A disabled French driver was taken on a 200km/h white-knuckle ride by his "insane" Renault, as a quick shopping trip turned into a high-speed, 210 km jaunt to Belgium. Frank Lecerf, 36, left Pont-de-Metz, close to Amiens, in his Renault Laguna 3 to hit the shops in nearby Dury. His route took in a short section of the A16 …
Re: Why not....
"That only works in the movies"
Nah, works pretty well in real life, though it's safer to 'box' the car with three vehicles. However, that involves buggering up the paintwork of three police cars. I think running the Renault out of fuel was a safer and less costly alternative.
Couldn't he have just scrubbed speed off with the crash barrier? Also, they could have used a police car or two as a brake. Have these people no ingenuity?
Crash barriers have a nasty habit of coming apart and sending high speed girders through the windscreen.
Turn off the engine?
Sure its dangerous, but you CAN turn the engine off..... even my car with keyless entry and push button start can have the engine turned off while driving... get on a straight piece of road first.. then coast to a stop...
Re: Turn off the engine?
Prius owners? Do not try this at home.
It will work, but turning it off also engages the parking pawl. You will get a long sizzling noise, followed by a grinding noise, then a clattering noise and finally be brought to a very sudden halt. The noises are the parking pawl attempting to destroy the teeth on the transmission's annulus gear. Fine in an emergency, but not something to be done for fun.
Owners of regular automatic vehicles can create exactly the same effect by shifting into "Park" at speed. I found this out due to a momentary lapse in concentration, forgetting I was driving an auto and trying to downshift for a bend......
Re: Turn off the engine?
Oh crap - that's worse than me forgetting it was an automatic and trying to downshift by applying the clutch. Thankfully there was nobody behind me, and the teethmarks in the steering wheel were not permanent..
Does it still work after such an impromptu attempt at attaining parking speed (i.e. 0 km/h)?
Re: Turn off the engine?
My mother had a 1968 Dodge Dart automatic, I had a 1967 Dart manual. In my mother's car with my girl friend, seat belted as always, I take off from a traffic light and when I got to 30mph I pushed in the "clutch" to upshift with only a slight lift of throttle. Yee haw. The G force pushes my foot harder into the pedal. Luckily no one behind either.
preferred icon - rapidly switching STOP/GO.
Re: Turn off the engine?
P is for PASS.
R is for RACE.
I had a similarly satanic Renault Laguna, but that wouldn't move at all.
Move gear selector to neutral - which in my renault can be done whilst coasting.
In our old renault my wife (hen fiancee) managed to knock it into neutral at 70mph on the A1 - that was interesting (i.e. "oh, has the tranmission failed")
I'm always sceptical of these stories - there are normally a good number of ways to at least limit the speed of these vehicles...
"I just wanted it to end," he said.
That's what a lot of people think when visiting Belgium.
Re: "I just wanted it to end," he said.
You have a choice. Visit Charleroi, or crash into a ditch at 200km/h.
No neutral position? That's been available on every auto or manual transmission I've ever driven. I will admit to never having driven a vehicle with paddle shifters, so perhaps this feature is missing.
A paddle shifting arrangement would seem to be a common adaption for a handicapped driver. Two buttons that could be relocated to any location suitable for that driver. So this raises another point: When adapting a vehicle for handicapped use, are various combinations of control inputs that might be needed in an emergency required to be implemented? What sorts of certifications are required to ensure that the combination of driver and adapted vehicle will be safe under normal and abnormal conditions?
My current car has the audi gearbox with paddle shift. However it also has a typical standard automatic type gear shift which you put into drive then you can use the paddles to change gear or just leave it in fully automatic mode as you prefer - you can also "manually" change gear with the same lever by pushing it across then forwards or backwards. If you don't touch the paddles for a while (a couple of minutes I think, but never timed it) then it falls back into fully automatic mode until you use the paddles again.
You need to have SOME form of neutral whatever method you use to change gear, and the paddles just let you move up & down through the gears at will with no manual selection available. Well none that I've found anyway as yet, but as I'm normally driving with a bit of vigour when I use the paddle shift I've not really tried to find neutral!
The article mentions a clutch, so that would suggest that the vehicle was not an automatic.
Is this where we find out the the meteor was in fact one of these satanic Renault Lagunas, with an old biddy behind the wheel?
Human IT interface problem
In France, everyone that has learnt car driving more than 15 years ago have done it with:
- a manual gearbox (5 gears) + left clutch pedal
- a key that mechanically turns to start/stop the engine
- a mechanical steering wheel
- a central brake pedal, based on piston + brake fluid
- a mecanical manual handbrake lever
- mechanical lights control
Now, in a f***ing Renault, you have:
- a card you insert (or not, can be proximity based) + button to start and maybe stop the engine. Is no longer mechanical, so f*ck knows what happens in the unlikely event you want to emergency stop, if at all possible.
- a bizarre device, different in each and every model, implementing handbrake. Maybe.
- SW controlled lights. What a great idea ! I've seen that having 1 second latency when activating it. Handy to put the full lights on/off when you encounter someone.
- a power assisted brake pedal. Just touch it lightly and you'll stop the car at 100 KM/h in 30 meters.
Given the amount of cheap ridiculous complexity, how is it a suprise that it fails every now and then and that people are not prepared to read 20 pages to learn the magic procedure to reset the hand brake/lights/cruise control/starter ???
Re: Human IT interface problem
The modern Laguna (or pretty much any other car) still has all of the items on your list apart from the physical key and the hardware switch for the lights.
Re: Human IT interface problem
He's right about the brakes, though. I hired a Peugeot a couple of years ago, and it was a total bitch to drive, the brake was that twitchy.
Does this mean...
... The Return of The Rise of The Machines?
More stories of machine/user failures looking like evil acts by possessed technology always welcome!
I've been in a Merc Sprinter with runlock.
That got into a possessed mode where I could not turn it off; I was able to select a gear, raise the handbrake and apply power with the keys in my pocket.
Luckily, there was an isolator switch. Failing that, chucking it into 5th and trying to pull off should have stopped it quite nicely.
As people have said, think outside the box to find ways to regain control.
At first I didn't believe this chump's story. Not sure now. My Nissan has keyless entry and the engine can supposedly be stopped with a long press on the start button. I hope. Are all these electronic aids removing our control in the last instance ? Even worse for people with automatics.
I didn't want to continue till I reached Holland
Having spent some time working in Holland I can fully understand this. it's the one place I never, never ever want to go back to.
I had this argument with someone elsewhere. What if the holding the start button for ten seconds to reset the bios and turn it off thingy doesnt work because its gone mad. What if... the entire canbus is being flooded by packets from a dodgy module so none of the control messages are getting through. We've all seen weird bugs and some shocking bugs in our day to day work.
Why can't we just have a big red E stop button on the dash that cuts 12v to the entire control computer circuitry. Mechanical, like you find on machine tools. The steering isnt legally allowed to be steer by wire (it can be electrically assisted now, but there always has to be a mechanical connection), brakes have to work with no power assistance. So. just a big red button. Power off mechanically. Job done.
"The steering isnt legally allowed to be steer by wire (it can be electrically assisted now, but there always has to be a mechanical connection), "
I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just very surprised!
@AC: The CAN bus is not used for control signals.
@Psyx: Yes, really.
"@Psyx: Yes, really."
The steering isnt legally allowed to be steer by wire (it can be electrically assisted now, but there always has to be a mechanical connection)
Strangely, that doesn't appear to be the case any more (it certainly used to bw).
ECER79 Paragraph 188.8.131.52 gives the requirements for a failure of a "Full Power Steering System" :-
In case of a failure within the control transmission, with the exception of those parts listed in Paragraph 5.1.4., it shall be possible to steer with the performance laid down in Paragraph 6. for the intact steering system
Frankly, I don't see how you could conform to that without a mechanical linkage. But that's probably why I'm a code monkey...
My understanding is that the start/stop override on modern cars is electrically separate from any bus system and operates in a more fundamental way to halt the vehicle - normally by removing electrical power from the fuel pump.
The button on your dashboard closes two sets of contacts. One sends a signal to your car's 'normal' control system, the other set acts as described to override any computer craziness that might be going on. That feature will no doubt become handy when people start jail-breaking their Teslas to run their own software on it.
What is WRONG with these fucking designers...
Sure some techno smarts MAY be a good thing.....
I remember the first car we ever got, that was Japanese....
It was a little 4 cylinder, and it had a great innovation.
A single, 2 knob, AM radio.....
I pine for the lack of the techno trousers automobubbiles....
All plastic and circuitry and microchips and shit that cannot be fixed....
Carburettor, points and coil ignition....
Thought as much, seeing as there are a few drive-by-wire projects out there.
The French roads are good enough to do 200Km/hr.
<i>Our source for the above is this report in the Courrier Picard, plus the linked radio interview. English-language reports say toll gates were raised to allow Lecerf to pass, and that he drove the car off the road when it ran out of petrol.</i>
Aha! Trying to save money on toll AND parking.
I'm holding down the power button right now and
I call B.S. !
There is no way both the brakes and the ignition failed to stop the vehicle, in addition had he switched the trans into neutral the car would have coasted to a stop.
Once again we see why people without proper driving skills should not be allowed to operate motorized vehicles, aka machinery. In the hands of unskilled operators - and they comprise 95% of vehicle operators on the roadways, an auto can be a lethal weapon. Get these incompetent people off the roadways before they kill more innocent people.
One question though...
What is wrong with going over the speed limit on a highway? Last time i checked, the speed of sound was considerably higher than that to allow the "thundering at 160 km/h" connotation. 200 km/h is nothing to sneer at in traffic, sure, but also very manageable in a modern car on a good highway. Which has been also noted in the article - the poor bloke managed to drive for quite a distance with no serious trouble (apart from sitting in a car from hell, going "over 9000" km/h, unable to stop or decelerate, just waiting to smash somewhere at high speed).
Re: One question though...
The limit is set based on a number of factors but mainly the expected competence level of an average driver and an analysis of the speeds likely to be attained by slower vehicles.
Speed limit planners will look to set a limit that most people can drive safely at most of the time, and will seek to limit big variances between vehicles - so no 200MPH limit for cars if lorries can barely manage 50 on big hills.
I'm sure you know that there is no argument that says 'If you break the limit you will crash' - what happens is that as speeds increase the likelihood of crashes increases and the outcome of those crashes will be worse. Limits are also set to keep accidents at whatever a given society believes is the upper threshold of acceptable.
It has to be that way, else you're trying to set a limit and enforce it based on the combination of driver and vehicle which would become 'time consuming' - it would also ignore the problem that other vehicles travelling faster puts pressure on drivers travelling more slowly and gives them less time to Observe, Assess, Plan and Act (the standard safe system of driving) and so the people having the crashes might not actually be the people driving quickly.
Does this lack of ignition off switch also disable the gear selector so you can't select neutral?
A Renault, you say?
I inherited my 92 year old granny's car, and she used to say it "flew away" on her when she drove it, meaning that it would suddenly accelerate when she was trying to brake.
The first time I drove it I discovered her issue. She was a 92 year old woman.
Re keyless start
My neighbour has a Jag with keyless start which he parks very close to his house. Last week he managed to get in, start it, and drive 30 miles, at which point he remembered his keys in his jacket in the porch at home. Unfortunately not before he'd turned the engine off.
Paris - because she rarely has trouble turning anything on.
Had the same problem on a mechanical car, with less dramatic results.
The throttle got stuck, leaving the carburetor open. Steer to emergency lane, pop clutch, THEN kill engine to avoid it blowing up...
... and find the throttle cable starting to shave, and getting stuck on the fireproof wall. A bit of tape to hold the broken strings of the steel cable away from the non-washer passage (the washer had broken and fallen off in the first place, causing the cable to shave), and off I go buy a new throttle cable.
This one, despite not being an electronic problem, and because of it, could be easily fixed.
But I've seen rally drivers that had their throttle cables snapped, and the driver would yank the bonnet off the car, sit on the windshield, remnants of cable wrapped in hand, while the navigator would steer, brake, and clutch. It appears this french on the pic below wouldn't want to get rid of the bonnet, but he drove the throttle by hand anyway.