The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:42 pm McLaren use very big wraparound windscreens and skinny pillars too, they're noted for their good visibility.

Key difference is that they use a motorsport style composite tub, not a welded steel assembly, so they can get the required strength. You'd never pass crash tests in a 'conventional' car with a wraparound screen unless you introduced prohibitive cost and weight.

Image
Totally agree.

So the 'super safe' modern car is (relatively) crash proof, but prone to crash into things you can't see.

I think I prefer the original concept - let the driver see and avoid crashing into stuff. I am certainly aware of the A pillar problem on many modern cars, and the C pillar problem is a PITA on almost everything.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

The rate of road death has been reducing massively over the decades though....the absolute rate too, not just the per miles driven rate. So despite there being hugely more cars on the road now, you're hugely less likely to die in a car accident.

Now obviously some of that is improvement in medial tech too, but you should only prefer the old way if you prefer having a higher chance of dying. In short, the modern nonsense works.

There is course the emotive and subject argument of "i prefer driving cars like XXX" which there is basically no logical answer to.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:04 pm The rate of road death has been reducing massively over the decades though....the absolute rate too, not just the per miles driven rate. So despite there being hugely more cars on the road now, you're hugely less likely to die in a car accident.

Now obviously some of that is improvement in medial tech too, but you should only prefer the old way if you prefer having a higher chance of dying. In short, the modern nonsense works.

There is course the emotive and subject argument of "i prefer driving cars like XXX" which there is basically no logical answer to.
Again, I'm not going to argue. Modern cars are much safer (and better in about 1000 other ways). It is just the emphasis on passive measures (eg rollover tests) seems to me to be prioritized over what I think should be top priority, eg can the driver see and be seen.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by The Spin Doctor »

Horse wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:50 pm A hi-tech solution is obviously better.

www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/continenta ... eras-oled/
Right up to the point the tech stops working.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

The Spin Doctor wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:39 pm
Horse wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:50 pm A hi-tech solution is obviously better.

www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/continenta ... eras-oled/
Right up to the point the tech stops working.
Which will be shortly after the guarantee runs out.

Most modern cars are designed to be almost zero maintenance for the 3 or 4 years they spend in a business fleet. After they get sold on as used cars manufacturers have little interest, Long-term ultra-reliable cars are often a happy but unplanned bi-product. Long-term dogs also exist, with known design weaknesses being supported by dealers, but only until the guarantee runs out.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Horse »

Cousin Jack wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:09 pm
Right up to the point the tech stops working.
Which will be shortly after the guarantee runs out.

Most modern cars are designed to be almost zero maintenance for the 3 or 4 years they spend in a business fleet.
My car has full LED headlights. They're superb and supposed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. They're also about £1k each to replace.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

Horse wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:14 pm My car has full LED headlights. They're superb and supposed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. They're also about £1k each to replace.
My house has LED downlighters in every room, not just downlighters with LED bulbs, but proper LED downlighters with no replaceable bits. So super are they (with built-in massive heatsinks) that they are supposed to last 100,000 hours burning.

In 4 years I have had to replace about 12! And they cost about £15 each and are a PITA to remove and replace.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

Cousin Jack wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:09 pm
Most modern cars are designed to be almost zero maintenance for the 3 or 4 years they spend in a business fleet. After they get sold on as used cars manufacturers have little interest,.
As someone who actually designs modern car parts and systems for a living I can tell you categorically that this isn't true. :D

I am not at liberty to say what OEMs life assumptions actually are, and it will vary on the type of car you're talking about anyway, but it's well into double digit ages and six figure miles.

Consider also how cars are sold now. Most are sold on 2-3 year PCP deals, then sold again on a PCP deal as an "approved used" car and then AGAIN and so on. So it is in the interest of manufacturers to make cars with a decent life time. Remember also that the value of a PCP deal is based on the assumed residual value of the car, so if you make a car which holds its value you can offer better PCP deals and sell more of them.

As anecdotal evidence I'd also offer my wife's £500 2007 Nissan Note. The only thing which doesn't work on it is the Air Con
Last edited by Mr. Dazzle on Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

Cousin Jack wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:20 pm
Horse wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:14 pm My car has full LED headlights. They're superb and supposed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. They're also about £1k each to replace.
My house has LED downlighters in every room, not just downlighters with LED bulbs, but proper LED downlighters with no replaceable bits. So super are they (with built-in massive heatsinks) that they are supposed to last 100,000 hours burning.

In 4 years I have had to replace about 12! And they cost about £15 each and are a PITA to remove and replace.
Every single bulb in our house is LED. Hand on heart, I've only had to replace one in the 6 years we've lived here.

Tech can tell when you don't like it you know ;)
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:26 pm Every single bulb in our house is LED. Hand on heart, I've only had to replace one in the 6 years we've lived here.

Tech can tell when you don't like it you know ;)
I was expecting an experience like yours. I was wrong. :cry:

To be fair, I suspect I got a faulty batch, none of the ones that have been changed have failed again, but it has been expensive and a total PITA.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

I suspect its more likely that particular design has something wrong with it, or that your house has something about it which interacts badly with something about that batch.

How does it feel being a statistical anomaly?
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:24 pm As someone who actually designs modern car parts and systems for a living I can tell you categorically that this isn't true. :D
I am sure you are correct in that the manufacturers you deal with don't do that stuff, BUT over the years
  • I had one Ford which had a back axle that could not handle the torque of a 2 lite engine. 50k miles and it was on it's way out.
    Another had an autobox that was fine with the 2.0 and 2.3, but marginal with the 2.9 engine. 100k miles and that was failing.
    A Mercedes had an autobox that was a grenade after 40k miles.
    A mate had a Renault with an autobox that was way too fragile. He had 3 replacement boxes in 3 years.

These were not just one-offs, they were known faults, well known to the trade. One of them was a company car, and it depreciated like a brick which suited me fine since I bought the car 12 months old for less than 1/2 price. The garage that looked after the Merc for me would not touch it, he said it was a super low-mileage car in great condition, but as a small business he could not afford the risk of having to buy back the car if it did go bang.

All of these were a few years ago, so perhaps things are better now, but my guess is that, whatever the engineers recommend, the money people weigh up the cost and go with the option that generates most profit.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

I was gonna say....if you're talking a RWD Ford you're going back a bit, unless you've got a Mustang (assuming you're not talking vans) :D
Cousin Jack wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:00 pm but my guess is that, whatever the engineers recommend, the money people weigh up the cost and go with the option that generates most profit.
They're usually the same people.

Its an often repeated misapprehension that Engineers design stuff and then get permission from the Accountants to build stuff. There is no clear distinction between the money people and the engineering people IME, its usually very blurred.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Mussels »

Cousin Jack wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:38 pm
Mr. Dazzle wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:26 pm Every single bulb in our house is LED. Hand on heart, I've only had to replace one in the 6 years we've lived here.

Tech can tell when you don't like it you know ;)
I was expecting an experience like yours. I was wrong. :cry:

To be fair, I suspect I got a faulty batch, none of the ones that have been changed have failed again, but it has been expensive and a total PITA.
I had frequent problems with led downlighters in my last house, they kept blowing because the sparky fitted cheap transformers that halogen can cope with better.
Now I'll only have 240v lights.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Cousin Jack »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:08 pm
They're usually the same people.

Its an often repeated misapprehension that Engineers design stuff and then get permission from the Accountants to build stuff. There is no clear distinction between the money people and the engineering people IME, its usually very blurred.


Your experience is different from mine. I have seen far to many 'good' projects rejected in favour of others that offered a shorter payback. Whilst the engineers can do the sums, the accountants sit on the board, and the time horizon of many PLC boards is a year or less. Sometimes a lot less, I have seen cuts made simply to meet the current quarterly projection, never mind the downstream effect.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Horse »

wheelnut wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:23 pm Tech that doesn’t work

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/car ... ction.html
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on ... has tentatively determined that the screens are defective and pose a safety risk because they can cause backup cameras to go blank, meaning the rear-view camera and other safety-related functions no longer work.

If it's only failing on reversing, doesn't that relegate the car (& driver) to being equivalent to any other vehicle that only has mirrors?

If, however, it could fail at other times, then that could become a serious issue IIRC even the wipers are operated via the screen
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by The Spin Doctor »

Horse wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:14 pm
Cousin Jack wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:09 pm
Right up to the point the tech stops working.
Which will be shortly after the guarantee runs out.

Most modern cars are designed to be almost zero maintenance for the 3 or 4 years they spend in a business fleet.
My car has full LED headlights. They're superb and supposed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. They're also about £1k each to replace.
Any guarantee about how long 'life' is in this case?

It'll be interesting to see how much of the car needs to be dismantled before you can get to the headlight to change it, too!
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by The Spin Doctor »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:24 pm Consider also how cars are sold now. Most are sold on 2-3 year PCP deals, then sold again on a PCP deal as an "approved used" car and then AGAIN and so on. So it is in the interest of manufacturers to make cars with a decent life time. Remember also that the value of a PCP deal is based on the assumed residual value of the car, so if you make a car which holds its value you can offer better PCP deals and sell more of them.
I'm struggling to see how that works. There's a more or less fixed market for cars, so the longer a car lasts the fewer NEW vehicles are sold. IIRC that was the problem that Volvo ran into in the 70s and 80s - cars that easily last two decades! They revised the vehicle lifetime downwards. Renault, Citroen and Peugeot took this so far that some of their early 2000s vehicles never made it past the first UK MOT.
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Re: The Self-Driving Vehicles Thread

Post by Dodgy knees »

non non Non, c'est injuste. 🙅‍♂️
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