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Beth Stackpole
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High demand, but low utility?
Beth Stackpole   5/29/2012 7:31:23 AM
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There's no doubt that driver aid features like back-up cams and some of the newer innovations are in hot demand. But just because you provide a technological advantage doesn't mean the driver will take advantage of the capability and benefit from assistance or safety. I'm a perfect example: A back-up camera on my car didn't stop me from having a minor fender bender recently. And the other party had the nerve to cite my back-up cam as a reason why the accident shouldn't have happened in the first place. Really??? Human error will persist

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: High demand, but low utility?
tekochip   5/29/2012 8:24:11 AM
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You're right Beth.  I'll bet every car has that cutting edge device, turn signals, and how often do you see those used?

naperlou
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Re: High demand, but low utility?
naperlou   5/29/2012 9:08:28 AM
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It is amazing how many microprocessors there are in cars these days.  I was talking to an engineer and he pointed out that in many cases, instead of using a centralized processor and a sensor that a unit would be built with its own processor.  One seemingly simple example of this is the temperature sensor.  These generally have a small MCU to report the temperature.  The reason is tied into how the automotive industry works.  The automakers design the car and work with suppliers who provide the parts.  This is great for the MCU industry. 

As for the sensors that you don't use, I have seen that in many situations.  I think it was in this site that there have been articles about the automated highway.   There was a comment in one about how the automated vehicles actually stopped at the stop sign (a pet peeve of mine).  I have been in cars where the vehicle gave the operator mutliple ques about what was happening.  The drivers often become used to ignoring them.  Sort of like Beth, come to think of it.

Rob Spiegel
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The electrified car
Rob Spiegel   5/29/2012 1:24:16 PM
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I remember just a few years ago, analysts were amazed that electronics made up about 10 percent of a car's total cost, an estimate of about $2,000. By 2018, it sounds like that figure will have grown considerably in the percentage of a car's cost as well as total amount. 

If the car is safer, and if the car lasts longer, these costs will be worthwhile. Only time will tell whether the added costs pay off in value.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: High demand, but low utility?
Beth Stackpole   5/29/2012 2:00:10 PM
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@Naperlou: Multiple cues from the car--well, that's harder to ignore than a back-up cam that always makes things appear further away than they actually are. Ok, that's my excuse!

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: The electrified car
NadineJ   5/29/2012 4:23:23 PM
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Good point Rob.  Are there any stats on what the new devices will add to the car's total cost?

To Beth and naperlou's point, how often will these extras be used?  If they're offered as an option and too pricey, consumers may choose to opt out.  Turn signlas and seat belts are mandatory, back-up cameras and parking sensors are not.

I still lament the loss of actual driving skills but I learned to drive in San Francisco in a '68 Mustang.

Charles Murray
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Re: High demand, but low utility?
Charles Murray   5/29/2012 7:50:02 PM
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Beth: I suspect, but cannot prove, that auto engineers see a lot of these features as pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle. So you might never use them, but the autonomous vehicle will use them. Lanekeeping and collision avoidance, for example, might one day just take over for you, whether you want them to or not.

Charles Murray
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Re: The electrified car
Charles Murray   5/29/2012 7:51:19 PM
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I think the content figure has already reached about 40%, Rob.

Charles Murray
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Re: The electrified car
Charles Murray   5/29/2012 7:55:10 PM
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Nadine, I think it's safe to say that the costs will be absorbed by virtually all automotive consumers, because many of these features will be offered in bundles, whether you ask for them or not. Breaking out the cost of a single feature is unfortunately difficult.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: High demand, but low utility?
Beth Stackpole   5/30/2012 8:07:17 AM
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That makes sense. Laying the groundwork now and refining the designs as they become a standard part of the car's BOM. I imagine what we see now in terms of driver aid systems will be nothing compared to what we see in the future.

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