Sunday, January 16, 2011

Auto Industry lobbies to make your car even more undrivable along with taking all control away from responsible drivers....

When it comes to things like Automobiles and all other vehicles that you can drive, fly, pilot, navigate, etc., I am a big fan of keeping the technology limited to what works best for you as the person in charge. The Apollo Astronauts went to the Moon & Back with a small navigational computer and other technology that has data storage ability smaller than most cell phones....IT WORKED well for them.....why fix it if it ain't broken????

For example, SEAT BELTS are a good thing as they keep me safe - a REGULATOR that would limit the speed to some arbitrary limit set by someone else would NOT be a good thing. SAFETY GLASS in case of an accident is a good thing - COMPUTERS that control everything in the vehicle and have the ability to make the car undriveable until you pay some Geek to diagnose it at $100 p/hour is NOT a good idea.

The Feckless Bastards who decided that we needed to make cars overly complicated are at it again. First, they decided a while ago that we needed to have a computer control all the engine functions. This was foisted on us as "economizing" the car and providing better mileage....Now, when the computer doesn't like what it sees or if the car is running a little off, a RED LIGHT shows up on your dash...The sensor tells it to light that and you have to go to the service bay.

I tried once to get an inspection sticker - The guy who runs the machine said he couldn't give it to me as the "red light" on my dash would show up on the sticker machine and would automatically fail my car. I stated that the car was fine - no known issues - He replied that he said that is likely true BUT the computer can't be overridden - I asked what should I do?? Well, he could diagnose it for $100 an hour until he found the issue (NOT an option I wanted) - His other suggestion was to get some hi-test gas, add a few cans of carb cleaner to the tank, dive it around and if the light went out, come in for a sticker ASAP....

I took his advice and a day later, the light went out ! I hurried to the dealer, drove into the inspection bay and got my sticker. Yeah !! A day later, driving along when "BING", on goes the light again.....Are you kidding me ?? So an arbitrary sensor (which could be good , bad or indifferent) decides my ability to drive my car ??? THIS IS INSANE......

Now, the same arseholes have upped it one more - They want to install an "alcohol sensor system" in EVERY NEW CAR as standard equipment starting in the near future that will automatically sense whether it detects alcohol in your blood or in the air -

To Wit:
"Right now, she said, the sensors that detect alcohol levels in the air can be made to react within five seconds after a driver gets into the vehicle.

The touch-detection system currently takes 20 to 30 seconds to determine blood-alcohol content.

"But the next generation of solid-state electronics will bring it down a lot," she said

OK, so you are out with friends for dinner, someone spills a drink on you, your car detects the alcohol on your clothing and guess what??? YOU are not driving your car anywhere....THIS is INSANE as it presumes all drivers are drunks and treats us like CHILDREN who must seek permission to drive our cars, even when we are following all vehicle laws to the letter.....These people are out of control.

By the way, here's a little something for you PRIUS drivers....something Toyota didn't share with you when you bought the car. When you reach 100,000 miles, they will recommend you change out the batteries ( Ya know, the large battery pack that makes the car all green & stuff - even though the factories that produce those batteries create 10 times the pollution one regular car would create in the course of it's entire life, but I digress) - OK, so you need to replace the batteries - COST for this procedure ??? Approximately $4000....value of a seven year old Prius that has reached 100,000 miles and needs a battery pack? - $4000....WOW that's something, you will HAVE TO shell out $4000 or you will be unable to drive a $4000 way around it...And there you THOUGHT you had already paid for the car but you are their chump and you will have to keep right on paying for as long as you want to drive that green (not-so-green really) car.....Good Luck with that....not me...they can go pound sand.

Well, my solution to this is to drive my classic cars - I have a 1963 Jeep Universal and I am working on restoring a 1966 VW Beetle.....Neither is subject to emissions control and neither requires a computer....I'll drive the VW in the winter and the Jeep in the summer - I can fix both and as long as they have air, spark and Gasoline, they will run and go where I want to take them....Brilliant.

F&*k these idiots and their vision of a nanny-state that mucks up cars so much that you can barely drive it or have to keep paying into the coffers of the Auto Industry to drive something YOU ALREADY PAID FOR.....They have decided to find more way along with the FEDS to keep digging into your wallet....sorry, Classic Cars are a way around this stupidity and I am all for the Old Cars.....They were better built and will last a whole lot longer AND I am the only person who decides when to drive it...or how fast.

If I violate the law doing so, I am solely responsible for that action...No need of the Government to screw-it-up so law abiding citizens have to suffer for other's stupidity and limit our liberty based on the few that muck-it-up for the many.

Technology to Take Aim at Drunken Driving
Researchers want sensory device on all cars to measure blood-alcohol level.

Published: Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 11:28 p.m.

The technology developed in the past decade to sniff out terrorist bombs eventually may be used to combat another scourge: drunken drivers.

Researchers funded by auto manufacturers and federal safety regulators are working on sensory devices -- to be installed as standard equipment on all new vehicles -- that would keep a vehicle from starting if the driver has had too much to drink.

"We're five to seven years away from being able to integrate this into cars," said Robert Strassburger, vice president for safety for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group for the world's major auto companies.

The new technology would not require that the driver blow into a tube, like the interlock devices some states require after drunken-driving convictions. Instead, either a passive set of sensors permanently installed in the vehicles or touch-sensitive contact points on a key fob or starter button would immediately register the level of alcohol in the bloodstream.

Less clear is whether such technology -- which presumes that all drivers are potential drunks -- will antagonize some car buyers, and it's uncertain how much it would cost.

But that's a marketing problem for down the road.

Alcohol was a factor in 10,839 highway deaths in 2009. In the past two decades, it accounted for 268,442 deaths. And 10 percent of people in the United States recently admitted to being drunk behind the wheel in the past year.

Drunken driving "remains the leading cause of fatalities on America's roads, killing more than 10,000 people in 2009," said David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The "technology presents a new opportunity for us to dramatically lower drunk-driving deaths and has the potential to save literally thousands of lives every year."


Strassburger, whose group is part of the development task force, said the goal is to have an operating model in two years.

The objective is to produce a device that will react in less than a second and function without maintenance for a least 10 years or 157,000 miles.

"We haven't met our criteria yet, but we feel comfortable that we will," said Susan Ferguson, a longtime safety expert who is leading the research. "Speed, accuracy and precision are the three key criteria."

Right now, she said, the sensors that detect alcohol levels in the air can be made to react within five seconds after a driver gets into the vehicle.

The touch-detection system currently takes 20 to 30 seconds to determine blood-alcohol content.

"But the next generation of solid-state electronics will bring it down a lot," she said.

The sensors have proven accurate, but precision -- consistently repeatable accuracy -- needs to improve.

Strassburger said the cost per vehicle hasn't been established, "but obviously it has to be relatively low."

"It has to be in line with other safety systems," he said. "We want the public to understand the need and how they benefit."


The technology is a direct offshoot of the quantum advances in sensory detection since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The ability of machines to scan people, packages and luggage for tiny trace elements that would expose a terrorist threat has expanded exponentially.

"Now your typical explosive trace detection system is based on rapidly evaluating minuscule molecular substances," said Richard Bloom, an anti-terrorism expert who chairs the Aviation Security and Emergency Management Committee of the Transportation Research Board.

"If you can do that with explosives, you should be able to do that with any kind of detection, including alcohol and drugs."

Telltale devices that determine when someone has been drinking have been developed in the past decade and already are in widespread use. One celebrity, Lindsay Lohan, has worn a SCRAM bracelet, which measures blood-alcohol content every 30 minutes through a person's perspiration.

For the same type of technology to be used in cars, researchers want a response within one-third of a second.

The task force developing the system is a partnership between the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and NHTSA. The initial $10 million research grant, provided by NHTSA and carmakers, paid for the first two years of research.

Additional funding from Congress is being sought so the project can be continued for the final three years, making the critical leap to refine what works in the laboratory into something that functions consistently in a vehicle.

The new technology may collide with the desire of many people who want to have a drink or two without fear that they won't be able to drive home.

Already, the technological advances gained in the fight against terrorism have created an uproar by providing airport security with revealing full-body scanners.

1 comment:

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

If you drive a '66 Beetle as you winter car, you don't live in the Upper Midwest. BRRRRR!