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Backup Camera Mandate Will Lead to More Electronic Innovation

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Mydesign
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Rear Cameras
Mydesign   4/24/2014 6:15:19 AM
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Charles, it's a good imitative from NHTSA.  As of now only high and Mid segment cars have reverse camera and alarming system. As a driver, many times I feel the need of rear view cameras in all side of cars, so that side vision will be clearer.

GTOlover
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Re: Rear Cameras
GTOlover   4/24/2014 9:25:28 AM
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Disagree with this being good initative from the NHTSA! This is more government regulations inflating the price of the new car and imposing additional expenses on drivers. We are living in a padded world that tries to compensate for lazy and unattentive drivers.

What happens when my back up camera stops working. I am sure the local safety inspections are going to overlook this? Yah right. I will be soaked for many more dollars to keep a system functioning in the name of gpvernment safety mandates! The rich guys didn't mind since they just go and buy another high end car. But the purpose of the low end models is for the little guy to afford transportation. Nothing like the nanny state and the lobbyists to screw over the little guy!

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Rear Cameras
Jennifer Campbell   4/24/2014 10:06:23 AM
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I am in the middle here - I agree with arguments for and against these cameras. I once test drove a vehicle with a back-up camera and I didn't like it all. Truth be told, I just didn't trust it. I would much rather turn my head to see if I'm in danger of hitting something or someone. I opted for a model that doesn't have a camera.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Rear Cameras
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   4/24/2014 11:11:59 AM
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I thought the idea of a back-up camera was rather trivial in the full realm of marvelous technological innovations of the 21st century. Really no Big Deal --- until I got a car with one.  I surprised myself how valuable I found it to be. Then, driving my wife's car (which doesn't have one); I miss it!

Charles Murray
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Re: Rear Cameras
Charles Murray   4/24/2014 6:02:10 PM
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I know what you mean, Jenn. I'm sort of in the middle on this, too. In theory, I know that a backup camera can be a help in those rare cases when a toddler wanders behind a car, especially if those toddlers are too small to be seen. As a father of four (now all grown), I know that kids do unpredictable things. That said, I've used back-up cameras in rental cars and have found that I don't trust them. I'm accustomed to turning around and gazing over one shoulder, then the other. I find the the idea of looking at a display to see if someone is behind me causes angst. I tell myself that's illogical, but I can't seem to break the habit of checking and double-checking with my own two eyes.  

Shadetree Engineer
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Re: Rear Cameras
Shadetree Engineer   4/25/2014 2:07:42 PM
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Absoluely nothing wrong with doublechecking what the video display is showing you as this is the kind of device that needs to be considered the same as safety railings and life jackets. If the camera, ethernet, video display or any other necessary component should fail and your first choice of action is to look at the dashboard before putting your car into motion, then this will be a failing technology until the industry figures out how to incorporate it in an appropriate manner. I would suggest that the scenario of using a video camera to backup your car to be put to one side as an experimental idea. All the other provisions in this mandate can be put to use with much more practical benefits. Expecting drivers to compare a video feed to what is actually visible, evaluate whether the video system is working properly and know instintively what to do if the system stops working will just increase the stress level for most people. In other words, this mandate is just going to create more situations of mentally stalled drivers who must ask 'what do I do now?' when what needs to happen is to move without hesitation.

 

Desiging a video system that can take multiple camera views and combine those in real time, and then process that super-image to show an advanced view such as a overhead view or maybe even a false-color radar map, that will be a tough challenge! There's been a few companies to try doing this sort of thing and patents have been granted which might complicate the future of such a system. This is one example: http://www.fujitsu.com/downloads/MICRO/fma/pdf/360_OmniView_AppNote.pdf

 

A very serious point to look into for any video system, and personally I believe it's the first thing to question, is how much lag will there be on the video screen? I have already been looking into how to drive a car using a video screen, and I can see right now that any IP camera that is in my budget will simply not be acceptable for this. There's just too much lag in processing the data. The only choice available to me right now is an analog camera feed. This does not mean that an IP camera will never work, but that whatever microprocessor is used inside that camera needs to be as fast as possible.

 

Just how far do you think a car can travel while backing up, during one second of time? Because if you are not careful about what sort of video system you wind up with, you might be looking at an entire second delay on your video monitor, or worse! I personally own several IP cameras and they all have much more lag than just a second, so I think I'm being a bit optimistic here.

 

Here's a simple experiment that anyone can do right now for very little investment: take a laptop and a USB webcam and put those in your car so that you can view the laptop screen while driving. Put that webcam anywhere you like, front facing or rear facing and try driving around a parking lot with a few shopping carts placed where other cars might be. You can use a USB extension cable to be able to place your camera further away from the laptop.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Rear Cameras
Cabe Atwell   4/25/2014 3:52:37 PM
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I thought Breathalyzers were going to be implemented as well. Did Congress give up on that?

Charles Murray
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Re: Rear Cameras
Charles Murray   4/25/2014 4:54:28 PM
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I know there are lock devices being used for people who have past records, Cabe, but I don't know of any plans to put breathalyzers across the board. Maybe a reader knows more about this. Readers?

William K.
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Re: Rear Cameras
William K.   4/25/2014 7:43:16 PM
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Cabe, the problem with breatalyzers is that they will asol respond to some mouthwashes as well as some after-shave products. And it would be entertaining to see the lawsuit from somebody who was prevented from driving in an emergency because of a stupid detector triggering on their after-shave. One incident like that and the system would be removed from my car.

Charles Murray
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Re: Rear Cameras
Charles Murray   4/25/2014 4:52:53 PM
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You might be right that it's a good idea to put it aside as an experimental idea, Shadetree Engineer, but NHTSA would argue that they've already done that over the past two years. I think they feel the time has come. See below.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=239972

Shadetree Engineer
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Re: Rear Cameras
Shadetree Engineer   4/25/2014 5:35:50 PM
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Maybe I should amend my point about this being 'experimental', but it sure looks like yet another opportunity to beta test new products by simply putting them into full production.

 

Using a digital camera, not necessarily an IP camera, would allow for automated video analysis to spot any obstacles for an alarm system that works in the same manner as ultrasonic backup alarms. But I think just an analog camera in combination with existing ultrasonic sensors would be better.

 

It would be interesting to see what the law has to say about the requirements for posting a warning that the area is being monitored by video camera. If anyone connects a DVR to their backup camera, then that adds to the fun.

 

It would also be interesting to enable a wifi based camera monitor where any smartphone can be used to view a webpage hosted by a media server streaming the video feed from the onboard cameras. The car's router can redirect any address to the login page, to simplify the process. A hardware based security key could be used where the media server can show a password on the cars dashboard. This would help prevent any outside traffic from gaining access. The dash-displayed key would also be an indicator showing when anyone is attempting to access the media server.

nyeng
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Re: Rear Cameras
nyeng   4/29/2014 9:31:24 PM
I think technology is degrading the quality of our drivers. Today's young adult who is used to a 2009 Camry with abs and traction control does things habitually that would get you killed in a 1968 Bonneville. Does the backup camera mean people won't be able to back up with mirrors anymore? I think tpms is just as silly. It adds cost to every vehicle unnecessarily. If you don't know what a soft tire feels like while driving then you shouldn't be driving. All this technology makes driving more like a video game while disconnecting the driver from what's really going on. I remember being in my teens and hearing a woman in her sixties at the time talking about her father teaching her to drive in the forties or fifties. Her father wouldn't let her take the car until she could not only drive it well (standard shift of course) but also change a tire and file points!

benmlee
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Re: Rear Cameras
benmlee   4/25/2014 6:17:35 PM
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Sums up the tone article: Cha-Ching. Look, is a government mandate. 10 million cars times every one with a camera. Yeah. Got a better idea, how about a logical car that is not about styling. Car designer admit the rediculous small rear windows are for "style". Because it looks like a "fast" car. Is not for safety. Just look at Hyundai Veloster for a good laugh. BTW, parents running over their kids did not happen until SUV craze came along. Look at the rear window on the latest 4Runner. Google it and see how high and small it is. I still have the 85 4Runner, and you see way better out the back.

More electronics made in China that breaks. Have we polluted the earth enough already. 1/5 of the land in China is not suitable for farming, and that came from the Chinese government. That means reality is way worse. Their produce gets into our food supply one way or another. Guess at this point, I am not jumping up and down over more profits. At what cost?

William K.
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Re: Rear Cameras
William K.   4/25/2014 7:47:25 PM
Instead of backup cameras, which will become a hot item for punks to steal, what we need is a law forbidding stupid and in-attentive people from driving. The only real benefit from such a law is the makers of the cmeras. We all know that, but how many dare to say it out loud? It is a poor idea, promoted by those who will financially benefit, and passed into law by those who always let emotion over-ride rational thinking based on actual data.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Rear Cameras
Cabe Atwell   4/27/2014 10:37:43 PM
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William,

Why even put one in your car? Don't drive when you go out..

C

Turbineman
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Re: Rear Cameras
Turbineman   4/24/2014 11:13:44 AM
The view on the backup monitor on my Hond Pilot is so distorted it's absolutely useless, esp. for navication in lieu of turning your head.  I still navigate while in reverse through rubbernecking and using the side view mirrors (yes, they're adjusted for side view).  I do fully trust the proximity sensors and alarm when backing up.

The aftermarket backup cameras have already come down to the price range mentioned in the article.  One of my future projects is to buy one and modify it to mount on the back of the U-Haul trailers I often rent so I can really see what's behind me.  Funny, but the aftermarket manufacturers seem to have missed this application for it.

tekochip
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Re: Rear Cameras
tekochip   4/24/2014 11:18:05 AM
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I agree, the requirements are causing vehicles to be more expensive and since it is an equipment requirement are we suggesting that an inoperative back up camera is an equipment violation?  Here in the polar vortex you can't get drivers to clear snow off their windshields, does the Federal Government really think drivers will clean the backup camera lens AND clean the windows?
 
I'm not certain that we will see innovation because of the mandate, rather than increased complexity with existing technology.


78RPM
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Re: Rear Cameras
78RPM   4/24/2014 8:25:38 PM
There are whiners about government regulations favoring health and safety. But consider some benefits to the economy. The company Nest, now acquired by Google, looked at the mandate for smoke detectors -- All of us hate those things. Did you ever accidentally set off one of yours? Arrrgh. But Nest turned it into a networked product that people will want. It's interactive and talks to you in a human voice. And you can tell it that it's a false alarm. There is opportunity in everything.
The backup camera will challenge entrepreneurs to create a better user experience. Add this thought: Suppose the driver looks out the back window while the passenger sees a dog or child suddenly appear on the console screen and yells "Stop." You have two pairs of eyes on the backup.
Hey, the auto manufacturers had to be dragged kicking and screaming to install seat belts. What buyer today would consider a car that didn't have them?

Mydesign
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Re: Rear Cameras
Mydesign   4/25/2014 4:33:04 AM
"Disagree with this being good initative from the NHTSA! This is more government regulations inflating the price of the new car and imposing additional expenses on drivers. We are living in a padded world that tries to compensate for lazy and unattentive drivers."

GTOlover, saftey is more important than all these type of silly excuses.

wheely
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Re: Rear Cameras
wheely   4/25/2014 9:11:49 AM
I agree, we don't need that added expense. Cars cost to much now. The two vehicles I've tried the camera on were awful, no depth perception, I would back right into something, but there again I know how to operate a car. Please someone start a car simplificaion plan. We want cheap lightweight hi mileage cars.

fire-iron.biz
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Re: Rear Cameras
fire-iron.biz   4/25/2014 9:35:27 AM
Agreed - more worthless junk! The focus should be on keeping the new and getting existing incompetent drivers off the road! I recently had the DISpleasure of driving a 2014 Ford Escape Titanium. The whole vehicle is a rolling distraction from flashing lights and warning beeps to the constantly changing displays ... which by the way have repeated failed within months requiring excessive downtimes and increased costs.

Mydesign
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Re: Rear Cameras
Mydesign   4/28/2014 4:29:28 AM
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"we don't need that added expense. Cars cost to much now. The two vehicles I've tried the camera on were awful, no depth perception, I would back right into something, but there again I know how to operate a car. Please someone start a car simplificaion plan. We want cheap lightweight hi mileage cars."

Wheely, prevention is better than later regrets. I don't know why you meant it's an additional expense, it's a part of saftey and prevents from later disappointments.

Reliabilityguru
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Re: Rear Cameras
Reliabilityguru   4/28/2014 9:11:59 AM
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I agree with GTOlover about the government mandate and government's ever growing intrusion into our everyday lives. This is not what the US government was chartered to be doing. Citizens and the 57 states need to start pushing back. No pun intended.

Having said that, since 2004 I have driven vehicles with a rearview camera that enables when in reverse. I find the biggest benefit of such a view is in perfect alignment of the hitch ball with the boat trailer everytime.

nyeng
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Re: Rear Cameras
nyeng   4/29/2014 9:03:36 PM
While he was expounding on the benefits of this mandate did anybody ask Mr. Cornyn how many people in the nhtsa his company (and industry) have on the payroll? You're right on GTO. That camera will add 142 in cost but it will cost $500 at the car dealer to replace. Rear end collisions are most common. They will now cost more to repair. That means higher insurance rates. Even if the camera only adds $150 to the price of the car I'd rather keep the money and not have the camera. I apologize to all you people who think mechatronics and electronics are the greatest thing since Christ but... As a professional mechanic and engineer I've learned that more electronics means more trouble and more cost to repair. I can afford a high trim pickup truck but there's a reason that mine has crank windows and manual lockout hubs. My neighbor has put five window motors in the two windows on his 01 Silverado. I've never replaced a crank window regulator on any vehicle I've owned. The problems with electric stuff on vehicles is exacerbated here by road salt - especially the liquid kind. So here the government is mandating a part which the oems will add as cheaply as possible. They know it's crap so they will exclude it from all extended and limited warranties. Nanny states will make it part of inspection. Thus when your car is four years old the pos camera will break and you'll be forced to pay $500 to fix a backup camera you never wanted on a car you're still paying for. More Nanny state BS. The same stupid political agenda that wants to outlaw AR15s and 28oz Coca Colas for our own safety also want to make us pay for cameras we don't want.

dbell5
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Re: Rear Cameras
dbell5   8/14/2014 12:22:55 PM
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@GTOlover:

Sounds like the same arguments I heard regarding seat belts and later, air bags.

YOU may be an attentive driver, but not everyone is. I have been backed into at least twice, and presumably a rear camera would have helped prevent the incidents.

I have a rear facing camera on one car (Hyundai Elantra), and love it.

dbell5
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Re: Rear Cameras
dbell5   8/14/2014 12:24:11 PM
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@GTOlover:

Sounds like the same arguments I heard regarding seat belts and later, air bags.

YOU may be an attentive driver, but not everyone is. I have been backed into at least twice, and presumably a rear camera would have helped prevent the incidents.

I have a rear facing camera on one car (Hyundai Elantra), and love it.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Of all electronics innovations, this one should be Second.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   4/24/2014 11:22:22 AM
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When I purchased a 2013 model vehicle, and finally got to be an 'End-User' of all the electronic advancements I had helped to develop over the past 10 years, I was surprised to learn of the new regulatory mandate that 'Back-Up' cameras would be required for all new vehicles next year. Of all of the electronic innovations, I would have put hands-free BT phone link ahead of 'Back-Up' camera. It sure seems more pervasively "safe" as an initiative, overall.   (Oddly, my personal favorite is "Keyless Entry & Ignition"). Point being, turning in a 10 year-old car, you enter a Whole-New-World of convenience and comfort since the 2003 models.

NadineJ
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Re: Of all electronics innovations, this one should be Second.
NadineJ   4/24/2014 6:49:31 PM
Personally, I'm not a fan of keyless entry or back up cameras.  I can understand why they are popular but I don't understand why back up cameras are considered safer than higher standards for driving skills.

When looking over your shoulder, you can see most of what's behind you and anything on its way--such as distracted children, runaway shopping carts, the bicycle that just came around the corner, etc.  The camera only sees the immediate hazard--such as the dog lying in the driveway that hasn't been trained to avoid moving cars.

I don't agree with this mandate but it will definitely lead to more innovation.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Of all electronics innovations, this one should be Second.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   4/28/2014 10:39:03 AM
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I completely agree, Nadine. Nothing outweighs competency in driving.  Do not misunderstand and think I mean that back-up cameras are like piloting in reverse using IFR.  ON the contrary: I still rely +90% on my two side mirrors -- but the back-up screen in my Altima (which is wonderfully clear and un-distorted large 7" screen) -- is a great augmentation.  But, like I said, I never would have thought it very important, then saw how nice that augmentation is.  So to me, it's more a luxury. 

imagineer1000
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Re: Of all electronics innovations, this one should be Second.
imagineer1000   4/28/2014 5:24:44 PM
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I am in the process of installing a homebuilt backup camera on my old vehicle - it has too many blind spots and it's getting difficult to crane my neck to get a good view (not to mention it will have a high enough resolution to record plate #'s so I can report a-hole drivers with a record to back me up). 

That said,  regards mandating cameras in new vehicles I think vehicles are already unnecessarily complex.  But it should be available as an option for those who need it.  Sounds like demand is already making that reality. 

Personally, I would prefer simpler and more robust solutions - like designing vehicles with fewer blind spots to begin with, and testing people for good judgement in driving - e.g. in the case where you have a vehicle with large blind spots, walking around the vehicle before backing up - and yanking the licenses of those who don't exercise good judgement.  I have no data to prove it, but I suspect even taking the worst 1% of drivers off the road would result in a huge difference in accident and death rates and therefore everyday commute times.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Of all electronics innovations, this one should be Second.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   5/1/2014 9:44:45 AM
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Laughing about your comment to report A-hole drivers!  You must live in state where front-license plates are used. Also, you must be incorporating a recording capability to the images on this Hi-Res camera. But that would overly complicate things; to your point ...

Regarding improved screening for crappy drivers – Amen!  I want to lobby the State Troopers to begin ticketing for driving in the left lane. C'mon people its for passing!  Move over!

Greg M. Jung
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Ethernet
Greg M. Jung   4/24/2014 12:05:09 PM
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Incorporating Ethernet into future vehicles has have many benefits, but extensive testing and field trials will be needed to ensure that no unforseen or unintended effects would occur.  Automobiles are subjected to extreme environments (heat, cold, vibration, shock, e-fields, etc.) and any network connections must be robust enough to withstand abuse and not cause safety or significant risk hazards to any passengers over the life of the vehicle. As mentioned in the article, I would recommend it start out with only non-safety critical components like cameras.

Charles Murray
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Re: Ethernet
Charles Murray   4/24/2014 6:09:14 PM
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I agree, Greg. Ethernet will have benefits. The most recent figure I've seen about wiring bundles says that the average car has about 90 lbs worth of them. With more electronics technology coming in, Ethernet can only help reduce that number. I also agree with you about field tests. Software can be buggy and the only way to prevent problems is to spend a lot of time testing and re-testing. I, for one, wouldn't want to buy a new car that's using Ethernet for the first time. I always like to see a couple of years of field application to help iron out the wrinkles.

John
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weak crutch
John   4/25/2014 10:03:18 AM
Additional cost and now we are going to make bad drivers even worse and since they will never learn how to properly backup a vehicle.  I hope truck drivers will never need a camera looking down a 53 foot trailer.   

 

Weld_1
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Cash grab...
Weld_1   4/25/2014 10:18:47 AM
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NHTSA pushing an industry backed initiative to justify their existence and push the price of cars even higher, AWESOME!  If you believe the cost increase numbers they provide I have swamp land to sell you.  Maybe $130-$140 in raw component cost but cost to consumer will be much higher.  As engineers we have a responsibility to look at all long term effects of "innovative" new technologies.  Driver dependency on a 8" display screen to act as a visual perspective will create more adverse situations than it solves.  A full field of vision -and- judgment from a fixed display screen are mutually exclusive.  If you are looking at a display you probably aren't doing other things, like paying close attention to eveything else.  After the initiate takes set you might see a small decline in direct back over injuries and deaths but keep your eye on other categories like side impacts.  The average car price today is over $33k with government mandates driving that price higher and higher.  The average consumer wage has dropped steadily for the last decade.  

 

If we want to make a real impact the NHTSA should move the funding spent on these kind of stupid money driven initiates to study and eliminate deaths/injuries from drunk driving, falling asleep at the wheel, and hell, even death by deer impacts.

Reuven
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How the real world works
Reuven   4/25/2014 1:42:08 PM
I am amazed at the folks who think they can see everything from the driver's seat of a car.  Many tests have shown that an area on the ground right behind the car extending out for quite a few feet cannot be seen.  Kids, or other object in that area are easy targets when backing up.  No amount of turning and looking will see them.  A back up camera can be a real lifesaver.  However, I do agree that such a camera must be good enough to work properly.  I have had two cheap wireless back up cameras that quickly were not useful.  The pictures were of poor quality, and many times the signal was no good.  I have considered a new hard wired design, but I have not yet gotten one.  I did see what looked very good during a test drive of a Subaru several years ago.  My wife and I were very impressed.

I also saw an example of how visibility to the front can be a problem.  Once in a parking lot I saw a large, tall pickup truck with an electric shopping cart parked right against the front bumper.  The driver got in and tried to pull away with the cart jamed against the truck.  She could not see the cart, and the truck would not move.  

I also have a Toyota Matrix that has major visability problems.  When backing out of an agnled parking space it is impossible to see down the street to the right.  In front, thick A posts, and large poorly, placed rearview mirrors create giant blind spots.  I have trouble understanding how Toyota ever let such a poor design out the door of its factory.  When I bought the car the brightly lit dashboard caught so much of my attention I failed to notice the visibility problems.

As for those who complain about government control, do they advocate for the return of leaded gas? 

timbalionguy
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Just what we need
timbalionguy   4/25/2014 9:49:40 PM
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Just what we need, another mandate for another piece of expensive technology in a car. Although a backup camera is more innocous than many things that the government is mandating, the government thinks they can just keep adding and adding things to our cars. I'm sick of it. It is time we told the government to stop dictating to us how to do everything in our lives. Every task we as humans do carries with it a certain risk. There is no way to make life risk-free, yet the government belives that it is possible. In fact, some of the collision avoidance things being proposed will take control from the driver when they least need or expect it, killing even more people. If carmakers can't even get ignition switches and accelerator controls to work right, what makes government think they can get something as complex as a collision avoidance system to always work properly.

What ever happened to common sense? It was probably madated out of existence by our big brother government!

I'm keeping my existing vehicles as long as I can maintain it, or until it is mandated off the road ;)

far911
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Re: Just what we need
far911   4/26/2014 8:18:00 AM
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Yes this true that a system like this will avoid collisions subject to the driver to be in his senses, coz most of the casulties occur of neligence and human error so humans will continue 2 do that.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Just what we need
Nancy Golden   4/26/2014 10:50:15 PM
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If the government really wants to do some legislation that would have an immediate effect on vehicle safety and would cost NOTHING for car manufacturers to implement and therefore have zero effect on vehicle cost - they could - drum roll please...


Ban the use of cell phones and texting while driving!

William K.
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Re: Just what we need: RIGHT ON, Nancy G.
William K.   4/28/2014 7:57:44 PM
Taking away cell phones from all of those distracted drivers would certainly improve vehicle safety a whole lot. I know first hand, I was nailed by a cell-phone distracted driver while on the sidewalk quite a few years ago. The good news is that I have regained the use of my left arm almost completely.

No camera will provide any benefit if the driver is distracted and not looking at the screen. Our Grand Caravan has ultrasonic sensors that work well if they are not ignored. The bottom line is that the addition of any number of features will certainly enrich the pockets of the sellers of those features, but not increase the safety of those who don't pay attention to what they are doing. Putting it more bluntly, "You can't fix stupid". That was true years ago and it is certainly true today.

But really, taking away the cell phones has no chance of ever happening, even if it could be proven that they were killing a hundred babies every day. The cell phone lobby has way too much money for that to ever happen.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Just what we need: RIGHT ON, Nancy G.
Nancy Golden   4/29/2014 12:59:57 AM
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So sorry to hear about your injury, William and glad your recovery has gone fairly well. It looks like some folks have got the message - not sure how accurate this is and the date at the bottom is from 2009 but it looks like some places are understanding the payoff of texting lol while driving is not worth risking lives...

Countries that ban cell phones while driving

William K.
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Re: Just what we need: RIGHT ON, Nancy G.
William K.   4/29/2014 8:51:25 AM
Based on the texting that I do, which is usually while sitting someplace where I can concentrate on my message without any interruptions, texting while driving would be a bit more dangerous than drunk driving, because a drunk may be paying attention to the driving even though they are impaired, while a texter is not paying any attention.

But with the profits to be had from uncontrolled cell phone use we can expect the providers to oppose any limiting laws, since they would reduce profits.

Charles Murray
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Re: Just what we need: RIGHT ON, Nancy G.
Charles Murray   4/29/2014 7:18:03 PM
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Your comment about opposing those laws is right on target, William K. In January, 2012, the NTSB called for a flat-out ban on cell phone usage in cars. Talk radio stations in my area (Chicago) were flooded with angry calls from cell phone owners who were mad at the NTSB for suggesting such an idea. I agree with you that limiting laws will always face insurmountable obstacles...from many different directions.

Mydesign
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Re: Just what we need
Mydesign   4/28/2014 4:31:43 AM
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1 saves
"this true that a system like this will avoid collisions subject to the driver to be in his senses, coz most of the casualties occur of negligence and human error so humans will continue 2 do that."

Far911, you are right. All such systems can only warn or alert the drivers. Rest depends up on how the driver responding to such alerts.

Pubudu
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Re: Just what we need
Pubudu   4/30/2014 2:25:24 PM
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True Far911 But it is not acceptable to ignore all the negligent by saying human errors.  Of cause these will definitely increase the accuracy.  

William K.
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Re: Just what we need
William K.   4/30/2014 9:59:30 PM
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Pub, the problem with human errors is that they are concentrted primarily on a single portion of society. Those unthinkuing fools who should never be allowed to drive at all. Also on that newly developing group of folks who are unable and unwilling to focus thier attention on anything for any amount of time. The problem is that all of the expensive safety add-ons don't do any good in the hands of the stupid. A backup camera that is never watched is a waste of money, and one more item to fail. And of course they will fail.

The other fundamental flaw is the lack of understanding that the "safety" systems do not provide invincibility. The assumption that antilock brakes will stop a car on ice is one of them. It just means that you slide straight into something instead of having to steer out of a slide.

far911
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Re: Just what we need
far911   5/2/2014 12:44:28 AM
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Pubudu, accuracy will definitely increase and safety also. But still if we see we need guidance from the people along with these innovations

irishmuse
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Nice ... BUT ...
irishmuse   5/5/2014 12:47:49 PM
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This is great, BUT it is not just a $200 item mandated in the car, it one of many $200 and up devices mandated in a car.  All of this stuff should be OPTIONAL.  This is having the effect of increasing new car prices, keeping older vehicles in the fleet.

One message to take away. STOP MANDATING STUFF!

Hellmut Kohlsdorf
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The big trend
Hellmut Kohlsdorf   5/9/2014 3:52:38 PM
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I believe such mandates as presented here a just steps towards a future were cars will drive autonomously. I have been following this trend over the last 30 years. First it was evident, that to realize that a future with autonomously driving cars, electronic systems and sensors would have to be in place in the car in a way hard to believe that long ago. Later it became evident to me, that only that long term perspective, combined with intelligent roads and a new way to organize the traffic on them, would be able to reduce dramátically the energy consumption in vehicles. Now safety and the cost related to accidents and their consecuences is adding to this equation. We can also see this trend following the goals of driver assistance systems. I remember the disciussions around the automatic parking function in the cars of a german car manufacturer. I have heard about that autonomous driving of vehicles might first be seen at logistics centers. Trucks could start to move autonomously achieving a better flow of traffic in such centers and with less legal implicacions in terms of liability. Also a development in the legal system can be perceived. The famous story about the person drying the cat in the oven and what happened when that person switched to a microven and was not explicitly instructed no to place the cat in the oven to dry examplifies the need to develop the legal aspects involved. Finally there is the education of the drivers. I remember many saying they would never trust a car driving by itself or that driving the car themselves was important to them. In the days of smart phones, tablets and social networks and heavy traffic on the roads more and more drivers could well imagine to hand over the driving of a car to the car itself!

William K.
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Re: The big trend
William K.   5/10/2014 9:37:03 PM
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Hellmut, what you are describing is UTOPIA, which has been attempted many times, and each time it has failed. Consider that with an autonomus car there is nobody responsible in case of some kind of accident. Now that would attract a whole fleet of lawyers and the trial would be quite something. Besides that, none o9f the automated driverless cars would ever be able to handle exceptions, which makes them intrinsicly unsafe, since exceptions do happen in the real world. In addition the fact is that somebody must needs be responsible for what the car does, and that MUST be the driver, not some programmer unable to visualize anything like an exception.

So the autonomus car will only be suitable for use in the kingdom of utopia, a land that I would avoid visiting with all my effort.

Hellmut Kohlsdorf
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Re: The big trend
Hellmut Kohlsdorf   5/11/2014 5:40:25 AM
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Sorry William to contradict you! May be the USA will be the last to make it happen, but that is the problem for your industry! The work towards that goal is pretty advanced so far. But it is not just a technical roadmap, it is also a roadmap for the legal system! I remember the autonomous parking system, first introduced by BMW. The first step on the legal path was to force the participation of the driver achieving this way his involvement from a liability point of view. If you look into the advertising for the "Smart" vehicles, "Smart" being a car brand this is even advancing this more.

The example I gave for the autonomus truck driving within the area of a logistics center follows that same path. Being private property ground and the system being able to improve dramatically the efficiency of a logistic center gives the incentive to make it happen. Its a controlled environment. You in the USA are having quite a few initiatives to make the roas smart. All this works towards that future.

Here in Germany we have a huge need to advance towards this goal. Since the removal of the wall and the opening of eastern Europe, Truck traffic on German highways has exploded. Germany is in the heart of Europe and so its "Autobahns" are extremely heavily used. Combine the need to improve the traffic on our Autobahns with the goal to reduce energy consumption an CO2 generation leaves little choice!

If I see the cruisers keeping a constant distance towards the car in front, if I see the Mercedes and Volvo advertizing of its cars reacting on behalf of the driver to prevent an accident to happen at all, you see how technology and the legal system are maturing to one day achieve the today considered ultimate goal of autonomous driving cars!

Once this technogies are in use for quiet some time the experiences with it and with the legal implicacions adapt the legal system, the ultimate goal will be reached!

William K.
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Re: The big trend
William K.   5/11/2014 5:44:09 PM
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Hellmut, in Germany driving is a privalege, not a right, and the requirements for earning that privalege are fairly strict. Here in the USA, at least in this part of Michigan, the main requirement is that one has the money to pay for the license. So we have a fair portion of really bad drivers, those with poor judgement and no understanding of how things function. That makes the situation a bit different.

Also, while we have quite a few trucks, it is probably far fewer than you have. And while our present administration is attempting to create a "nanny state", many of us simply do not believe that the government knows best in many areas of life. So the whole concept of autonomous cars on public roadways is a really bad idea, simply because they will never be able to handle exceptions. Your description of trucks in a freight yard is an entirely different set of conditions that is far less likely to suffer from exceptions.

The real problem that will prevent the automated cars is that they will be so very slow that people will hate them. They will be programmed to follow every stupid whim of all the municiple governments of each city that they pass through, which will reduce traffic speeds by an amount that will frustrate everybody who has something better to do than to sit in slow traffic. So while the concept may sound like a good idea, the secondary and tertiary results will be a disaster, and the system will be abandoned, resulting in a large waste of resources.

Hellmut Kohlsdorf
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Re: The big trend
Hellmut Kohlsdorf   5/12/2014 2:04:00 AM
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Hi William, I believe the whole story starts by trying to overcome prejudices. Lobby groups are trying to impact public opinion by adding soft factors that end up influencing objective judgement of facts. So I will try to avoid this by sticking to technical facts.

That autonomous driving will lead to slow traffic is not in line with what we expect here in Germany based on studies of traffic flow. It is more likely, that traffic will speed up. As I sure you are aware of, we in Germany have a large portion of our highway system with no speed limit. Driving at 150 miles per hour is less stressy than for example driving at 55 mph on an US highway. This is due to vehicle technology and due to road conditions and due to experience of drivers for such traffic conditions.

The addition of autonomous driving cars is a process and not an over night event. Here an ad in English from Mercedes of their "pre brake safety system":

http://www.euroncap.com/rewards/mercedes_benz_pre_safe_brake.aspx

The system takes into account human limitations and extends safety by assissting and intervening. Its just a step of the process but it documents the trend!

In the USA you have special lanes, at least I have seen them in California, where i.e. cars with 2 or more person aboard have the right to move. Imagine such a lane for autonomous driving cars! In entertainment parks you can buy premium service to reduce or ebven eliminate waiting in the ques. Autonomous driving and therefor much faster traffic will probably start as premium offering and due to increased safety be enforced over time (insurance bills i.e.!)

 

William K.
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Re: The big trend
William K.   5/12/2014 7:36:15 AM
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I believe that you have just described the reason that autonomous cars will not work in the US,"This is due to vehicle technology and due to road conditions and due to experience of drivers for such traffic conditions." Germany is a country with a highway system that is in much better condition, and probably much better designed, and built with better materials. That does make a difference. Also the drivers are screened, and not everybody who shows up at the German license office gets a license. That also makes a big difference.

The concept of a separate lane for autonomous vehicles is quite reasonable, presently many cities do have lanes for multiple-occupancy vehicles, but in any case that is limited to some sections of the city areas only.

It would not be possible to have vehicles with widely separate speeds traveling on the same roadways here, since those who choose to drive slower than they should also choose to pick their lane seemingly at random. A vehicle traveling 50MPH moving into a 65MPH lane is already quite disruptive, if they moved into a lane with traffic going even 100MPH it would cause multiple problems. 

So until all cars were controlled by compatible systems there would be all kinds of exceptions happening. You are very fortunate that our poor drivers don't travel on the autobahn. WEv used to have a section of interstate highway that ran in a similar manner when it was first opened, but after just a few months it became so very crowded that higher speeds are impossible. In fact, after six months the traffic flow was already well beyond the anticipated future maximum level, and it is still rising. One more example of poorly thought out highway designs here.

99guspuppet
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To HK: The big trend
99guspuppet   5/17/2014 5:25:44 PM
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Hellmut   I very much like your posts .... Please keep commenting when you can ...

99guspuppet
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I hate mandates
99guspuppet   5/10/2014 12:34:31 AM
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I hate mandates and I hate this one....  Most of you guys sound like willing & cooperative slaves to big brother.  I am sorry i have to co-exist with slaves who adore their slavemasters.

 

99guspuppet

Hellmut Kohlsdorf
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Re: I hate mandates
Hellmut Kohlsdorf   5/11/2014 5:55:40 AM
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I hope I am understanding correctly what you write about 99guspuppet. Privacy rights and freedom are key issues for any democratic person! We in Europe are progressing in educating our goverments not to give in to USA behaviour of massive spying, of ignoring laws and of violating privacy rights. A goverment that officially declares that it will ignore any laws that conflict to USA interests, be they security or economic or technology oriented, erodes the value of laws in the world. The consequence is a Putin taking for himself the same rights the USA take for themselves! If you link this to the implication of freedom and of the rights of the individual privacy to what is starrting to happen in the IoT and in the cars internal cloud linked technologies, combined with the luck of awareness for the need to protect freedom and the rights of the individuum, enforced by the generation of the 68s and later, by cuurent young generation, I am afraid about the future and would fully share your statements.

If your statement is related to the implications of autonomous driving, the I have to contradict you! here In Germany was and partly still is the message: Free driving for free people. As a consequence in many portions of the Ger,man "Autobahn System" there is still no speed limit. As a result german cars were forced and could justify to implement most advanced technology into our cars, the reason we are one of the top contenders in the automotive industry.

Still so, commuting to work during rush hour every morning and evenning has very liitle to do with freedom on the highway. Would an autonomous car drive the vehicle to its destination while the driver reads the newspaper or works in his "office in the car" leads to a huge amount of productive work hours which helps to keep the business competitive. This is specially true, when the luck of young people forces the industry to make best use of its resources!

Bill21
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backup cameras have existed for a long time
Bill21   5/10/2014 4:02:45 PM
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Over the past 20 yrs, I have been fortunate to visit PacRim countries.  Years ago, all cars in Taiwan (and a few other countries) were equiped with back up cameras.  Trying to park is very difficult where land is optimized to its fullest.  At the time, I thought these cameras should be on all US cars to drive down the overall cost to each consumer (high volumes).  

Whether parking, making sure that a kid or adult or pet is not behind your car can be invaluable.  Many of the screens were not activated until backing up and the response time appeared to be real time not delayed.

Hopefully, US cars can use the current generation of cameras used overseas so several generations of product refinement can be avoided and the cost can quickly be reduced.  

Ratsky
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You all are missing one point!
Ratsky   5/20/2014 1:56:37 PM
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That is the complete ineptitude of the NHTSA to write a coherent, complete, and well-designed solution.  An an "insider" in the automotive industry (global, BTW) I am very familiar with many of the incomprehensible 500+ page documents issued by the NHTSA.  My favorite example is the one covering airbags, specifically the part about front passenger  air-bag disabling based on seat position and passenger weight.  Nowhere in the entire document (yes, well over 500 pages) are there any SPECIFICATIONS or even a section describing what the goal is: to have airbags NOT trigger if the front passenger is a child (under 50lb), or a very small adult, OR if the seat/back adjustments are such that the likelihood of the air bag causing more injury than it would prevent is high.  Instead, the only detailed requirements are for the acceptance test procedure.  This states the seat travel should be in the center of its range, the seat back in an upright position, and sandbags of different weights should be tested.  I know at least one MAJOR manufacturer (for ALL its brands) has designed to meet the test, and not the (unstated) intent of the regulation.  I own one of those cars; after a recall campaign thet did NOT fix the problem (at great expense to the  manufacturer), the NTHSA agreed that a second campaign was needed. NTHSA agreed that the second campaign would consist of a mass  mailing to all registered purchasers of the affected vehicles (MILLIONS) of a label to be attached to the front of the glove box stating that using the passenger seat in any position other than the "test case" configuration was likely to expose the passenger to serious injury!

The "second layer" to this general onion is the law of unintended consequences: Once a governmant mandate for a particular solution to a problem is made, it will act as an INHIBITOR to innovation!  Anyone who thinks the converse simply does not understand the way MOST governments work.  They hardly ever write performance standards, but are much more likely to (and be comfortable with) a prescribed solution that does not allow for innovation or even improvements.

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