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Safer Car Design Demands New Testing Approaches

Paying for current recalls vs. preventing future ones
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anon9303122
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Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
anon9303122   6/5/2014 12:28:42 PM
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We don't need safer cars, we need better trained drivers.

Susan Rambo
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Susan Rambo   6/5/2014 1:26:02 PM
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What do you think we'll achieve first: Better trained drivers or safer cars? I'm voting for safer cars.

anon9303122
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
anon9303122   6/5/2014 2:09:40 PM
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Technology appears to have the effect of dumbing down a certain percentage of the drivers. Even with 4WD or AWD, ABS brakes and stability control, those are the very vehicles I see in the ditch after the first two inches of snow hits the road. Why is that? My belief is that these systems instill a false sense of confidence in the 'non-driver' and they believe this technology keeps them on the road no matter what. People who are 'drivers' make the effort to understand what is going on with all the dynamics of driving, may actually practice their driving skills in a controlled environment before needing to use those skills in an actual driving situation. Eventually we will 'dumb-down' automobiles to the point where we don't need to drive the car at all. Google is already taking us to that kind of lowest common denominator utopia. Our species is devolving.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 2:12:50 PM
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@anon9303122: Our species is devolving.

Speak for yourself, Earth-boy

David Ashton
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
David Ashton   6/5/2014 3:18:10 PM
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@Max - so where are YOU from?

@anon9303122: Our species is devolving.

I'd go along with this in large part....though I think some of the appearance of this is due to a more egalitarian society and those with nouse coming more into contact with those without much nouse......

However occasionally I find myself doing things that make me think I am devolving too.  But maybe it is just advancing age and decrepitude.....

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 4:16:52 PM
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@David: ...so where are YOU from?


I'm forbidden to say where (and when) ...

rich.pell
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
rich.pell   6/5/2014 2:18:30 PM
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"What do you think we'll achieve first: Better trained drivers or safer cars? I'm voting for safer cars."

That's a safe bet.  Despite all the hoopla over Toyota and GM recalls etc., cars are getting safer all the time and motor vehicles deaths have been declining now for decades.

krisi
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CEO
Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
krisi   6/11/2014 10:18:39 AM
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Perhaps the death numbers are declining but it is still 40,000 people annually in North America alone...much larger than all plane crashes that people are so concern about...noone talks about car deaths, it is so common

rich.pell
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
rich.pell   6/11/2014 10:42:52 AM
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That's true - almost the same number as from unintentional falls and accidental poisonings. Having a proper perspective of risk (and respect for the facts) can go a long way toward better decision making.

betajet
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
betajet   6/5/2014 1:39:42 PM
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anon wrote: We don't need safer cars, we need better trained drivers.

IMO we just need to enforce safe driving practices and take the driving privilege away from unsafe drivers.  This would have the wonderful side-effect of producing more demand for good public transportation, something that would benefit all of us.

Susan Rambo
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Susan Rambo   6/5/2014 2:02:37 PM
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How can you tell who is unsafe and who isn't; we do it now, but usually the unsafe driver has to hurt someone first or be completely unfit (such as can't see well enough).

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 2:11:47 PM
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@Susan: How can you tell who is unsafe and who isn't...

I'm safe .. then there's everyone else

Susan Rambo
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Susan Rambo   6/5/2014 2:43:44 PM
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Oh boy. Everyone thinks the same thing. We all think we're great drivers and everyone else is terrible. The self-driving car is looking better....maybe it should be called the selfless driving car. It has no ego.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 2:09:03 PM
@betajet: This would have the wonderful side-effect of producing more demand for good public transportation, something that would benefit all of us.

I grew up in Sheffield, England -- I think the city was about 400,000 strong at that time. We had amazing public transportation -- predominantly busses (it used to be trams -- my great grandfather was "Chief Inspector Shorland" -- he came up from Bristol circa the very early 1900s with a team of men to introduce the electric tram system to Sheffield -- this was an important position in those days -- working men used to "doff their caps" to him as they passed him in the street -- but we digress...)

You could also catch trains that made local stops. When I was really young, like 6, my mom and dad and I woudl go down to the town center on Saturdays -- sometimes we caught a bus and sometimes my mother drove us in our little car -- sometimes as a treat, me and my dad would take the train back home  (we'd get off at the station at the end of Millhouses Park at the bottom of our road).

The bottom line is that I didn't get my first car until I was 30 years old -- I didn't need one because of the great public transportation systems in the UK.

Crusty1
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CEO
Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Crusty1   6/11/2014 5:08:59 AM
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Hi Max: 

In London of my Youth, 65 years ago, there were trams and my passion as a child the Diddler Trolley Bus.

The horse drawn tram and bus was before my time and had significant problems so much so that a fleet of Thames Sailing barges were used to transport the dung out of town each day.

The trolley bus was the natural evolution from the Tram as it was able to get around obstructions like parked lorrys and cars which the Tram could not. It could even run very short distances on it's battery set.

It is said that the motor industry Lobby of the 1950's and 60's lost us this low polution mass transit system , such a shame.

Less disruptive than trams as no tracks to lay it seems strange that no one wants to invest in trolley bus types of transport any more.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/11/2014 10:08:53 AM
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@Crusty: In London of my Youth, 65 years ago, there were trams and my passion as a child the Diddler Trolley Bus.

Now you mention it -- I seem to have memories of my mother bringing me down to London when I was say 8-ish (circa 1965) and I seem to remember electric trams everywhere -- were they still around at that time, or am I just thinking of films I've seen (damn these false memories :-)

Crusty1
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Crusty1   6/11/2014 10:58:12 AM
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Hi Max : Looking it up on Google, the last London Tram ran in 1952 see link to Pathe news of this

There is an interesting, even today, Hansard report on the policy to scrap trolley buses link to hansard report

 I suspect you saw the trolley buses which were out of service by 1962, 10 years after the trams. Here is a link to images of trolley buses.

I can only say at least the madness stopped at getting rid of the tube. As my life might have been very different now.

It seems possible they might reinstate the Post office tube system under London as a visitor attraction!!!?

Not an anorach, but supprised at the transport policies this country has taken, so that private enterprise can cream off the fat.

 

betajet
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I'm not dead yet
betajet   6/11/2014 8:18:35 PM
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Crusty wrote: Less disruptive than trams as no tracks to lay it seems strange that no one wants to invest in trolley bus types of transport any more.

Trolley buses are still going strong, though mostly in Europe.  They are used some in the USA, notably San Francisco and Boston, and the technology keeps getting better.  See Wikipedia.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 2:17:44 PM
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@betajet: ...we just need to enforce safe driving practices and take the driving privilege away from unsafe drivers...

Ideally with a public flogging :-)

One thing that never fails to amaze me is how few people use their indicators here in Alabama -- they stop dead in the middle of the road to turn without offering a clue as to their intentions to the rest of us.

Of course, beinh an anal retentive, I go the other way -- I indicate all the time (it's automatic -- I even find myself indicating when I turn into our driveway, and we live in a cul-de-sac :-)

betajet
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
betajet   6/5/2014 2:33:51 PM
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Max wrote: One thing that never fails to amaze me is how few people use their indicators here in Alabama.

Max, clearly y'all haven't read Tips for Northerners Moving South.

Here's the big ol' version published by Car Talk
#18.  Most Southerners do not use turn signals, and ignore those who do.  In fact, if you see a signal blinking on a car with Southern license plates, you can pretty well bet it left the factory that way.

How often do y'all hear #10: "You ain't from around here, are you?"

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 2:38:26 PM
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@betajet: Tips for Northerners Moving South.

(a) Very clever and (b) more true than a lot of folks might think

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Fixing the Symptom not the Cause
Max The Magnificent   6/5/2014 2:39:23 PM
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@betajet: How often do y'all hear #10: "You ain't from around here, are you?"

Quite often -- I respond by telling them that I'm from South Alabama LOL

Susan Rambo
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Virtual prototyping part of the answer?
Susan Rambo   6/5/2014 2:56:22 PM
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"And here it was, right in front of me -- the chicken-and-egg problem. To prevent recalls, companies need to invest, but investing means money needs to be available; and unfortunately this money was used to address the recent recalls! So the investment in virtual prototyping could not happen...."

That's maddening. Seems like a shared cloud service might reduce the cost of entry into virual prototyping, but again there are IP security/privacy issues, although I did see some interesting cloud service improvements at DAC.


Bert22306
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CEO
Virtual prototyping
Bert22306   6/5/2014 5:14:58 PM
It's not entirely obvious that virtual prototyping would have uncovered this problem. Hard to tell, from the quote of the recall notice.

It seems like under heavy mechanical load, some transistors oddly fail. I have to believe this is caused by overheating. So there could be many reasons for this that virtual prototyping would most likely miss. Including the exact location of the module (ambient temperatures), with consequences on how much heat it can dissipate.

Not to say that virtual prototyping isn't a great idea. It is. However it is also a non-trivial task to verify the validity of the model. And too, I would be surprised if Toyota DIDN'T model everything, before going into production.

MSerughetti
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Rookie
Re: Virtual prototyping
MSerughetti   6/13/2014 8:22:52 PM
One needs to keep in mind that virtual prototyping (in general) is not a replacement for HW based testing. It should be considered a complementary approach that provides the ability to start testing earlier, fix issues earlier and as a result allow for the test team to have more time for testing.

Another aspect comes in the creation of models, Developers must have in mind what questions/issues they are trying to answer/fix with such model. This will drive what needs to be modelled.

Finally one objective of testing is validating that under certain circumstance the system software can behave in a safe manner. The failure of mechanical or analog component can be simulated (random test can be created). One of course can alwways create too many irrelevant test so another key consideration is the ability to define a relevant set of possible tests.

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