How beneficial are the high tech systems on cars in the long run?


#1

This crash indicates how a professional pilot and the rest of the crew apparently couldn’t recognize and take over control of the plan when the computer was unable to plot a good glide path

http://news.yahoo.com/asiana-crash-pilots-knew-speed-low-hesitated-003915316--finance.html

I will insist on remaining in charge of whatever vehicle I am drivimg.


#2

Consumer electronics is moving much faster than commercial or government technology. From bleeding edge to obsolete can be anywhere from three to seven years in the consumer world so that could be tough if you’re like me and keep your cars 15 plus years.

This is a new area. The new technologies have to potential to make us safer, but at the same time cause us to be distracted from the job at hand. In the long run, it will be the consumer that will decide, the manufacturers will always bend to the will of the consumer, unless a government regulator steps in.


#3

Many in the air transport industry are really concerned that pilots are losing their flying skills with this technology. Take a look at anyone’s handwriting in these days of computer keyboards and texting thumbs. Pretty poor. Since most drivers have only just barely been able to control their cars well within the friction limits anyway, the driver’s aids like ABS/ESC/ESP/DTC ect just save drivers once they’ve exceeded their own skill envelope. Once self-driving cars come into common use, people won’t be able to use a car without it. There are HUGE issue with this. If your computer shows a blue screen, you aren’t likely to die. If your car locks up on the highway or your airplane computer fails on landing, you must rely on your own skills to keep from going Tango Uniform. The Design Failure Mode Analysis is critical and very difficult for these systems. I.e. Now HOW can this fail and WHAT happens if it does?


#4

As far as automotive tech is concerned ;
Every ‘‘old’’ used ‘‘high tech’’ vehicle seems to be a money pit especially since those electronics are quickly obsolete and unavailable as new replacement parts. Their malfunctions become un-diagnosable as the diag machines and software also become obsolete and unsupported.

A non tech old car is still rebuildable and useable 50 years after production.
These high teck toys are junk and unuseable in ten years. There will never be a classic 2013 Lincoln MKZ with active park assist, nav system, memory, etc, and other electronic toys. It will be a dead un-repairable hunk of circuit boards on wheels while I continue to drive and enjoy my 79.


#5

This has been a concern in the Airline industry for sometime now. Pilots are becoming to reliant on the automatic systems they are forgetting how to fly a plane. I don’t blame the technology as much as I blame the system that is allowing this to happen.

The new technologies have to potential to make us safer

The problem with these systems…is yes they have the potential…but getting there is a problem. I don’t think you can properly test a system like this. There are just too many variables. So they implement these systems with a Pilot to oversee it. But when the Pilot is just the overseer he/she is NOT keeping up with their skills. I assume that piloting is one of those skills you need to keep sharp. The more you pilot the plane the better your skills.


#6

Electronics have reached into the interior of motors where we never thought possible, making them more efficient and more durable. But, just like allowing kids in school too much easy access to technology somehow, like pilots, stiffles thier ability to think. When we ocean sail, dead recogning as a back up for gps is now replaced…by another gps with a smaller sceen. The inconvenience is, you have to squint more if the main one breaks down.


#7

The story I heard is the pilot did not realize autopilot was turned off coupled with a malfunction in the landing gear. Cars are now a disposable commodity, rather than a repairable commodity in my view. Wish I had not gotten rid of my 71 nova in 1991, that was a car that could live into perpetuity, cars now adays need expensive parts with expensive tools, and a computer science degree almost to think about doing repairs 20 years from now.


#8

That Sullenburger video is probably worn out by now but the first time that I saw it I was amazed that the man was able to hold that planes nose up and find a glide path with no power. He was making decisions based on best judgement of a totally unfamiliar situation and was successful in flying “by the seat of his pants.” We can imagine what might have happened if a less experienced and less cool under pressure pilot had been in the cockpit.


#9

Not all technology is good as not all motion is forward.

Often technology reduces ones skills.


#10

I’m all in favor of technology that makes cars cleaner, faster, handle better, stop better. But technologies that reduce driver attention and involvement, like lane control, automatic braking, ‘intelligent’ cruise control, are potentially dangerous. The new Benz S550 can steer for you over several seconds, maintaining the car in lane by using twin cameras. It’s already being called the ‘texter option’. VERY bad idea, IMHO.


#11

I was watching Modern Marvels, or another show like it a few years ago that was about modern airliners. They interviewed an avionics engineer from Airbus who stated that “Sometime in the future, he forsaw an airliner cockpit with two souls in it. A pilot to monitor the computer, and a dog to bite his hand if that pilot tries to touch the controls.” He also stated that a pilotless airliner was totally feasible. The only problem with that is going to be convincing passengers to board an aircraft with no one in the cockpit.

For myself, no frickin’ way.

Flying is not an innate ability. It’s a fine skill that needs to be practised and honed. The problem is that airlines want the pilots to use the automation because it reduces chances for error, and is more economical. But then you have problems like this, where the pilot is so used to letting the plane land itself that when forced to do it by hand, he simply can’t get it done.


#12

I agree with the sentiment that these systems are taking a lot of thought out of operating complex machinery. But it’s hard to say that for most people that this is a bad thing. The plane crash that’s mentioned is one problem out of how many flights where there’s been no problem? It may be that although this was made an example of, that overall the technology is correcting a lot of mistakes that mediocre pilots make. And in the case of stability control, mistakes that mediocre drivers are making.

You could take the whole argument a little further and say that tech such as ground fault interrupters, polarized plugs, etc. are keeping a lot of people alive that would normally remove themselves from the gene pool, and that humanity is becoming stupider over time with safety features working against natural selection. Unfortunately I can’t really argue with that.


#13

I’m personally very uncomfortable with high tech systems that make driving decisions for me, but think high tech systems that control engine operation are highly beneficial.


#14

Electronics can be very good and they can be very bad. The very bad comes into play when they begin to fail and it costs an arm and a leg to fix them. There are a lot of electronic systems on vehicles today that are nearly worth their weight in gold. Some…are worthless even as they are being installed.


#15

The problem with Asiana and other Korean airline companies is that who you know gets you the job and not whether you are qualified to fly. Training would have avoided this tragedy, and US flag airlines offer plenty of it. And most of the US airline pilots had and in many cases continue to have military flight training through reserves and Air National Guard.


#16

It takes a particular type of training. The American crash in Arkansas several years ago had one of the most senior AA pilots at the controls. He overestimated his ability to handle the situation and ignored multiple warning signs. The junior officer was afraid to question his commands, like with Asiana.

Part o


#17

Autopilots may have their place, but what happens when both engines flame out due to bird ingestion? Like the flight Sullenberger saved on the Hudson. Only human skill, experience, and judgment saved that plane. Even the air traffic controller wanted him to turn around and try to land, but he made the right judgment call that landing in the river was the best option. What autopilot will do that?

As for autopilots in cars, same thing. What’s the autopilot going to do when a tire blows out, or a semi overturns in front of you?

IMO, the best use of technology is to make cars safer and easier to handle in panic situations. Airbags have saved a lot of lives, and possibly stability control systems. Now if there was only a technology that prevented drivers from tailgating…


#18

I doubt that there will ever be a computer with common sense. And with it all manner of unforeseen situations can be dealt with. Without it you will find yourself listening to “re-calculating” as you ???


#19

Let’s even assume we’re 10 years from now, and automated systems reduced fatalities by, say, 5,000 people per year, BUT about 5,000 of the remaining fatalities could be blamed on bad computer ‘decisions’. Would you folks want that?


#20

Based on what I have heard from several news sources, and news sources have a history of getting it wrong, is that the Asiana pilot in training was getting checked out for the Boing 777. He knew the autopilot was off, he turned it off himself, but he did not know that by turning off the auto-pilot, he also turned off auto-throttle. There was a reference that the Boing 777 system was different from the Airbus system.

So that brings up another discussion. The new technologies work according to the person designing them and there is no standardization in how they operate or are controlled. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, you could get into just about any car and find all the controls blindfolded. They were practically the same in every car.

Now, whether low tech or high tech, when you go from one car to another, nothing is in the same place or works the same except the basic operation of the turn signals and the brakes. I drive three vehicles on a regular basis and God help me if I ever have to hit the horn to warn another driver because the horn is different on all three vehicles. One has buttons next to the airbag, one you have to find the sweet spots near the outer edge of the airbag at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions, and the third you have to hit the airbag dead center.

The windshield wipers are different on all three too. On one, the stalk goes down, one it goes up and on the third, you twist the stalk.

But standardization can stifle progress. There should be some happy medium here.