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Comment: Re:drive by wire = death (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31353112) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
I grew up on a gravel road just outside of Oswego NY, so I know all about lake effect and winter driving. I also well understand the pros and cons of abs, having 25+ days on the track including many exercises on skidpads and in parking lots. I know where ABS helps and I know where it's a hindrance. That said, on the street, where we are generally far more distracted than on the track, I don't think so much of my driving skill to believe that, caught completely off-guard, I'd be able to threshold brake and steer perfectly every time. Just last fall I came the closest I've ever been to an accident in 16 years of driving when a guy blew through a stop sign over a blind hill and nearly plowed into my driver's door. I had time to brake 100%, steer away from him, and nothing more. There was literally NO reaction time to be had, and I seriously doubt anyone who says they could have threshold braked perfectly in a similar situation. I did, however, avoid the accident entirely and was able to go about my day shaken, but ok. ABS is by no means the be-all end all, but I've heard far too many people convinced they could do better themselves, 100% of the time when my experience on the road and on the track indicates that most people are far better drivers on the Internet than they are in real life.

Comment: Re:pots & encoders fail with unpredicable resu (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31351468) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
That cable and spring might be simple, but it is far from reliable. There are countless people in this *very* thread that have had a throttle cable malfunction in a dangerous manner. It's yet to be proven that there are that many people in the entire country over the last 10 years, that have had a DBW system malfunction dangerously.

Comment: Re:pots & encoders fail with unpredicable resu (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31350228) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
There is an in-depth explanation of why this is unlikely further up in this thread, but basically, a decent DBW system is very redundant, with multiple sensors compared and any variance causing a limp condition. Furthermore, the angle of the throttle plate itself and the volume of air coming by the MAF sensor is compared and again, if the values are implausible, the car goes into limp mode.

Comment: Re:drive by wire = death (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31350180) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
Throttle cables stick all the time. There must be 20 people in this one thread who have had it happen. There may not be 20 people in the entire COUNTRY that had that happen with DBW in the last 10 years.

Exactly how did disabling your ABS improve its handling? I suppose you are one of those who thinks they can threshold brake perfectly in an emergency situation. I also suppose you didn't realize that your ABS likely controls your brake bias. FCUK....

Comment: Re:Anonymous Coward (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31350138) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
With you until the last paragraph. Pretty much any car on the road today CAN be stopped from 70MPH at WOT. See http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_deal_with_unintended_acceleration-tech_dept for one of the recent tests done to prove it. Sure, if you pussyfoot around on the brakes for a mile or two you can heat them up to the point of fading, but getting on them and stopping NOW will work.

Comment: Re:Steel Cable (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31350096) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
It may be that a physical cable provides more direct feedback that is desirable in an enthusiast's car, but I have little confidence that a cable will be more reliable in the long run. Throttle cables malfunction for a variety of reasons quite commonly. I've never seen a proper study published, but I'd wager that the incidences of confirmed acceleration are much higher with a cable than with electronics. Furthermore, as can be read elsewhere in this thread, DBW systems have multiple layers of error checking and are VERY well designed in general. I'm still in no way convinced this is a software issue unless Toyota was not following the industry standard designs.

Comment: Re:Requiring strong brakes? (Score 2, Informative) 690

by zhenya00 (#31350024) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration

Every time this story keeps popping up, everyone keeps getting this detail wrong. The requirement exists for a vehicle at rest. Brakes must be able to prevent a vehicle from starting to roll at full throttle. The physics involved when a vehicle is traveling at 50-80 mph and at full throttle are completely different. On many vehicles the brakes can not stop a vehicle in this situation; which is completely different from holding a vehicle at rest.

Think about this people - you can still do burn outs in modern cars; its just a lot harder to get started and get right. I don't know why everyone keeps getting this soooooo wrong. Plus, if everything could be made right by simply pressing the brake peddle, chances are very high we wouldn't be reading about this problem today.

Sp please stop spreading this misinformation. It largely does not pertain to the greater context.

But the fact of the matter is that EVERY proper test that has ever been done has shown that the brakes can stop the vehicle even one traveling at speed with the throttle wide open. See http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_deal_with_unintended_acceleration-tech_dept

It seems you are the one spreading mis-information.

Comment: Re:Kinda Obvious (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31349900) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration

Furthermore, I'd guess that probably nobody here except me has ever experienced an "uncontrolled acceleration" scenario, let me tell you that it is on of the most terrifying thing you can imagine, and it's impossible to react flawlessly. Everybody considers themselves a good driver (feh) but quick thinking under a life or death situation is completely different. The fight or flight reflex doesn't cover "shift into neutral and turn off ignition." You are not a professional driver, you are not the Knight Rider, you will probably crash before you get around to turning off the engine. It not stupidity, it's just the way our brains are built.

Actually, when all cars were outfitted with an actual throttle cable, unintended acceleration was not particularly uncommon, and was something that many drivers would experience over their lifetime. Perhaps the difference was that a higher percentage of those cars also had manual transmissions, meaning pushing the clutch in immediately disconnects the engine from the drive train. Even today, many older cars on the road have a physical cable that can become damaged and stuck open in any number of ways, especially as they age. I'd wager that there are FAR more instances of this happening in cars with a real throttle cable as opposed to drive by wire.

Comment: Re:Me thinks (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31348516) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
And I just flat refuse to believe that the series of events that would be required to make that possible happens more than once every 10 years, if that. The brakes are a SEPARATE, hydraulic system that work fine whether the car is on or off, and are capable of stopping a car even at full throttle. Heck, even if a brake line fails, the systems are designed so that opposite front and rear brakes are still operable, so you're actually looking at TWO failure points in the brake system.

Comment: Re:Me thinks (Score 1) 690

by zhenya00 (#31348458) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration

Citation needed. I've been doing what digging I can on my lunch hour, and haven't seen anything to prove or disprove this.

Don't have any handy, but several articles I have read over the last couple of months have pointed this out. The sheer volume of articles written about the recall efforts makes finding a specific article rather difficult. Here's one that I could find offhand from http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/08/business/fi-toyota-recall8:

In a written statement, the NHTSA said its records show that a total of 15 people died in crashes related to possible sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles from the 2002 model year and newer, compared with 11 such deaths in vehicles made by all other automakers.

Sure, that's something to go on, but really, 15 deaths in 9 years??? That's hardly statistically significant. I could just as reasonably argue that it's because Toyota drivers are more prone to treating their cars like appliances and are less skilled drivers. Anyhow, even today, the number of verified cases of unintended acceleration is so small that it is hard to believe there is this much concern over it. There are plenty of other things that could be done with this much time, energy and money that would be far more effective at saving motorist's lives.

I did not say otherwise. So even if we take this as given -- most != all. Therefore assuming that an incident is due to user error and dismissing the possibility of any other cause remains the wrong conclusion to draw. I don't know about you, but I'd get fired or demoted if I refused to accept responsibility for flaws in my systems with no means to prove my assertion.

Sure, but what is happening now is that anyone who has an accident with a Toyota is blaming it on the supposed 'defect.' The media shares responsibility because they focus the vast majority of their efforts on blaming the car manufacturer and creating hysteria. If instead, they reported the truth, that it is unknown if there even *is* a problem, and repeated over and over how to safely deal with this 'issue' that could come about in ANY car, they'd be doing far more of a service. But nobody ever wants to suggest that a paying customer might be in the wrong.

I recall it vaguely, but it's also not really relevant to this discussion.

It is relevant, as it's much the same thing over again. Once you start looking for a problem, when you have a sample size of tens of millions of vehicles, you are going to find SOMETHING to support whatever conclusion you are looking for. The point is, reported cases of unintended acceleration are not new, they are just the issue that is currently under the microscope.

The number of computer scientists in a room is inversely proportional to the number of bugs in their code.

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