12 posts • joined 4 Jul 2007
Google Cars (Beta)
Ask Google how much their self-driving cars costs.
It's Pronounced Pittsburra, Pennsylvania
If you invent it, you can decide how it's pronounced. If it's spelled G-I-F and pronounced ba-na-na, so be it. I can't seem to pronounce Edinburgh (or even Edinburjh), so what does it matter?
Who Needs Money?
Why sell as much as you can and make billions when you can annoy your customer base and miss analyst estimates and drop your market share by hoarding your product and charging more, er, charging the exact same price for it.
No, I'm sorry. I'm going to have to call CONSPIRACY IDIOT on this.
Ridicule the Dead Guy
What about respect? Just because this is on the internet does that always mean we have to through civility out with the window? Steve Jobs died a year ago. The company he founded is giving him a tribute. What's wrong with being nice? Move on.
"Funny that, because the above functionality (inhibit when going around a corner) was how the system was described to me by the senior engineer at Ford responsible for running a recent major vehicle programme (or three) incorporating this feature."
Could be. S/He was probably talking about the Jaguar system. Curves can be an issue, as Mr. McIntyre points out with the BMW. Usually the system use information from the stability control to tell you that you are in a curve, and the radius of the curve. This lets it know which vehicles are in its lane and which aren't. Unfortunately, you only get this information when you're actually in the curve, and not before it.
However, there are ways to minimize this effect.
Besides, they (OEMs) don't make them, we (suppliers) do.
In any case, most systems do not turn off in a curve.
A couple of other asides:
- The picture of the Ford vehicle is a Flex, and not a Mini.
- Volvo is using lidar, not radar.
- Some OEMs use 24GHz, which is the same frequency as police radar in the States. Some radar detectors will pick this up. Lidar being used in some systems will be picked up by some lidar detectors as well. Heck, even LED brakelights set off some lidar detectors. Don't speed, and it's not an issue.
- Some use 77GHz, which is not an issue.
- Good luck trying to use the 24GHz as a police radar jamming device. Let me know how that turns out for you.
- My first boss suggested spikes on the steering wheel 20 years ago. It's still a good idea, but remember, people still get in accidents just sitting in traffic, minding their own business.
- With the way we have all seen people driving, FLYING CARS ARE A BAD IDEA. I still want one.
Ms. N. Phormashun
"When cornering the radar is locked out to avoid it triggering from oncoming cars in the other lane - if driving in a straight line they aren't within the area of the radar beam, but drive around a corner and they are and would provide false returns."
Sorry, this is wrong. I know, because I work on these things. The radar is always on. It's easy to tell if a car is coming at you-- the closing velocity is higher than your own velocity. The radar sees all, knows all.
I've been working on safety devices in cars for about 20 years, and I hate them all as unnecessary government interference. However, they do make driving cars safer. I made sure my wife's car had as many safety gadgets in it as I could afford.
I know that Reg readers are perfect drivers, never distracted, never on their phones, never even changing radio stations while they drive. And while it's true that a majority of people believe themselves to be above-average drivers (statistics-- go figure), the average driver is a moron, so the bar is set pretty low. It's because of all these other drivers that we need these devices, and why I still have a job. You should be praying that other drivers have these devices in their cars.
As I get much, much older, I appreciate these safety devices more. If I could afford it, I would have adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and blindspot detection on my car. They may not help me lap public toll roads like the Nürburgring any faster, but for that one time that I need it, they'll be worth it.
hmm... I would have gone with Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.
Acronyms and Such
@ Nicholas: "It seems that the Germans are as inanely creative (ie, asinine) with their military acronyms as we Americans are."
Amazingly, there are other languages in the wild (how novel). How about: Verdeckte Optische Luft-Aufklärung Navalisiertes System
Die Übersetzung ist für die Studenten Hausaufgabe.
Don't Knock It Until You Try It
For those of you who are perfect drivers, you can stop reading. For those of you who wouldn't mind the extra assistance to safer driving, you should consider it. I check my mirrors constantly, and always signal lane changes. I also worked on these systems. I love the blind spot sensor. I don't like driving without it. It's not perfect (nothing in your car is perfect, even airbags, and I worked on those, too), but it works very well. (However, each manufacturer has their own specifications, so performance will vary OEM to OEM.)
If it's available in a car you're considering, I would recommend getting it. Besides, it keeps food on my table.
Also, consider adjusting your mirrors. Most people do not adjust their mirrors to look at the blind spot zone. If you can see your own car in the side mirrors, they are not properly adjusted.
Volvo was the first to come out with these, but it was camera-based. The Audi Q7's is radar-based, but has a slightly different purpose (lane change assist). GM has had them out for about a year now. I think they have the same supplier as Ford. Mazda has had a system in one of their vehicles as well.
And yes, the legal-ese in the owner's manual is 3-5 times longer than the actual description of the systems.
No, we don't need all of these driver assistance systems in our cars. But then again, we don't need 50-inch LCD TVs, quad-processor computers, or terabyte+ raid setup for home use. Well, except for pr0n, of course.
The Real Issue for Me Is...
not that Blu-Ray is technically superior-- it's the fact it's owned by Sony. This is the same Sony that own movie studios and puts root-kits in CDs. I was in the Blu-Ray camp in the beginning, but now I was hoping for HD to win.
Since Morita left, I've never trusted Sony.
He's not a Righty, He's My Brother
My younger brother and I are both left-handed, which is rare. Of course, he's an experiment. I made him do everything left-handed when he was growing up. So now he writes sloppily, can't play sports, and plays the guitar right-handed.
My wife won't let me try this on my daughter. How will we ever exceed 11%?
Two cars going 60 mph that crash head on (120 mph delta-v) is roughly equivalent to a car hitting a wall at 60 mph. A wall (barrier) does not deform, while another car does.
The fastest crash test done is 40 mph (64 kph) into an offset deformable barrier. Most manufacturers do not test at higher speeds into a barrier, mostly because the injury numbers would be too high. In other words, they can't guarantee anything above this speed anyway.
In Germany, there are still a few places on the autobahn without speed limits (and they are typically crowded), but there are some issues with insurance if you have a crash at 100 mph (160 kph). There is/was a "gentlemen's agreement" among some of the manufacturers to limit the speed to 155 mph (250 kph), but Porsche, for example, does not limit its cars.
The weight in cars affect acceleration, rolling resistance, handling, etc. But cars weigh more today in part due to safety regulations. Remove airbags, pretensioners, reinforcement beams, etc., and you can save weight in a car. Alternatively, you can use more exotic, expensive materials (carbon fiber, magnesium, transparent aluminum/aluminium) to save weight. But to build a car that people will buy, use the following formula:
Safe / Efficient / Cheap (choose any two)
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
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