« Footage from MetNo Day | Main | From the Archives: Bicycle Week 1921 »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

my parents volvo has this and the rear radar to see blind spots.

I've tested it and it does not seem to detect pedestrians and bicycles very well. Very good with walls and other cars.

Volvo has next-gen system to detect large animals at angles, might work with bikes.

Current design and safety trends of reducing the car's greenhouse (and reducing visibility) is making the problem worse.

I see this as part of the long trend of NTSB doing everything it can to make cars safer for OCCUPANTS but not for anyone else, and gives bad drivers less incentive to get out of their cars.

Also gives bad drivers less incentive to become better drivers. Why should I bother trying not to kill anyone when my car takes care of me?

DE: thats kinda my point. We made all sorts of safety improvements for drivers, which (a) removed incentives to drive safer (b) and some actually made it worse for others.

The NSTB mindset comes from industrial engineering. Most processes are worker and machine acting on an object, so the engineers try to avoid things like cutting off your hand. But in driving there is a third factor: outsiders. Those seem to be forgotten or minimized in US car safety.

In Europe, they balance occupant safety with other things like fuel economy and pedestrian safety. For a comparison: the European SMART car and similar vehicles could not get approved in the USA until a lot of extra crash protection was added, which greatly increased the weight. So a US SMART car is going to be harder to stop, and has more energy when it hits you.

Actually has a fairly cheap and easy solution. Low cost transmitter that announces its location to nearby vehicles. Pedestrians, pets and cyclists ( just to give it the pecking order that the car makers probably have in mind ) all wear one. Probably going to be the long term solution for making driverless cars aware of none vehicles too.

"NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications" - Funny, accelerating braking technology.

The outcome will be that when the transmitter fails it will be the victim's own faults if run over. A high tech version of "I didn't see them." Technology is great, when it works. And it works right up until is doesn't. What's your failsafe plan?

All this new technology sounds great on paper. But just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Many of these proposed systems rely on an awful lot of complex technology that can fooled. People will likely just die in different ways.

The laws prescribing liability need to developed as well. Otherwise it is just lots more ways for the perpetrators of death to escape consequences.

I am for an evolution of technology to protect all users. A failsafe braking systems sounds like a good idea as long as it protects ALL road users, not just drivers. It needs to be well tested to a set of standards before deployment. I fear drivers will drive in a more aggressive manner assuming the braking system will save them. And when it fails to work the driver will say its not my fault, the car should have stopped me.

I'm more optimistic and have more faith in NHTSA. I think this technology is 50% likely to be a gain for cyclists 40% to be a wash and 10% to be a small loss.

SJE, figured we were on about the same page but thought the point was subtly made and needed a hammer.

There's a commercial for some car manufacturer now where a woman spills her coffee so forgets to drive and the car brakes for her so she doesn't hit the car in front of her. She is relieved that her child in the back seat is okay. And I think that's a dangerous focus. When we were taught to drive, we were taught that if you spill something, drop something--no matter what--you pay attention to your driving because a drink is just a drink but wrecking your car could be your life.

So I think automatic braking will help safety-wise, but I don't like the idea that we are just going to let technology take care of everything for us and we don't have to do anything ourselves. Down that road and we're just going to find new and different ways to kill each other.

Hey DE, sorry

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader