- too late to be of help in merging. You would think these geniuses would think of that wouldn't you?
Speaking as someone who now drives an Acura with blind spot assist, I honestly don't know how they could have made it any better. It works absolutely brilliantly in my opinion. If a vehicle is in my blind spot, including approaching from behind, an icon near the mirror illuminates orange. If my turn signal happens to be engaged, it also beeps. It beeps if there's any rear cross traffic, as well, when reversing.

Maybe manufacturers (and consumers) have different opinions as to what constitutes a blind spot?

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:10 am

JimmyD wrote:
Browser wrote:I find it curious that brands like Acura charge several thousand to add their so-called safety electronics, and yet they lack simple merge warning. Some vehicles I've looked at recently, such as Volvo and Kia, have blind spot radar that looks backward and will alert you to approaching traffic from the rear on the left or right side -- quite useful when you're merging onto a freeway or changing lanes. Others like Acura just have a blind spot warning that triggers only when a vehicle is in just the blind spot area -- too late to be of help in merging. You would think these geniuses would think of that wouldn't you?
Speaking as someone who now drives an Acura with blind spot assist, I honestly don't know how they could have made it any better. It works absolutely brilliantly in my opinion. If a vehicle is in my blind spot, including approaching from behind, an icon near the mirror illuminates orange. If my turn signal happens to be engaged, it also beeps. It beeps if there's any rear cross traffic, as well, when reversing.

Maybe manufacturers (and consumers) have different opinions as to what constitutes a blind spot?
Check this YouTube video on the Volvo system and you'll see what I'm talking about. Their system looks much further back to assist lane change and merging.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGTpN2CPBjI

The Acura system does not do this. In my mind, one of the more challenging moments when I'm driving is merging onto a freeway at 60-70 mph and having to turn my head around to make sure there's no approaching traffic too close for safety -- requiring me to take my eyes off the road ahead. I don't trust the rear view mirrors in that situation because of the angle of my vehicle when entering the freeway. And I don't trust the mirrors completely when changing lanes at speed either and have to look back. When I drove the Volvo, I found their system quite useful because it looks much further back. It's called a blind spot warning and lane change assist system for a reason. With Acura it's only a blind spot warning when a vehicle is already alongside your vehicle. Kia is the only other brand that I've driven with a similar backward warning system. The rest of these guys are behind the curve, IMO.
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dbr
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:37 am

One reason I bought the car I recently did is that I can actually see out the rear sides for merging. Not being able to do that eliminated all of my initial choices. My car also has blind spot detection. I will have to check again how far back it sees, but I think pretty far. The backing up cross traffic warning is also very effective.

Note: According to the manufacturer the car has blind spot warning and lane change assist: http://www.subaru.com/why-subaru/articl ... ssist.html

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:00 pm

dbr wrote:One reason I bought the car I recently did is that I can actually see out the rear sides for merging. Not being able to do that eliminated all of my initial choices. My car also has blind spot detection. I will have to check again how far back it sees, but I think pretty far. The backing up cross traffic warning is also very effective.

Note: According to the manufacturer the car has blind spot warning and lane change assist: http://www.subaru.com/why-subaru/articl ... ssist.html
The lane change assist described for the Subaru is an audible warning that occurs if a car is in your blind spot and you signal to change lanes in that direction when the visual alert is illuminated. Just about every car I've test-driven with blind spot warning does that, so nothing special. That's not the same thing as the Volvo system that actually warns you when an approaching car is further back and not in your blind spot. I could still clearly see a vehicle in the outside rearview mirror when this alarm occurred - before it had entered my blind spot. This is much better than blind spot only. BTW, the Acura had a pretty wimpy sounding alert when I tried it out by signalling when a car had triggered the visual blind spot warning. I asked if the volume could be increased on it, of course the answer was "No". They didn't think of that either, for folks who might be a tad hard of hearing or happen to have their radio turned up. But they did think of a bunch of other stuff they can jack the price up by a few thousand for.
Last edited by Browser on Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:03 pm

Browser wrote:
dbr wrote:One reason I bought the car I recently did is that I can actually see out the rear sides for merging. Not being able to do that eliminated all of my initial choices. My car also has blind spot detection. I will have to check again how far back it sees, but I think pretty far. The backing up cross traffic warning is also very effective.

Note: According to the manufacturer the car has blind spot warning and lane change assist: http://www.subaru.com/why-subaru/articl ... ssist.html
The lane change assist described for the Subaru is an audible warning that occurs if a car is in your blind spot and you signal to change lanes in that direction when the visual alert is illuminated. Just about every car I've test-driven with blind spot warning does that, so nothing special. That's not the same thing as the Volvo system that actually warns you when an approaching car is further back and not in your blind spot. I could still clearly see a vehicle in the outside rearview mirror when this alarm occurred - before it had entered my blind spot. This is much better than blind spot only. BTW, the Acura had a pretty wimpy sounding alert when I tried it out by signalling when a car had triggered the visual blind spot warning. I asked if the volume could be increased on it, of course the answer was "No". They didn't think of that either, for folks like me who might be a tad hard of hearing.
Do you know the visual angles to the rear that these different systems detect? What you see or don't see in the mirrors depends on how they are adjusted.
Last edited by dbr on Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Browser » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:11 pm

dbr wrote:
Browser wrote:
dbr wrote:One reason I bought the car I recently did is that I can actually see out the rear sides for merging. Not being able to do that eliminated all of my initial choices. My car also has blind spot detection. I will have to check again how far back it sees, but I think pretty far. The backing up cross traffic warning is also very effective.

Note: According to the manufacturer the car has blind spot warning and lane change assist: http://www.subaru.com/why-subaru/articl ... ssist.html
The lane change assist described for the Subaru is an audible warning that occurs if a car is in your blind spot and you signal to change lanes in that direction when the visual alert is illuminated. Just about every car I've test-driven with blind spot warning does that, so nothing special. That's not the same thing as the Volvo system that actually warns you when an approaching car is further back and not in your blind spot. I could still clearly see a vehicle in the outside rearview mirror when this alarm occurred - before it had entered my blind spot. This is much better than blind spot only. BTW, the Acura had a pretty wimpy sounding alert when I tried it out by signalling when a car had triggered the visual blind spot warning. I asked if the volume could be increased on it, of course the answer was "No". They didn't think of that either, for folks like me who might be a tad hard of hearing.
Do you know the visual angles to the rear that these different systems detect?
No, I don't. I do know that the Volvo system seemed to work well when I was merging onto a freeway and there was a car approaching in that lane. The Kia system seemed to work well when there was a car approaching one lane to my left and didn't trigger from a car two lanes over. It would be well worth testing these warnings out on a new car during test drive, just to make sure they aren't giving you a bunch of false positives or false negatives. I suspect that brands like Volvo are going to be pretty good, because this stuff is their claim to fame. Other brands like Acura don't put it on the front burner. This is the 4th year of the current RDX model, and it took them that long to even give you basic blind spot warning and cross traffic alert -- this is a supposed "luxury" SUV. But to get those simple systems, you have to pony up 3 1/2 grand for the "technology" package. Baloney.
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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by btenny » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:32 pm

And every one of these cars leaves out a very useful feature, a Front View Camera. Tell me why? Every one of these new cars has some sort of front view radar or camera to look out for other cars and stuff. But none of them just displays the front view so the driver can park correctly. Almost every week I need a Front View camera to tell me how close I am to some obstacle in a parking garage. So most times someone (or me) has to get out of the car and guide me into a tight space. UGH.... Then how many people here scrape over the undercarriage or front bumper of their cars on some cement parking curb that is too high for the car. A good Front Camera would stop this nonsense.

Just saying a lot of the "safety features" designed so far are not very good IMO.......

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by Pinotage » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:39 pm

All the baloney, phooey, malarkey, and geniuses-not-figuring-things-out seem to be great reasons not to buy a car.

Is a consumer decision still under discussion? Or is this just a rant about things in the world we don't like?

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:43 pm

I wonder how the self-driving cars do when a deer dashes out in front of your car as has happened to me several times over the last couple of years.
Missed it by *that* much as the old joke goes. ('still haven't heard of a deer or moving-animal detection system yet, which is something you could really use, even if just a dashboard warning. And if there is no such thing, how could you trust a self-driving car?)
Ha! Maybe it only works if the deer is in my blindspot.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:40 pm

I'm pretty sure that the mirror's angle doesn't affect the blind spot or lane assist detection. They use ultrasonic and/or radar detectors on the side and rear of the car.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:29 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I'm pretty sure that the mirror's angle doesn't affect the blind spot or lane assist detection. They use ultrasonic and/or radar detectors on the side and rear of the car.
I think that is and should be true. What I was getting at is the driver's perception of what he does and does not see in the mirrors, the actual existence and location of a "blind spot," does depend on how the mirrors are aligned and on how the driver is positioned in the car, even the height of the driver and the position of the seats.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by lightheir » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:32 pm

rgs92 wrote:I wonder how the self-driving cars do when a deer dashes out in front of your car as has happened to me several times over the last couple of years.
Missed it by *that* much as the old joke goes. ('still haven't heard of a deer or moving-animal detection system yet, which is something you could really use, even if just a dashboard warning. And if there is no such thing, how could you trust a self-driving car?)
Ha! Maybe it only works if the deer is in my blindspot.
There is a 100% chance that the automated system will outperform even the best humans at this task. Already, cars have infrared sensors that can detect warm bodies (animals/humans) with a trajectory toward the car and brake far in advance. There was an article online in the earlier days of Google's car when it did exactly that at night - the humans thought the car had glitched as it slowed to about 10mph on an empty dark road, and then only a few seconds later did they see the deer crossing the road ahead.

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Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:39 pm

dbr wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:I'm pretty sure that the mirror's angle doesn't affect the blind spot or lane assist detection. They use ultrasonic and/or radar detectors on the side and rear of the car.
I think that is and should be true. What I was getting at is the driver's perception of what he does and does not see in the mirrors, the actual existence and location of a "blind spot," does depend on how the mirrors are aligned and on how the driver is positioned in the car, even the height of the driver and the position of the seats.
Sorry for misunderstanding. Most drivers set their mirrors to create a larger blind spot than necessary by having a significant part of the car reflected in the mirror. You'd think that the existence of the car would be a matter of faith and not require visual confirmation :D

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