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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:03 PM   #321
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's a nice idea (and I don't mean that snarkily or disingenuously) but even if a car runs "forever" (for our purposes) people are just generally not going to want to keep a car forever. They are gonna want a new car for new features (which no cannot be updated forever indefinitely) or just for general "I'm tired of this car and want a new one."

I mean honestly how many people really drive a car until it is literally beyond all hope of being repaired back to a drivable state now?
There is almost no such thing.

But I do think you're missing something. What about those people who can't afford a new car? You know, that sizable population that purchases vehicles with 100 to 250 thousand miles? The cost of replacing a battery for a Tesla model 3 at an authorized Tesla repair shop is 16K. That's too much.

A secondary market is essential for the success of EVs as well as the economy.

If I buy your Ford or Toyota with 100K, I might easily drive it for another 150K without a major repair. And you can sell it for $8,000 to $18,000. I'm not buying your model 3 for that price knowing I would be certainly spending another $16K in the very foreseeable future.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:10 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We're not talking about battery swaps as a mid-life repair/replacement, we're talking it being the defacto way of refueling a car.

Imagine if gasoline was only sold in sealed tanks and to refuel your car you had to swap out the gas tank.
Well, obviously the latter would be silly. The problem is that charging takes, even at best, a hundred times longer than just filling up a gas tak. But I basically agree: Battery swap instead of charging has many problems. Apart from the already mentioned, it requires a standardization of batteries that will hamper development of better batteries.

So the charging time will instead require people to change habits ( nearly as hard ). You will need to plan your trip, as if flying: How much fuel (=charge) do I need for this trip, when and where can I recharge, what can I do while the car charges?

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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:13 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
A side drift: Way back in the day my dad was a great fan of the two-stroke three cylinder SAAB. They advertised that the engine (which is valveless) had only seven moving parts, to which he replied, "Yes, six squirrels and a cat with a whip."
Well, it did sound like that.

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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:13 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The drivetrain of a typical ICE vehicle; engine, transmission, the whole smack, has about 2,000 moving parts.

An electric engine and drivetrain? About 20.

That pretty much tells you all you need to know.
Well, that assumes complexity is correlated with unreliability. Not necessarily.

Thinking back to the early 1970's, a BSA or Triumph motorcycle was stone-axe simple, and yet they tended to be notoriously unreliable. I remember when the Honda GoldWing came out, folks were bemoaning the complexity, with liquid cooling, multiple CV carbs, fuel pump, that sort of thing. Yet all that complexity still resulted in a very reliable motorcycle, some running 100,000+ miles, which was very unlikely on the more primitive offerings.

Since then I've never been prone to shy away from complexity for complexity's sake.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:16 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, obviously the latter would be silly. The problem is that charging takes, even at best, a hundred times longer than just filling up a gas tak. But I basically agree: Battery swap instead of charging has many problems. Apart from the already mentioned, it requires a standardization of batteries that will hamper development of better batteries.

So the charging time will instead require people to change habits ( nearly as hard ). You will need to plan your trip, as if flying: How much fuel (=charge) do I need for this trip, when and where can I recharge, what can I do while the car charges?
That's why the whole "I'll just hummingbird from charger to charger, topping off just enough to make it to the next charger" solution will not work. People aren't going to do the land based equivalent of a flight plane to visit their Auntie Ruth for Thanksgiving Dinner.

//BTW. Lest any pedants sniff out this thread yes I'm aware that technically you aren't "charging" an electric car battery in the same way you charge your cell phone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMxB7zA-e4Y
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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:17 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Even if all this is true, it was not likely true when my car was new in 2013. I look forward to a more reliable future, but I am speaking of the choices that have been available up to now. I don't think the tide has completely turned yet.

And, of course, even new that car cost under 13 thousand dollars. Granted, there's a complex relationship between cost and environmental responsibility, but at some point you have to try to figure out how many of these little boxes you could stock up on for the price of a single Tesla.

e.t.a. I think I misspoke. The original price on my 4 door hatchback with auto transmission was a little under 15k.
Well, the Tesla was never meant to be the economic solution. It was the fancy car that could make wealthy people fell good and imagine they cared for the environment.

What we need to look at is the bottom level car. I'm not sure it exists yet, but what would be the price of the cheapo EV? So far they seem to compare with middle level family vehicles, but wait till demand comes up.

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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:19 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If we do start seeing three, four, five hundred plus thousand mile car being the norm we probably won't make frames out of steel at that point.
I would expect composite plastics to take over in the not far future.

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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:21 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Well, that assumes complexity is correlated with unreliability. Not necessarily.

Thinking back to the early 1970's, a BSA or Triumph motorcycle was stone-axe simple, and yet they tended to be notoriously unreliable. I remember when the Honda GoldWing came out, folks were bemoaning the complexity, with liquid cooling, multiple CV carbs, fuel pump, that sort of thing. Yet all that complexity still resulted in a very reliable motorcycle, some running 100,000+ miles, which was very unlikely on the more primitive offerings.

Since then I've never been prone to shy away from complexity for complexity's sake.
Well yeah we traded away complexity when we got something else out of it, but rarely just "make it more complicated for complexity's sake."

A 2 stroke engine just isn't as good as a four stroke one, so the trade off in complexity is worth it. Back up cameras and automatic transmissions and sunroofs and heated buttocks massaging seats make cars more complicated but give us stuff in return.

But with 55,000 dollar Teslas approaching hypercar territory performance with better safety and better efficiency with a motor that's little more than glorified coil of wire induction motor isn't a problem.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:30 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Well, that assumes complexity is correlated with unreliability. Not necessarily.

Thinking back to the early 1970's, a BSA or Triumph motorcycle was stone-axe simple, and yet they tended to be notoriously unreliable. I remember when the Honda GoldWing came out, folks were bemoaning the complexity, with liquid cooling, multiple CV carbs, fuel pump, that sort of thing. Yet all that complexity still resulted in a very reliable motorcycle, some running 100,000+ miles, which was very unlikely on the more primitive offerings.

Since then I've never been prone to shy away from complexity for complexity's sake.
The GoldWings can go forever. Super reliable as are most Hondas. Not sure comparing it to Triumphs and a BSA is fair.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 12:34 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well yeah we traded away complexity when we got something else out of it, but rarely just "make it more complicated for complexity's sake."

A 2 stroke engine just isn't as good as a four stroke one, so the trade off in complexity is worth it. Back up cameras and automatic transmissions and sunroofs and heated buttocks massaging seats make cars more complicated but give us stuff in return.

But with 55,000 dollar Teslas approaching hypercar territory performance with better safety and better efficiency with a motor that's little more than glorified coil of wire induction motor isn't a problem.
Except the Tesla has all kinds of complexity. The drivetrain is the only simple thing about them. It's not exactly a modern Model T.

Also as a side note, 2 strokes are having a comeback. Check out Achates.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 01:23 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's why the whole "I'll just hummingbird from charger to charger, topping off just enough to make it to the next charger" solution will not work. People aren't going to do the land based equivalent of a flight plane to visit their Auntie Ruth for Thanksgiving Dinner.

//BTW. Lest any pedants sniff out this thread yes I'm aware that technically you aren't "charging" an electric car battery in the same way you charge your cell phone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMxB7zA-e4Y
Cool video. Thanks.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 02:37 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Except the Tesla has all kinds of complexity. The drivetrain is the only simple thing about them. It's not exactly a modern Model T.

Also as a side note, 2 strokes are having a comeback. Check out Achates.
I'd buy the hell out of a modern Model T: weighs nothing, tiny engine (gas mileage!), no stupid touchscreen controls...

The Achates concept is interesting, but I remain skeptical that fixed ports can be that efficient. I guess I'd better read their tech papers.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 03:36 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by Galaxie View Post
I'd buy the hell out of a modern Model T: weighs nothing, tiny engine (gas mileage!), no stupid touchscreen controls...
Many of the Model T's competitors were EVs. :-)
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Old 2nd March 2021, 03:50 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by Galaxie View Post
I'd buy the hell out of a modern Model T: weighs nothing, tiny engine (gas mileage!), no stupid touchscreen controls...

The Achates concept is interesting, but I remain skeptical that fixed ports can be that efficient. I guess I'd better read their tech papers.
I understand what you mean about the Model T.

As for Achates. It looks promising to me. Here's an Engineering geek explaining it.
https://youtu.be/UF5j1DvC954


They have integrated a 10.6 3 cylinder Achates engine in Peterbuilt commercial trucks and passed California emissions. They will be fleet testing it with Peterbilt this year. Achates claims as much as 40 percent efficiency improvements over the best ICEs today.

They are also working with the Army on their 14,3 3 cylinder Advanced Combat Engine and testing it in the Bradley Fighting Vehicle this year.

It will be interesting to see how it performs on the road. I'm optimistic that EVs will one day become dominant. Just not that confident it will happen soon.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 04:00 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Many of the Model T's competitors were EVs. :-)
This is true
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Old 2nd March 2021, 04:12 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Many of the Model T's competitors were EVs. :-)
Originally Posted by Galaxie View Post
This is true
They of course had the same problem. The battery and how to charge it.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 04:25 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by Galaxie View Post
I'd buy the hell out of a modern Model T: weighs nothing, tiny engine (gas mileage!), no stupid touchscreen controls...

The Achates concept is interesting, but I remain skeptical that fixed ports can be that efficient. I guess I'd better read their tech papers.
No crumple zones though. The car will survive a wreck, but they'll have to pressure wash your battered remains out of the cabin before handing it off to your next of kin.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 04:27 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
... The phrase "drive a car until the wheels fall off" is often used, but EV's may make that more possible. Keep driving it until the chassis is so worn and rusty that it no longer makes sense to keep swapping out failed components.
Well, I did that with my previous car. 20 years, 450,000 km. Chassis rust just wasn't worth re-repairing. (It did have one replacement engine in that time. Cost me two or three hundred quid secondhand and I fitted it myself. Okay I may not be entirely typical.)

There may well be a time when people do that with electric cars (they're already doing it with Prius's) though I get the impression the manufacturers really would rather discourage that stuff. All too easy to detect a non-officially-authorised hardware change and shut down in pique. Right to repair is quite political in the US so if the rest of us ever get the right to do it it'll likely be thanks to American consumer pressure.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 05:47 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
That's what has me wondering, what's to keep an EV from just running forever if you keep replacing worn out batteries every decade or so? Could be a real "ship of Theseus" situation, or at least for a longer period of time than a traditional ICE car.
So long as replacement batteries are available at reasonable cost, practically forever. The electric drive chain is so smooth and pollution free that a 20 year old car could be almost the same as new if quality materials are used and it's looked after. My Leaf was 8 years old when I bought it and people think it's a new car.

Originally Posted by crescent
Originally Posted by bruto
An electric would likely be approaching battery end of life, and with first cost as a factor, I doubt it could give better cost benefit ratio. That's likely to change in the near future, but so far, it's a hard sell.
Not even close. An electric with good thermal management (which is nearly all of htem) would have used less than half of its battery life. Perhaps substantially less than half.
An electric car that's 8 years old now probably is nearing the end of its life, because it will probably be a 1st generation Nissan Leaf. But more modern cars have better batteries. The electric car you buy today will probably last a lot longer.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 05:57 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So long as replacement batteries are available at reasonable cost, practically forever. The electric drive chain is so smooth and pollution free that a 20 year old car could be almost the same as new if quality materials are used and it's looked after. My Leaf was 8 years old when I bought it and people think it's a new car.

An electric car that's 8 years old now probably is nearing the end of its life, because it will probably be a 1st generation Nissan Leaf. But more modern cars have better batteries. The electric car you buy today will probably last a lot longer.
The battery is almost everything. It's the major piece of the puzzle. The interesting part of this is because of the limitations of the batteries, much of the work has gone into squeezing the most out every watt. The electric drivetrains are better than ever and will only get better.

If they could make a cheap battery that could store enough and charge fast enough we would see cheap EVs. Much cheaper than ICE vehicles.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 06:05 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, obviously the latter would be silly. The problem is that charging takes, even at best, a hundred times longer than just filling up a gas tank.
But when you look at the total time taken that's not actually true. I have often had to wait 10 minutes during busy periods just to get to the pump. At other times I had to make a special trip that was out of my way. Depending on where you live, driving to the gas station, filling up, paying for the gas, and driving back home again could take a considerable time (and you're burning gas to get there and back!).

With the electric car? Just plug it at night or in the morning when you get up - takes about 30 seconds. That's a minimum of 15 minutes of my time saved compared to going to a Gas station. Plus it's a lot nicer (man, do I hate the smell of gas now!).
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Old 2nd March 2021, 06:19 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
But when you look at the total time taken that's not actually true. I have often had to wait 10 minutes during busy periods just to get to the pump. At other times I had to make a special trip that was out of my way. Depending on where you live, driving to the gas station, filling up, paying for the gas, and driving back home again could take a considerable time (and you're burning gas to get there and back!).

With the electric car? Just plug it at night or in the morning when you get up - takes about 30 seconds. That's a minimum of 15 minutes of my time saved compared to going to a Gas station. Plus it's a lot nicer (man, do I hate the smell of gas now!).
But that's only true for home charging. Of course, if you can charge overnight enough to get you through the day, then everything is fine. If you have to stop partway through a trip for a charge it's more of a problem.

Which is why I think electrics at least for the present make much more sense as urban runabouts, buses, taxicabs, and the like.

I expect battery technology will continue to improve and like many other technologies will do so at an accelerating rate, but it's not quite good enough yet for everything.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 06:26 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
No crumple zones though. The car will survive a wreck, but they'll have to pressure wash your battered remains out of the cabin before handing it off to your next of kin.
Jalaponik ran an article about a week back asking for people to share things they disliked about modern cars.

About 90% was Boomers going "Waaaah! Waaah! All these safety features! I like it better when you just died!"
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Old 2nd March 2021, 06:33 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Your dad was good people.
I'm sure - but I've heard some lingering concern about one of his kids.

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Old 2nd March 2021, 06:48 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
No crumple zones though. The car will survive a wreck, but they'll have to pressure wash your battered remains out of the cabin before handing it off to your next of kin.
Why you gotta be so negative? Kidding, I almost brought that up in my post. "I'd buy the hell out of that...well, until I saw one crash."

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Jalaponik ran an article about a week back asking for people to share things they disliked about modern cars.

About 90% was Boomers going "Waaaah! Waaah! All these safety features! I like it better when you just died!"
I'm not even a boomer and I get annoyed by the lane-departure warnings and blind spot monitors. I'm not really looking forward to replacing my beater partly for that reason.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 07:37 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They of course had the same problem. The battery and how to charge it.
Actually, they had the advantage back then. Places to charge were easier to find than places to get gas.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 08:36 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
But that's only true for home charging. Of course, if you can charge overnight enough to get you through the day, then everything is fine. If you have to stop partway through a trip for a charge it's more of a problem.

Which is why I think electrics at least for the present make much more sense as urban runabouts, buses, taxicabs, and the like.

I expect battery technology will continue to improve and like many other technologies will do so at an accelerating rate, but it's not quite good enough yet for everything.
It's one of the Reasons my wife and I bought a Tesla Model Y. I'm currently using it for work, and I average about 80-120 miles a day. We have a fast (ish) home charger, which takes about 4-5 hours for a full charge if we drop it very low (under 20%).

It has enough charge to get to the Inlaws (Seattle - Portland) and we use a trickle charge there.

But Tesla has the Supercharge network. DC Fast charging across the nation that only Teslas can use. We know where they are, the car knows where they are, and if you pull in when you're very low, takes about 30 mins to get you to the next supercharger for long trips.

It helps to know the cars limitations, and I admit, it's the best damn car I've ever owned.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 12:21 AM   #348
Filippo Lippi
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

If they could make a cheap battery that could store enough and charge fast enough we would see cheap EVs. Much cheaper than ICE vehicles.
Robert Llewellyn on his Fully Charged Youtube channel (the thing that seeded my interest in EV's) is sure that we're already there. Batteries are close to $100 a Kwh, and you can buy an EV for under £10k in China, now. He is sure that it is legacy manufacturers inflating the cost of their EV's to protect sales of their ICE cars, because they can't transition the plants quickly enough.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 05:32 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Galaxie View Post
Why you gotta be so negative? Kidding, I almost brought that up in my post. "I'd buy the hell out of that...well, until I saw one crash."


I'm not even a boomer and I get annoyed by the lane-departure warnings and blind spot monitors. I'm not really looking forward to replacing my beater partly for that reason.
I'm glad for them--I think of all the times I almost wrecked (and one time I did) where features like that would likely have avoided incident altogether. Sure, a fresh, alert driver probably doesn't really need them... but how many people commuting to and from work are fresh and alert? How many are not as sharp as they think they are at the time?
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Old 3rd March 2021, 05:59 AM   #350
Fast Eddie B
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Originally Posted by Galaxie View Post

I'm not even a boomer and I get annoyed by the lane-departure warnings and blind spot monitors. I'm not really looking forward to replacing my beater partly for that reason.
I AM a boomer, vintage 1949, and while those systems do occasionally annoy, they are to me a net positive.

My car has fairly primitive assists: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and some sort of emergency braking function (I forget the acronym, something about collision mitigation). Around town, they don’t do a whole lot. But on road trips, I find that collectively they do noticeably reduce fatigue and make driving longer distances a more pleasurable experience. I look forward to our next car - a CyberTruck? - having even more driver assist features.

Last edited by Fast Eddie B; 3rd March 2021 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 06:48 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
I AM a boomer, vintage 1949, and while those systems do occasionally annoy, they are to me a net positive.

My car has fairly primitive assists: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and some sort of emergency braking function (I forget the acronym, something about collision mitigation. Around town, they donít do a whole lot. But on road trips, I find that collectively they do noticeably reduce fatigue and make driving longer distances a more pleasurable experience. I look forward to our next car - a CyberTruck? - having even more driver assist features.
I'm assuming this is because you don't have to concentrate so hard? I'm not convinced that systems that allow drivers to relax are a net benefit.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:15 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
I'm assuming this is because you don't have to concentrate so hard? I'm not convinced that systems that allow drivers to relax are a net benefit.
Not so much relax, but to better focus on other driving concerns.

Adaptive cruise control for example--I still have to remain aware of how close other cars are, but now I don't have to do it while constantly adjusting and monitoring my speed. That's a huge fatigue reducer right there, and arguably I've got MORE attention for spatial awareness, and less time looking at my dashboard to try to find a fixed speed that works for a while.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:16 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
I'm assuming this is because you don't have to concentrate so hard? I'm not convinced that systems that allow drivers to relax are a net benefit.
The last 12 months or so I've not driven very much at all but prior to that I did, by UK standards a fair amount of driving. For much of the first decade of the 2000's I was driving around 50,000 miles a year (I realise that by US standards this is nothing ), more recently 20-25,000.

Well over 80% of my driving was done on motorways (freeways), much of it when the traffic was pretty heavy. Driving in stop/start traffic when you're doing 80mph one minute and are stopped the next, constantly checking to see who is going to come at you next and from which direction is tiring. 8 hours of driving under those conditions were hard (especially because the driving was on top of the actual work I was doing). Any tools that make that less wearing are, IMO, likely to improve road safety by allowing drivers to concentrate the most important things.

On the other end of the scale for a couple of years I set off between 0300 and 0400 in order to beat the traffic for the drive up to see my Dad. Lane assist and cruise control would have been helpful on a number of occasions.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:23 AM   #354
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Drivers should not be lazy or distracted.

The penalty for them being lazy or distracted should not be them wrapped around a telephone pole or turning a pedestrian into a technicolor smear.

So safety features are still a net good.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:28 AM   #355
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"Stay in my lane or the car will scold me" still encourages alert driving, without being as stressful as "stay in my lane or I'll crash into somebody".
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:33 AM   #356
Fast Eddie B
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
I'm assuming this is because you don't have to concentrate so hard? I'm not convinced that systems that allow drivers to relax are a net benefit.
The last 3 posts do a good job of summarizing my position. Thanks.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 08:58 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
I'm assuming this is because you don't have to concentrate so hard? I'm not convinced that systems that allow drivers to relax are a net benefit.
I assume you have a ten inch tungsten spike mounted to your steering wheel to keep you alert while driving. That little pressure in the middle of your chest as you brake a little too hard is a great reminder of how important safe driving is.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:00 AM   #358
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That's why it's vitally important that you never tell your children to be quiet so you can concentrate on driving. Real drivers only drive manual cars with no traction control, no ABS, no seatbelts, no airbags, and with their trunks filled with nitroglycerin so they are always completely on while driving.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:09 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
No crumple zones though. The car will survive a wreck, but they'll have to pressure wash your battered remains out of the cabin before handing it off to your next of kin.
The not wanting to get speared by the steering column through the heart will insure they drive responsibly.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:13 AM   #360
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I'm all for safety features. I've never driven without seatbelts except in old cars that had none. I don't mind airbags though I'd just as soon skip them and wear a good belt. I certainly appreciate crush zones and door rails, better bumpers, dual brake systems, and that sort of thing.

But I'm not so sold on some of the other features. I've been utterly stuck on back roads when my traction control would not allow my tires to spin a little. I'd just as soon be rid of ABS too, and go back to knowing how to apply the brakes, which I've done with great success since 1965. I'd rather have good side view mirrors and a proper rear window than a bunch of buzzers and cameras and more electronics to go wrong.

I do use cruise control occasionally on long trips, just to ease the leg cramps, and do nowadays (reluctantly) have an automatic transmission, though that is only because since my 2012 cycling accident I can no longer drive very long distances myself, so need a car my wife is comfortable driving too. But for most purposes I'd just as soon ditch the cruise and go back to a stick shift.

Of course I know I'm an outlying old curmudgeon, but there it is. I still wish (vainly) that someone someday would design an electric economy hot rod with all that luxo crap left off. Bring back my 1985 Honda hatchback with an electric power train. No air, no traction control or abs, manual windows, big rear window you could see out of. Handled well, went fast enough, great gas mileage. If the camshaft had not snapped in half at 185 thousand miles I'd probably have it still (rust patches and all).
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