A red rag to the motoring lobby

fastpedaller
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby fastpedaller » 1 Apr 2019, 7:46pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:I'm astonished at the emergency override function just in case some twit speeds up while over taking. If that happens then one should abort the manoeuvre and pull back in, and not fling themselves head first ever faster and faster into danger.

In any case, if lorry drivers are owt to go by most motorists will simply drive on the stops anyway, making overtaking impossible. Ditto joining the motorway - they're restricted to 70, you're restricted to 70, so wheres the difficulty matching speed? The AA should stick to what they do best - leaving motorists stranded at the roadside for 8 hours at a time.


There may be a situation where I'd prefer someone who had already started to overtake me to be able to complete the manouver by going faster if the alternative is to drive into the side of me!

kwackers
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby kwackers » 1 Apr 2019, 8:55pm

fastpedaller wrote:There may be a situation where I'd prefer someone who had already started to overtake me to be able to complete the manouver by going faster if the alternative is to drive into the side of me!

Many years ago I remember some idiot deciding to overtake me on a country lane as I approached a blind right hander (resplendent with double whites).

As they pulled out and started to pass, with my being on the left I saw the approaching car before they did, I braked to drop back and let them in.
A split second later they also saw the car, slammed on and the approaching car also slammed on.
End result, three stationary cars. Two nose to nose and me alongside the fool.

Experience generally suggests that when people decide to overtake they'll continue trying right up to the point of no return, but it's not a given.
The real problem is that they tried to overtake in the first place.

Perhaps speed limited cars would actually prevent that since they'd no longer have the misguided faith in their car to complete the manoeuvre.

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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby Bmblbzzz » 1 Apr 2019, 9:50pm

It's not going to come in suddenly. It's only on new vehicles, so for a good few years most people won't notice much difference. That will give people time to adjust -- just like we've adjusted to all the other creeping automatisation which people complain about in the abstract but hardly notice 99% of the time in practice.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 2 Apr 2019, 7:46am

fastpedaller wrote:
Lance Dopestrong wrote:I'm astonished at the emergency override function just in case some twit speeds up while over taking. If that happens then one should abort the manoeuvre and pull back in, and not fling themselves head first ever faster and faster into danger.

In any case, if lorry drivers are owt to go by most motorists will simply drive on the stops anyway, making overtaking impossible. Ditto joining the motorway - they're restricted to 70, you're restricted to 70, so wheres the difficulty matching speed? The AA should stick to what they do best - leaving motorists stranded at the roadside for 8 hours at a time.


There may be a situation where I'd prefer someone who had already started to overtake me to be able to complete the manouver by going faster if the alternative is to drive into the side of me!


If someone has functioning brakes they should use them and pull back into safety. People should be taught to overtake correctly, and how to abort correctly. Captain Overtake going ever faster towards oncoming danger is a very bad thing indeed for you trapped on the inside when he has a head on, because you're going to join that party.

When there's a deranged gunman/rabid pitbull on the loose/gas cannister on fire (select your favourite scenario) we don't avoid the danger by running faster towards it. Motoring isn't any different.

Speed limited commercial vehicles have for decades proven that an extra squirt of juice is simply not required. There is no case for it, either physical or statistical.
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rfryer
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby rfryer » 2 Apr 2019, 8:33am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:
fastpedaller wrote:
Lance Dopestrong wrote:I'm astonished at the emergency override function just in case some twit speeds up while over taking. If that happens then one should abort the manoeuvre and pull back in, and not fling themselves head first ever faster and faster into danger.

In any case, if lorry drivers are owt to go by most motorists will simply drive on the stops anyway, making overtaking impossible. Ditto joining the motorway - they're restricted to 70, you're restricted to 70, so wheres the difficulty matching speed? The AA should stick to what they do best - leaving motorists stranded at the roadside for 8 hours at a time.


There may be a situation where I'd prefer someone who had already started to overtake me to be able to complete the manouver by going faster if the alternative is to drive into the side of me!


If someone has functioning brakes they should use them and pull back into safety. People should be taught to overtake correctly, and how to abort correctly. Captain Overtake going ever faster towards oncoming danger is a very bad thing indeed for you trapped on the inside when he has a head on, because you're going to join that party.

As the overtaker, accelerating is the outcome where you are least reliant on how the other parties react. If you slow down, and the car next to you (not unreasonably) does the same, then you're stuck facing the oncoming traffic, and have no more options.

I'm not arguing that it's clever to get yourself into this position, quite the opposite. But once there, accelerating out may be the most certain escape. It is unlikely that either the oncoming car, or the car on your left, will accelerate and reduce your overtaking space.

I was thinking about this the other week, when in the position of the oncoming car. I was happily allowing my autonomous cruise control (Nissan Leaf) to steer me down the centre of my lane on a long, straight A road in good visibility, when a nutter coming the other way decided it was a good time to overtake. I decided it was a good time to stand on the brakes, take back the steering, and dive to the extreme left of the lane to give him space to get past. It reminded me that autonomous driving features are still just driver aids, not systems that can take over responsibility for car control.

Although I find the utopia of fully self driving cars attractive, I do worry that they will be vulnerable to unpredictable human actions while they share the road with older technology. Maybe that's something to tolerate for the greater good, but maybe it will be enough to prevent uptake of the me tech. Once there have been a few "motorist killed by stupid self-driving car" stories, will people want to buy one?

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mjr
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby mjr » 2 Apr 2019, 9:32am

rfryer wrote:As the overtaker, accelerating is the outcome where you are least reliant on how the other parties react. If you slow down, and the car next to you (not unreasonably) does the same, then you're stuck facing the oncoming traffic, and have no more options.

Only if the car next to you brakes as hard, which is unlikely.

Whereas if you accelerate because you misjudged a gap, then you reduce the time gap further and if you've misjudged it again, then you've added loads more kinetic energy to the situation and potentially killed everyone. Most of the time, accelerating further is the wrong move.

It is unlikely that either the oncoming car, or the car on your left, will accelerate and reduce your overtaking space.

Really? In my experience, people often accelerate while being overtaken. I think they see being overtaken by my little hot hatch (which has a powerful turbo engine because I use it to move heavy things) as a threat to their ego. I am surprised if that's not an even more common reaction to being overtaken by a Leaf.
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pwa
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby pwa » 2 Apr 2019, 9:41am

People will get used to the idea of having a ceiling to their speed, and they will look for the brake pedal to get them out of the doodah. If a limit to the speed a vehicle can do causes any deaths, I am sure they will be greatly outnumbered by the deaths avoided. I can't wait.

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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby kwackers » 2 Apr 2019, 9:53am

rfryer wrote:Although I find the utopia of fully self driving cars attractive, I do worry that they will be vulnerable to unpredictable human actions while they share the road with older technology. Maybe that's something to tolerate for the greater good, but maybe it will be enough to prevent uptake of the me tech. Once there have been a few "motorist killed by stupid self-driving car" stories, will people want to buy one?

By the time there are any substantial numbers of self driving cars on the road most of the 'old stock' will have been replaced with semi-automatic stuff like this.

In that respect it's eminently sensible and something I've mentioned before on various auto-driving threads.
Long before automatic cars become a thing the tech will have cut its teeth on driving aids for normal cars. Anti collision, auto braking, speed limiting, lane keeping, hazard warning.
They're all bits of the jigsaw that will eventually become fully auto and their existence will allow fully auto cars to integrate well.

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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Apr 2019, 10:25am

The marketing people want to sell cars and the more the better. I doubt they are bothered whether cars are eventually driverless or require two drivers each, so long as more are sold. Not only more, but with as much "added value" - expensive kit - as possible.

Traditionally, the motor trade has depended heavily on style as well as advances in technology.

To some vehicle users, driverless must be very attractive. I'm thinking here of commercial fleet operators. The jobs of some HGV drivers must be very vulnerable. Car marketing is largely about status. While there's huge prestige in owning a huge prestige motor, nobody with that sort of money wants to be stuck in a car obliged to stick to speed limits with the hoi-poloi doing as they please.

There will come a time when vehicles with the driverless capability are in the majority, even though they will generally continue to have drivers. This will be a lot sooner than some seem to think. The commercial pressure then to get older cars out of the road will be immense.

pwa
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby pwa » 2 Apr 2019, 11:29am

Some people use the term "the motoring lobby" to mean anyone who is sometimes a motorist and wants their motoring time to be easier in one way or another. Others (including me) confine the term to motoring focused journalists and those with a profession or passion related to motoring, who really like it. Yesterday I found myself in a tiny situation that made me think about that.

I was driving, and waiting at traffic lights with four other cars in front. It was going to be an uphill start. The lights changed to green and my hand went towards the handbrake, but the car at the very front had stalled. On the back of the car was one of those plates that indicates a newly qualified driver. Naturally I felt regret that I was going to miss getting through on that turn, but my overwhelming reaction was empathy for the driver at the front, probably stressed. The car second in the queue was a Maserati and the driver of that car beeped his horn! He changed lanes and nipped around the side, engine roaring to vent his impatience and contempt. I don't know, but imagine, that the other two drivers in the queue, like me, felt sympathy for the driver of the stalled car and contempt for the Maserati driver.

How does this relate to this topic? Well, Maserati drivers and those who with more dosh would like to be Maserati drivers will be unlikely to welcome a mechanical limit to their speed, but I believe most of us behind the wheel would welcome that if it means we have an electronic friend helping us to avoid points on our licences, keeping us in line when we don't see a speed limit sign behind a bush, and making us comply when we lose concentration. Most of us who drive do so mainly as a chore, not because we love it, and we don't have some daft notion of speed being freedom or any of that rubbish. A car incapable of speeding would actually be more practical.

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Cugel
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Re: A red rag to the motoring lobby

Postby Cugel » 2 Apr 2019, 1:45pm

We just bought a hybrid car - electric motors + a petrol engine. (All-electric still seem too expensive and immature, as is the infrstructure for charging them). Our journeys are generally quite short and so the car can be used 95% of the time in electric motor-only mode.

But the technological arrangements of this car induce various effects on the driver......

The point of getting this car is largely to avoid polluting the place with fumes/CO2 whilst cutting the cost of motive power. We run it on solar-power generated electricity from our house roof. It becomes an objective to avoid use of the petrol engine except to keep it maintained and working (a tiny amount). This requires conservation of the battery charge as the nominal range is but 30 miles on a full charge.

It's a clever car in many ways, one of which is to use the electric motor to not only drive the wheels but (in reverse, as it were) as a charger for the battery. When going downhill, paddles either side of the steering wheel allow one to increase or decrease the drag of the motor on the wheels and thereby the amount of electricity fed back into the battery. It's like a variable compression ratio engine-brake in a car but with a much wider range of user-selectable braking effects.

This electric motor-drag is therefore also the brake most of the time. I only need to brake with the brake-pads to fully stop. To slow, one merely selects the right motor-drag amount - usually to maintain or reduce a downhill speed; or in anticipation of a corner or other hazard. The key word is "anticipation".

To get the most out this sytem - to conserve and implement the battery charge for more miles per watt-hour - one must drive carefully and with a lot more anticipation than that required only for safety. The result is a driving style that is not only un-vroomy but very frugal. In addition, this style naturally enhances safety because it tends to reduce overall speed, increase awareness of the road ahead and otherwise induce what are often described as "advanced" driving habits.

****
This particular car also comes in variants that have front radar linked to a warning and to the brakes, for preventing tail-gating, rear shunts and hitting pedestrians. There's also stuff for warning if you go over the road white-line guides; and some other semi-auto facilities. We decided not to buy those facilities as they seem to suggest the possibility, for a lazy or careless driver, of leaving such things to the car. I'd rather the tailgating, rear-shunting, pedestrian-squashing and so forth were risks for me to avoid, as this is a serioiusly-regarded fear for me and tends to make me drive very carefully.

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