Kizashi Club

Your Kizashi Owners Club and Forum 

Non-Suzuki related topics. Anything can go here.
 #43727  by KuroNekko
 Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:57 pm
I think the divide in perspective is a matter of what you think is the real risk. You are concerned about government mandates and faulty technology like the Takata airbags. Yes, both can cause unnecessary costs and risks. However, I commonly find that the greatest risk is the other driver. You can be the best driver in the world, but you still can't control all factors that result in accidents. In those cases, you're then dependent on technology and safety mechanisms to improve your chances of survival . While you are wary of airbags, I'm quite happy the Kizashi comes with eight of them. I'd rather deal with possible airbag injuries rather than external injuries or internal bleeding from the two other collisions that occur in a car crash which many people don't think about; the human collision and internal organ collision. Airbags greatly work to mitigate the two, reducing serious injuries. This is especially the case with head injuries and side-impact airbags.
Ironically, the Jeep Wrangler scores poorly in crash tests due to the optional approach with these. Consequently, models involved in side collisions without these have higher injury and fatality rates. The Wrangler is among the lowest scoring vehicles for safety and the lack of side impact airbags on some models is a huge factor in that. If you're ever in an accident, let's hope you're in the Kizashi instead of the "Heep" for your sake.

While there is certainly a risk to defective airbags like Takatas, it's not like they are all bad and pose a serious risk of acting like frag grenades. If it's any assurance, I have confirmed that the airbag manufacturer for the Kizashi is Continental.

Also, you're right about technology getting designed, programmed, and manufactured by humans and these pose risks of failure. Sure. However, I generally trust these engineers over the person who is going to pose the real risk to me as a driver; the inattentive driver. I'm really not going to worry about whether the engineer used the right materials in the airbags, whether the engineer properly programmed the traction control, or whether the technician installed the components properly. I'm far more concerned about whether the driver behind me on the freeway or driving across the intersection is scrolling through their phone while driving, drunk, or driving recklessly and headed straight into my vehicle. Faulty airbags and technology pose a statistically minor risk of injury or death to me. However, car accidents make the Top 3 leading causes of death for an American male at my age. One of the greatest defenses to that is technological advancements in automotive safety.
 #43732  by Ronzuki
 Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:18 pm
:) I really do enjoy these 'conversations' with you Kuro. Always well thought out and packed full of good factual information. I find it ironic when crashes occur are investigated yet we never really here the stats that they were caused by technology. A co-worker of my wife and her husband were nearly killed by a tweener that jumped a divided highway and crossed in front of them. Took the front of their Volvo clean off back to the firewall. According to them, their attorney was not able to subpoena this dipshit's cell phone records because "no one died". Let's face it, society really doesn't want to know the cold hard facts lest they lose the ability to feed their addiction whilst driving. Ignorance is bliss. Hell, I've seen more than one cop screwing around with their cell phones while driving. I know, they're special, they put their pants on differently than I do.

The Heep was bought for purpose, and to be used as needed. The fact that the Kiz is a damn safe car is a nice bonus, it's was not a priority in purchase decision. Priority was reliable, Japanese built, cost effective and a freaking hoot to drive. Today I drove the Heep to work. The weather is lousy and, as usual, the masses are driving like it was 70 and sunny. My irreplaceable Kiz is tucked safely away in the garage. The Heep can get banged up, so be it, they're a dime a dozen. I assume the other guy is always going to do something stupid for one reason or another and I drive accordingly. If I put myself in a situation where I need explosive devices in the vehicle to 'protect' me, I failed as a driver. Many years of 2-wheeled riding and safety courses has taught me that which mentality carries over to 4-wheel driving by default. You're constantly reading your surroundings and evaluating, looking for the least dangerous way to bail. Gee, I wonder why I gave up 2-wheeled riding along time ago?? Samurais were very, very dangerous to...they roll over all the time ya know. Half the size and weight of the heep ...crazy dangerous. I lived. In fact I experienced my first near crash with that first Samurai from a douche in Mercedes on a cell phone way back in the day. Never forget it. 2-lane left turn at aI light. I'm in the left of the 2 lanes and the douche was in the right we go left but instead of making a 90 left this guy keeps going and ends up nearly side swiping me as he kept turning into my lane because he was distracted while he was on the phone. Ah, the early days of the techno-induced crashes.

All I'm saying is that all this technology in use in vehicles, and on the roadways, and you cited it yourself as reason, are creating far to many bad situations that require yet more technology to combat the effects of technology. That Tesla crash video is mere proof of that. Whoever was (not) operating that Tesla, very likely using some distraction device (technology), was doing everything but paying attention to driving and relying on technology to do what he/she should have been doing on a public roadway. Now the technology in the Tesla auto-pilot or not call it what you want, failed as well creating another mess that didn't need to be.

One other clarification, I've been on more than one trip in which flight computers have landed planes with zero pilot input other than enabling it to do so. Good weather, no winds, nothing, nice and smooth. Of course this was only told to us mere passengers after the fact when the wheels were on the ground. I love it when I get to be a guinea pig for this trial and error crap. No one asked me if I was willing BTW. Admittedly, had they not come on the PA system and informed us, we never would have known. Once again, ignorance is bliss. Fine and dandy when it works. In reality, all this is going to do is further diminish the skills of pilots (the operators of the machines) and when the time comes to rely on the skills they should have in a bad, abnormal situation, they'll fail because they can't and everyone dies. Again, the use of technology creating the need for more technology to combat resulting use of technology. You think a flight computer w/ zero engine power could have split second made the decision to put that jet down on the Hudson and done so in one piece? There's some serious exception handling to deal with there. The tech will give up the ghost at that point, much like the tech in the Kiz gave up when I put the thing in, a self induced, really bad situation on the ice/snow. My money is on Sully, the guy w/ a million hours of actual hands-on flying experience in the machine he's commanding under his belt. That's the kind of guy who I want flying the planes I'm in. Everyone lived, and bonus, the plane was in one piece to act as a defacto life-raft. According to my boss, who's both a fixed-wing and rotary aircraft pilot as well as ground school instructor, it took unimaginable skill (and luck) to put that plane down on the water, with no power, w/o splitting it in two at the tail section.

Much like we're all seeing on roadways, yet don't want to acknowledge the fact, humans are slowly but surely losing the ability to operate a vehicle properly and safely. Watching people trying to simply back out of parking space half the time is humorous, yet painful to watch. So what do we do? Throw expensive tech at it instead of learning how to do something. If you can't parallel park, you don't belong in a vehicle. Stay home and play video games or watch Wall-e for a glimpse into the not-so-distant future. What's a drivers test going to be comprised of soon? I can pair my phone to the vehicle, dude, I'm good-to-go! Kids have already lost, or have never developed at all, the motor skills required to write legibly and sign their name due to technology. Asking them to do simple math in their heads is like asking them to crack one of Einstein's theories.
 #43743  by KuroNekko
 Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:26 pm
I share many of your sentiments and always admire the work and crafts of human skill. There is no doubt you always want skilled and competent people around. That being said, the statistics show that human error is commonly the factor that causes accidents and gets people killed. This is true even in commercial airline crashes. While the Hudson River incident shows the value in a pilot's skill, recent tragic events can go to argue the other side. Recall the recent German airliner that was deliberately crashed into the French Alps by the suicidal co-pilot who was able to lock out the pilot from the cabin. How about the mysterious Malaysian airline disappearance? The last we know about it indicates that the plane was deliberately taken off course by the pilots. No one survived those flights. Had computers been flying, one can argue the passengers would very likely still be alive. I think the same can be said of all the lives lost on 9/11 given each plane was hijacked and deliberately flown by trained terrorists. Now, I'm not advocating for the complete automation of all aircraft piloting, but simply saying there are huge pros to computer controls as well as human skill.

As for driving Jeeps, Samurais, and riding motorcycles, I can relate. I now ride a Suzuki SV650S and less than a year ago, took and passed a MSF course. Much of the course focused on the dangers and risks of riding a motorcycle and the main factor in that danger was other drivers. This is why statistically, intersections are the most dangerous road conditions. This however, goes to show why technology is probably a good thing. If it can help the vehicles of inattentive drivers detect and react to other vehicles automatically, it will make roads safer. This is of particular importance to motorcyclists who are harder to see and notice. If a car can slow and stop automatically by detecting a possible collision, I'd be very thankful of that.

I know a lot of enthusiasts don't like the "nanny" control systems in modern vehicles like Stability Control. However, again, the cold hard statistics prove these have greatly reduced crashes and fatalities. This is even among professional drivers like truck drivers. Compared to the past, you hardly see semis jack-knifing anymore. This is actually due to complicated stability control systems implemented in the semis. The same with passenger cars. Certainly, many people will attribute a "save" from a loss of traction to their driving skill, but in reality, the vehicle was taking control. It was doing things like automatically applying the brakes to certain wheels while modifying steering response. It was basically taking over to optimally control the car because short of a professional driver, most people don't actually know how to optimally control a vehicle in those situations.

Basically, the technology is working behind the scenes and saving tens of thousands of people from accidents everyday, but not getting the credit for it. It's like the silent, thankless operator.
However, when these systems are bypassed, you often see the result. Take a common occurrence at Cars and Coffee and other car meets for example. A man will disable the "nannies" and peel out from a stop while turning in a high power RWD vehicle with the intent of showing off. The end result is classically predictable. Here's a collection:

Basically, I'm all for training and human skill. However, short of dedicated people or professionals, most don't care. Also, it's simply a fact that things like distracted driving from smartphones will never go away. We are beyond the point of no return. The only plausible solution is technology to reduce and mitigate risks. It's much easier than asking stupid people to be responsible.
 #43763  by Ronzuki
 Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:50 pm
I to share many of your sentiments as well as disagree with many others. For instance, suicidal pilots are not a 'human error' instance. Those types of intentional acts are not human error. Human induced and deliberate, they could happen by simply disengaging or sabotaging the flight controls. TSC, ABS and even the rear-end crash mitigating features are solid uses of tech. The RWD heep won't go sideways, even a little, when I mash the gas rolling across black ice. Haven't really tried to see how far I can push it to find where its tech gives up trying .

My issues stem from the over-use of tech, tech relying on tech as foolproof as well as the lack of me, the consumer who's paying, having the choice of whether or not I want it. On the flip side of the solid tech in use in vehicles today, is the tech gives false sense of security. AT&T, just last week, had problems across the nation in many high-population areas connecting their cell users w/ the 911 system. That's a shame. Regular calls and text msgs were fine, no 911. AT&Ts stance, they apologized for any inconvenience...that was mighty big of them.

Driverless semis are already in use. Just saw a bit on the TV discussing the "future" of the industry showing a guy climbing into the back leaving the controls unattended. Scary proposition to have 80,000 lbs. rolling down the highway with the 'operator' taking a nap in the sleeper, or, no operator at all. There are too many truckers already naively relying on their GPS and Nav systems getting them into places they can't get out of. That same tech is part of the 'driverless' vehicle program is it not? Not to mention, there goes more low-skill non-degreed jobs.

And once again, thanks for the civilized conversation!
 #43767  by Woodie
 Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:38 am
Watched an episode of Air Disasters last night which fits in with this discussion. Story of Asiana Airlines 214 crashing a 777 at San Fransisco International in 2013. There were a lot of factors contributing to this f-up as there usually are, but the core foundation of the company was to let the plane fly itself. Both of the pilots had over 10.000 hours, but further investigation showed they had less than 100 hours of actually flying the plane themselves. They had been trained to sit there and watch it go. Well, something went wrong and they were inadequate to cope with the situation.
 #43769  by Ronzuki
 Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:15 pm
Was that "Why Planes Crash" on the weather channel? Was watching that myself.
 #43772  by KuroNekko
 Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:50 pm
Airline disasters are the epitome of media sensationalization. They're actually very rare, but when things go wrong, the media covers it in detail, exacerbating the fear of some about flying. In reality, airline flights (pilot and auto-pilot controlled) are very safe and statistically, you're more likely to die driving/riding in a car to or from the airport. It's much like the lotto. Whenever I go into 7-11 and see all the people buying tickets around the big Lotto, I always think to myself about the statistics; each one of these people are more likely to die in the next 5 minutes than win the Lotto. Nonetheless, the hope of winning, much like the fear of flying, is irrational. Skillful pilots, along with automated systems, and improved aircraft technology, have made commercial flight very safe.

As for suicidal pilots, yes, different issue than 'human error' but they exemplify the risk of letting people have absolute full control despite no justifiable or logical outcome. While these are rare, just like accidents, it shows the extremely rare but disastrous risk. Can you imagine if the flight computers disallowed the planes to fly into the twin towers and the Pentagon on 9/11, having detected the illogical flight patterns based on location? Contrast that with what's available now with even consumer drone technology. Some drones are equipped with sensors and GPS technology that can detect their location and obstacles around them, automatically preventing collisions with buildings. $1000 drones have this technology. Of course, there's been over 15 years of technological progression since and they are different applications, but I'm just saying that augmenting current systems with automated technology isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Also, when examining train disasters, the argument for automation gets even stronger. Most train accidents are caused by operator error. Examples from all over the world prove this.
Japan actually utilizes human train drivers for most rolling stock ranging from subways to the Shinkansen (bullet train). However, given their elevated risk for derailment from earthquakes, they also rely on automated systems that actually can detect the first warnings of a earthquake and automatically slow a bullet train to a stop.
Here's a show narrated by Richard Hammond on the system and it discusses how the system actually worked in the 2011 earthquake:
(The portion that discusses this system starts at 44:01)

As for low-skill, non-degreed jobs getting lost, I was thinking about this too as I don't want less employment. However, whenever I watch truck drivers who are stopped, you see them working in ways beyond just driving. They are the folks unloading the goods and delivering it to the store. I'm not sure how technology can replace them unless you have robots doing the delivery process in addition to self-driving trucks. I'm all for trucks that can "auto-pilot" safely on interstates so truckers can nap for a while. Sleep deprivation is a huge problem for them and risks everyone's safety. However, I'm still quite convinced we need these men and women for reasons beyond just driving as they are critical in the actual unloading/loading process in many instances.
 #43773  by Ronzuki
 Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:44 pm
Can't hardly earn an 'simple existence' living driving a delivery truck or working a forklift in a warehouse these days.

Already designed, built, programmed and commissioned live deck trailer unloading systems. 13-14 years ago. The trailers are automated. Driver opens his trailer doors and backs in to the dock as usual, then he plugs the trailer's two power and control cables into the wall receptacles outside the warehouse and hits the go button on the bldg. wall. Today the control cable would be eliminated (WFi) and power could/should be provided, for the integral conveyor chain, on-board the trailer at additional cost as well as adding an automatic overhead door to the trailer, again, at additional cost. This would completely eliminate the need of having the driver get out of the cab to do anything (such as not remembering to disconnect the cables before he takes off). Other wise, back then, everything else happens on its own. The extremely simple version: warehouse dock doors raises, dock leveler system engages the trailer and/or levels the trailer, pallets off-load into warehouse on the receiving conveyors, pallet loads are scanned (content) once fully past the door threshold, AGVs pick them up one pallet load at a time and delivers to AS/RS inventory. Once the full trailer load clears the threshold and the trailer controls report 'empty, the dock leveler disengages and the warehouse door closes. The all-clear light then tells driver to unhook cables and he's gone. Easy peezy right?. Of course, we have done our fair share of replacement trailer cable sales. Not convinced that whole episode was cost-effective for the end user at the end of the day. Tons of maintenance involved both inside the warehouse and on the trailers on the equipment. Too many variable factors cause problems. Biggest issue, irregular (size/shape) and/or damaged pallets. Automation requires consistency and repeatability to a great extent. No matter how many sensors you employ, how good they are, you think they are or the manufacturer claims they are and how well you think you've covered your bases, irregularities constantly happen that cause the automation to fault or fail. Exception handling becomes paramount in the process.

That's the problem with automated self guided or driving vehicles on the road. The roads suck, the laws governing the 'rules' of the road suck, the roads can and do change anytime/anywhere (the Tesla video). Reliable automation does not like random.
 #43774  by KuroNekko
 Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:36 pm
Getting back to the discussion about Teslas, a video recently popped up of a running Model 3 prototype.
Stylistically, I find it very attractive. I had doubts it would look as good as the Model S, but this is on par, I think. I like Tesla styling because it looks attractive without being over-styled.
While I still have my reservations about the reliability and quality control of the vehicle, I'm quite thrilled to see it become available soon to consumers.
 #43777  by Woodie
 Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:43 am
They're not really going to bring it out with that front end are they? I thought that was just not finished yet when they showed this car six months ago. I'm going to start a company making NASCAR style stickers that look like a grill and selling them to Model 3 owners. Almost a guaranteed sale to every one.