I have to harken back to the 1970's when this same agency had their last "deadman" idea. The bright idea at that time was to make it impossible for you to start an automobile if the seat were cccupied but the seat belts weren't fastened. I can remember being out on a business trip with my boss and having to have both of us lift our bottoms off the seat to trick the car into starting. That lasted until someone yanked the plug on that "brilliant" safety feature. It lasted one model year.
Can we ever be "safe enough"? Not to a "safety engineer". This is often brought upon us by greivng parents whose child was killed or maimed by a accident. I detest the adjective "tragic" or Tragedy because it is so over used as to be meaningless. These folks become crusaders, attach themselves to some mindless politician and get another bad law passed to keep the attorneys and cops busy. If our Legislators concentrated on the Economy, the loss of manufacturing industries and on jobs instead of these "feel good" laws we wouldn't be in the economic mess we're......even if we can't save every soul, there is a point where a line must be drawn.
I think it's a bad idea. I say that as both an auto enthusiast and former automotive engineer. It's kowtowing to the lawyers and the safety lobby. It's another reg that adds cost to the vehicle. Cost that the beancounters offset by sourcing more stuff from China or other LCC's.
I lump this idea in the same bucket as tire pressure monitoring. I call that bucket "trying to engineer away stupid." Besides, who came up with pushing both pedals? Pushing both pedals to the floor is only what brainless, completely inept operators do when they panic. Why not have a big red E-stop button in the car is you must. You know what preproduction prototypes and mules have to prevent such problesm? That's right, a big red emergency stop switch. It's obvious and it's universal.
This idea kills the cable throttle, although I'm not sure anybody uses one anymore. Personally, I think drive by wire is crap, especially with a manual trans. Of cours they don't build many manuals anymore because "American's don't want them" which is code for "we don't want to build them because they cost more to build and require a stronger driveline since they can't be torque managed as effectively" but that's another argument.
I do agree that there are some situations where you need to push both pedals although you probably wouldn't use WOT at the same time as the brake. Limited traction scenearios such as snow or mud come to mind. A trained driver may also use throttle and brake at the same time with a FWD car in an understeer condition.
Finally, and most important, what about burnouts? They need to include a way to disable this silly feature for burnouts. Or else maybe include a switch that would use the factory ABS pump as a line lock?
I think it's a mistake to overthink this, but engineers are great at doing just that. It may be an effort to ensure continued employment. Simply placing one's foot on the brake to flash the brake lights could be considered inelegantly simple, but it works and that's how it's done. You don't need an accelerometer to verify that the car actually is slowing down (preventing false light flashes) and volumes of code in the ECU. Just do it and be done with it. Simple.
Same way with the acceleration/brake override.
All the conversation about how the user is at fault reminds me of the IT gurus who say that unless the PC shows the same fault when they look at it, it never happened to you either. Sometimes you just can't replay all the pertinent details of the event to reproduce it; that doesn't mean it didn't happen, just that you don't know what all the variables were.
I'm sure someone could come up with some "elegant" solution that requires crossing your fingers when applying the brakes to kill the fuel supply, along with an onboard camera to detect the finger-crossing and 2 million lines of code to interpret the gesture. Sound better guys?
Chuck_IAG, On calling this "this whole controversy" "just plain dumb", I think you've missed the point many of us are making: We want the engine to function normally when the brake is pressed. That is what accomplishes the effects we are describing. It is all part of being a skilled driver rather than an unskilled one. You might benefit from reading and thinking through some of the described methods listed.
A shut-off for injector power that is triggered by the brake pedal would defeat all of these advanced driving methods.
Very well put, D.Sherman. There are numerous reasons to use the brake and throttle simultaneously (some were also mentioned by ChasChas and I have had more come to mind).
It just makes the auto makers "look good" in the media's eyes if they "do something" about their problems even if it forces us all to drive like feeble-minded, unskilled drivers. It also makes their attorneys happy.
Steering DOES NOT LOCK, unless you remove the Ingnition Key.
The Key removal activates the 100% mechanical spring loaded steering column lock - has been that way since 1966 !!!
On vehicles with automatic transmission it is further impossible to remove the key if the car is not in PARK - if it can be it is a DESIGN DEFECT and would have to be corrected under FMVSS.
On vehicles with a "STOP/START" button there are no clear rules as of yet how to stop EVERY vehicles in the same way.
No mater how many millions of line of CODE you examine there always is the random occurence that may be as rare as a win in lottery - but it CAN happen!
How many times in your life have you pressed this or that key on your computer key board, and the intended or expected event did not occur ?
In case of a car you are betting your and other persons life that such desired event will happen 100% of the time under all possible combinations of conditions....
The alternative is to LEARN how to drive and buy only vehicles where you as a driver have 100% control over the output buy you providing conscious and intended input.
The NHTSA basically took your master decision out of the loop and now you are only allowed to "suggest" to the vehicle what you would like it to do - i.e. drive by wire - and IF the vehicle decides to obey you, it might, if it does decide it knows better (ABS, ESC, etc.) then it will ultimately DO WHAT IT WANTS and will disregard your input.
This whole controversy is just plain dumb. A simple shut-off switch operated by the brake pedal to turn off power to the injectors would solve it- All the manufacturers would need to do is use the stop light switch on the brake pedal to power a relay that killed electricity to the injectors and fuel pump when activated- no more issues. Period. A $5 solution. What's all the fuss about?
I cannot beleve some of the posts on this site. Turning you car OFF will not lock the steering wheel the car must be in park for it to lock. Try it in you drive way someday start you car put it in drive and turn it off and see if you can lock the wheel. Make sure the brake is on at all times. As for driving with both feet which is a pet peeve of mine I think that would take a lot off drivers off the road itself. This is knee jerk reaction by the goverment and a very poor soultion at that. Fixing the problem and educatioing the public about what to do is whats needed.
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