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Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Mechanical Backup
Tim   11/30/2012 2:47:08 AM
NO RATINGS
I would hope that the automakers would take into account when the vehicle might run out of fuel which unfortunately occurs quite a lot.  At least with a vehicle with a current steering linkage, you can coast to the shoulder with some steering mobility.  It would be terrible if your wheels locked in their current orientation and you could not nudge your vehicle out of traffic.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Already accelerator disasters
Rigby5   11/30/2012 2:06:59 AM
NO RATINGS
We have already tried fly-by-wire accelerators and they have proven failures.  It is not just Toyota, but other cars as well that have accelerated far faster than the driver has wanted.  Less well publicized is the fact fly-by-wire gas pedals also have numerous complaints for low idle as well.  Cars simply are expensive or maintained well enough for these systems right now.  Maybe in 30 years when the cost of the technoloy comes down, but I doubt, because there will still be far too many people who can't afford proper maintenance.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mechanical Backup
Rob Spiegel   11/29/2012 11:02:36 PM
NO RATINGS
That's interesting, Chuck. If the redundant system is electronic, than it will have the same vulnerability if the electrical system goes out. I've experienced driving a car when the electricity goes out. The steering becomes more difficult, but you can still steer.

avedeen
User Rank
Iron
Enable drivers to "feel" the road?! Enhance driving?! Who are you kidding?
avedeen   11/29/2012 9:39:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Maybe it could serve to make the car lighter, or reduce costs, but statements such as "Enable drivers to feel" the road" or "Enhance driving" just don't make any sense! How can you disconnect the driver from the road and put him behind a simulated steering wheel and yet claim that this will help the driver feel the road? Doesn't this sound like pure marketing nonsense?

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Car makers shooting their foot again
Jack Rupert, PE   11/29/2012 9:35:02 PM
NO RATINGS
You've got a point there, Rigby5.  The thing with autos, rather than industrial vehicles is that test and maintenance practices will vary extremely widely.  Commercial vehicles and aircraft have mandatory inspections, etc.  The individual, on the other hand, might do only minimal inspection.  What happens when there is a control failure in traffic?  How do you safely get to a stop with no power?

mwlaursen
User Rank
Iron
That been done before.
mwlaursen   11/29/2012 8:15:01 PM
NO RATINGS
When I was in college, one the professors was working with Saginaw Steering Gear to put steer by wire on cars back in the early 90's. People wondered how it would all work.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Car makers shooting their foot again
Rigby5   11/29/2012 8:14:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Why is it car makers do not understand that buyers don't want to eliminate the mechanical systems.  They don't want the accelerator, steering, or brakes to be fly by wire.  If you actually told customers the truth, they would refuse to buy any of the cars with these systems.  Andt that is because we all know these systems are bound to fail eventually, so are unacceptible in a car. 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Steer by wire??? I don't think so.
William K.   11/29/2012 6:13:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Didn't Nissan also give us the one big button to both start the engine and to stop it? Or at least go along with those who started that fad? Since they demonstrated poor judgement by doing that, why should I believe that their drive by wire is any smarter? An electrically assisted power steering system would be different, and they have been around in various applications since around 1980, or thereabouts. 

Don't compare this idea with aircraft fly-by-wire systems because there is no comparison. The number one directive for aviation systems is safety, followed by longevity of service, also called reliability. The number one directive in the automotive industry is PROFIT from initial sales, and next is cheapness to manufacture. We all know that it is true, at least those with any automotive engineering experience. Aside from that, only qualified people are legally allowed to service aircraft, while anybody who can grasp a wrench is allowed to service cars.

In addition, as pointed out already, how can we expect that a cheapo electronic controller in an environment nastier than the navy salt spray test, will be more reliable than the present power steering systems. Ask your self: "When was the last time that you heard about a power steering system failing"? And when the do fail it is usually the loss of assistance rather than a loss of steering control. While that failure mode may make driving difficult for the weak and feeble, it is merely quite inconvenient for most of us. 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mechanical Backup
Charles Murray   11/29/2012 5:38:40 PM
NO RATINGS
When it comes to making it happen without a mechanical back-up, you can count me as one of those skeptical customers, ChasChas. Obviously, though, Nissan agrees with you, not me. Here's what they told me: "The mechanicals are there for driver confidence. In reality, it doesn't need to be there. But in the future, after consumer acceptance of this, the mechanicals could go away, saving us the extra weight." If I fully understood how the back-up system would work in the absence of the mechanicals, I might feel more confident. But they're not explaining that yet.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Cars are not planes and can't afford it
Rigby5   11/29/2012 5:15:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Fly by wire works fine in planes that cost hundreds of millions and could not have a mechanical backup even if they wanted to.

But cars will never be able to afford a safe fly by wire, and don't need it.

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