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  • SlowAndo
    replied
    Yeah, the one benefit of being so behind on climate change and smog control is that the rest of the civilized world is working out the kinks in how to force citizens to pollute less and we can just copy the best methods.

    Originally posted by aranach View Post
    Back in 2013, the FAA advised pilots to turn off their autopilot during low workload times, because too much autopilot was dulling their skills in hand flying advanced aircraft. I wonder if Tesla owners even know about that guidance, much less follow it.
    I'm conflicted on this. It's tough to draw a line. Do people with automated parking systems lose their skill at parking? Without a doubt. Even without any parking assists of any kind my 90 and parallel parking skills need some polish, but I drive a matchbox car so I don't really worry about it (excuse). Is there a skill to lose when using adaptive cruise control? I would say yes, you forget how to look ahead/behind and judge the speeds of other cars around you to properly choose a lane position and driving speed. How about ABS? It's a pretty robust system that hardly ever malfunctions or fails. How many average drivers can threshold brake a 5500 lb SUV? Do they need to be able to?

    But yeah, I agree on things like "maintaining appropriate lane position" and "making smooth corners" Those are going to be use it or lose it skills. Frankly I think that's the biggest issue with motoring today. Your average motorist in the US forgets that driving is a skill that needs to be maintained. It's just a given for most. It's like walking, you don't really think about it you just go through the motions. Scary stuff.

    Originally posted by aranach View Post
    Oh, it's been fun, civil conversation, too. Thanks. Often hard to find on the internet.
    I try not to consider this forum as the internet as I'm bound to run into folks here out in the real world, possibly as soon as Sunday!

    I could talk about this forever, but it's all a giant off topic with extra tangents on the side.

    What we're actually discussing (for anyone who got lost) is Volkswagen's announcement that their next gen engines are the last that they are going to put R&D into. It's a logical choice and I'm sure most manufacturers are making similar decisions, but VW is the first to go public about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • aranach
    replied
    If it makes you feel any better, I had similar reactions to graphics cards that were differentiated by a single trace (wire) years ago. After getting to know the why of it, and that it wasn't simple greed, I got more comfortable. It still sits wrong with me from a sense of community, that somebody would hobble something and sell it cheaper when they could just sell the unhobbled one at that price. It just isn't how the costs and sales together work out, unfortunately, and it actually appears to bring either the price down or quality up on the lower tier stuff when it's done this way. But it does feel artificial.

    For some reason I flinch more at the gas engines than you do. I'm sure BMW has everything under control in terms of acceptable warranty claim rates. I guess I like to own my cars for a while, though, while the typical person BMW is selling to probably isn't keeping it beyond the warranty, so maybe that safety margin vs. performance factor would be important to me. I think current electrics are probably overbuilt for the batteries, as they're warrantied a long time and too many issues would poison a brand name in this new area.

    On the collision avoidance stuff I'm not sure either. I think it requires autopilot as well, but I'm not sure. I'm also torn on having such a nanny in the first place. Back in 2013, the FAA advised pilots to turn off their autopilot during low workload times, because too much autopilot was dulling their skills in hand flying advanced aircraft. I wonder if Tesla owners even know about that guidance, much less follow it.

    Ownership is probably changing, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I already commute by bus because commuting sucks and the bus is cheaper in my circumstances, even with a car that mostly sits. If I could own a share of a race car without nannies, be able to summon a self driving car a few times a day, not maintain a seldom used vehicle, and not pay any more than I currently am (ha!) I'd probably take that deal. Oh, and going back to one of your earlier examples relating to ownership, cutting output by 50% during bad air quality, we could play a different would you rather. Drive every other day with free transit on off days, like Paris actually did a few years back, or cut power to achieve 50% emissions? Violate your absolute sense of ownership but keep driving, or violate your privilege to drive but keep the hands off the car? Paris didn't have the option, but if I had a bad transit commute or needed to move largish things, I'd have been upset to be a Parisian during that episode.

    Oh, it's been fun, civil conversation, too. Thanks. Often hard to find on the internet.

    Leave a comment:


  • SlowAndo
    replied
    Agreed, there is nothing better about a mechanically differentiated performance model. The identical car, different output thing is just new to me and new is scary. I'm sure I'll adjust eventually.

    I really like your point about the economics of wear and tear of a performance model. You tell me that BMW has the same turbo I6 with a ~200HP discrepancy across the range and I don't even flinch. Obviously the higher output versions are more expensive to run and have smaller safety factors to squeeze more performance out of them. This is nothing new and performance EVs follow the same rules. This helps me wrap my head around this better.

    What I really struggle with is when safety is on the line. I'll have to research to get my facts straight (it can be really tough to separate the BS from the truth when it comes to Tesla) but I recall reading that collision avoidance was not active on cars not optioned with the autopilot package despite having all the required sensors. Again, I don't know if that's true or not but that sort of thing would bug me much more than the performance flip-switch. Gotta do my homework before painting with a broad stroke.

    Also agreed, dieselgate IS an outlier for this discussion, but it hit close to home as I'd never felt so powerless over a vehicle that I supposedly fully own. "Ownership" is going to become a pretty flexible term in the next decade.

    @engifineer: Now that your post is visible... I'm glad someone can relate. The FDA would crucify companies that attempted to squeak "risk mitigation" like that past them. (Hell, even the trademark "Autopilot" and the intended use are at odds) It's a fine line to walk between speed of development and proper regulation but I think we're definitely too relaxed right now. The big issue is regulation can't even be written fast enough to cover the new technologies cropping up.

    Leave a comment:


  • aranach
    replied
    Flipping switches to take things away is a bit of an issue and will likely have to be navigated very carefully. But VW screwed up big time and have a liability to compensate owners for having to reduce power to meet standards. It's also something of an exceptional case, where the company was doing rather bad things under established law, and while it sucks, I hardly think it's representative of the norm. I mean, how long have cars had ECUs and boost maps and all that fun stuff, but not had manufacturers just update things and take stuff away?

    I don't know if Tesla unlocks the full battery potential during disasters, or if at all on top range cars, but they seem to dip into the reserve to some degree on the lower range cars. The battery packs are actually different between the cars, at least in the Model S and X. For example, the current offerings, where a 100D has a 100 kWh battery and the 75D has a 75 kWh battery. That's the big difference for the ranges. That Tesla is willing to bump the lower capacity ranges up in a disaster is rather nice, given that an 8 year battery warranty is a long time. Though I'd be curious to know what percentage of Teslas have ever used the extended disaster range. My guess is that it's quite low, making it a great PR stunt and not much else.

    Another thing is that even if the P100D and 100D are essentially the same car despite the P100D being 1.6 seconds faster to 60, that price can't be just pure profit. Batteries also don't like discharging close to their maximum tolerances. By allowing such heavy pulls in the P100D, Tesla is gambling a bit on battery longevity. The bet is probably sound, that most people don't do 2.5 second 0-60 runs all that often, even if they can. But unless Tesla is building the 100 kWh batteries way better than they'd need to in order to have acceptable warranty claims on the 100D, there will be some increase in claims for the P100D that has to come out of that extra cost. And even if they pick the best batteries for the P100D, if you can flip the switch on a 100D to make it a P100D, that doesn't solve the issue on those cars. If there aren't any issues, they've probably overbuilt the batteries.

    I also guess I just don't see the problem with flip a switch and there's more power for you. Assuming Tesla could profitably make a mechanically different P100D and 100D and charged the same prices as the current cars for each, why would you want that? If you get the lower end model and you decide you really want that power later, say you find a bit of change under your couch, in that situation you have to sell your car and buy a different one. Or rip out a bunch of stuff and replace it. How is that better? How is buying all the performance to start any different in the two scenarios?

    Leave a comment:


  • the tick
    replied
    Originally posted by engifineer View Post
    So apparently my posts are randomly being flagged as spam now
    Got that for ya.

    Leave a comment:


  • SlowAndo
    replied
    Hey Aranach/Johnathan, thanks for the response. I guess I should clarify, my examples make perfect sense to me but still don't sit right with me despite the logic. Good discussion either way.

    There's plenty of other companies doing crazy things like over-the-air updates but Tesla seems to be adopting the future faster than everyone else. Things like redirecting vent air with a touch screen to simplify the interior. That's cool, I like simple visual design, but is it the best way?

    The whole build one model and differentiate from there isn't all that different from ICEs (e.g. as of 2018 the base 500 has the exact same drivetrain as the Abarth 500; adding 5 to the number on the back of a BMW; Cooper S vs John Cooper Works; etc). But at least with ICE cars there were typically some other physical changes that needed to be made to support the performance increase outside of "pay the cash and flip the switch". It's just different and different is scary.

    When dieselgate hit I stopped taking my TDI to the dealership (warranty also ran out in a similar timeframe =d ) I didn't like the idea that the performance and cost of ownership I paid for could be taken away at the push of a button. Soon these types of updates will just happen in our garage while we sleep. "There's an air quality warning today, your vehicle's output is temporarily limited to 50%, thanks for your understanding!" Hard pass.

    I didn't realize that Tesla was unlocking FULL battery potential, I thought they were just unlocking all the cheaper cars to be a level playing field. That's cool, but also risky like you mentioned. Good PR stunt either way.

    I totally agree about Autopilot and driver assist features in general. I've driven with a few people with more advanced cars and they tend to be less attentive than drivers with limited safety features. People don't check blind spots, don't look around their vehicle or behind them when backing up, drift about their lane until their vehicle tells them "that's enough", the list goes on. I recently heard some stat along the lines of 20%-30% of all Tesla miles were driven by Autopilot. Yikes!

    I also agree with Wallawallaman RE: "Smartphone with Wheels". I've been casually car shopping lately and compared to my stupid wanna-be-Ferrari clown car everything is just so boring and soulless.

    Fingers crossed that Toyota announces a new MR2 next year and saves us from the future.

    Leave a comment:


  • engifineer
    replied
    So apparently my posts are randomly being flagged as spam now

    Leave a comment:


  • engifineer
    replied
    Originally posted by aranach View Post

    There are perfectly good reasons for these behaviors that aren't evil.

    The first bit, same performance, paid unlock, is due to the benefits of economies of scale. Tesla knows not everybody is going to (or even can) pay the premium for more performance, but they make more money on those that do. If you had to pay top price to get all the performance potential, they'd sell fewer cars. If they sold the same higher performance at the lower price, they'd lose a ton of money from the people that are currently paying the higher price. Likewise, it would cost them more to produce two actually different tiers of performance by complicating their production lines, making their inventory less flexible, and so on. So if you like that some people can get more performance, that they can move as many cars as they can and not lose a whole lot more money than they have already, then unlocked performance at additional cost is the answer that makes both work.

    Unlocking range on Teslas in a disaster is at least a good marketing play, since they don't want people injured due to lack of range in their car and don't want to induce anxiety range that prevents sales. But at the same time, Lithium Ion batteries really don't like being fully discharged. Or deeply discharged. So the more charge the battery has when you recharge it, the less wear it places on the battery and the longer it will hold an acceptable charge. Tesla doubtlessly keeps some spare charge in the batteries on even its longest range models in order to keep the batteries working longer. That they can and will unlock this during a disaster, at the potential expense of degrading the battery and pushing wear to the side of needing to perform warranty service, is a good thing.

    I'm not a Tesla fanboy, either. Their auto-pilot scares the crap out of me, because it's basically training people to not pay attention and then killing them when it has to hand control back over to the driver, because the driver is at best distracted. They hide behind the fact that they tell people in the manual that they have to be as alert as if they were actually driving the car, but this is both near impossible from a psychological perspective and removes any benefit of the feature, because if you have to be that alert you could just drive.
    The autopilot thing is also what irks me. According to what I know and have read, they claim they warn buyers that they should always be watching and monitoring when in autopilot as you mention. So you have an "autopilot" system yet tell people not to trust it through the owners manual. That will not go well for them in the future. We laugh when we talk about this around my circles of work in med device development. Key, absolute requirement number 1 is that you cannot mitigate risks with the instructions for use (Aka owners manual). That should be a universally understood principal in any product development and I wish it was mandated in the same way it is in medical. The days of trying to CYA with "well it says that in the manual" should be over and done when it comes to such safety critical systems as this.

    I am not against Tesla and praise their pushing of the tech envelope, but I they need a bit more of a regulatory check and balance based upon what I have seen.

    Leave a comment:


  • aranach
    replied
    Originally posted by SlowAndo View Post
    The whole Telsa thing with shipping every car with the same mechanical performance and asking the customer if they would like to unlock it for an additional cost turns my stomach. That and over the air updates. Every time there is a natural disaster Mr Musk is praised for unlocking additional range on Teslas and every time I think it's completely sick to have such little control over an expensive vehicle. I guess some people are really into them tho. Gives me the heebie jeebies.
    There are perfectly good reasons for these behaviors that aren't evil.

    The first bit, same performance, paid unlock, is due to the benefits of economies of scale. Tesla knows not everybody is going to (or even can) pay the premium for more performance, but they make more money on those that do. If you had to pay top price to get all the performance potential, they'd sell fewer cars. If they sold the same higher performance at the lower price, they'd lose a ton of money from the people that are currently paying the higher price. Likewise, it would cost them more to produce two actually different tiers of performance by complicating their production lines, making their inventory less flexible, and so on. So if you like that some people can get more performance, that they can move as many cars as they can and not lose a whole lot more money than they have already, then unlocked performance at additional cost is the answer that makes both work.

    Unlocking range on Teslas in a disaster is at least a good marketing play, since they don't want people injured due to lack of range in their car and don't want to induce anxiety range that prevents sales. But at the same time, Lithium Ion batteries really don't like being fully discharged. Or deeply discharged. So the more charge the battery has when you recharge it, the less wear it places on the battery and the longer it will hold an acceptable charge. Tesla doubtlessly keeps some spare charge in the batteries on even its longest range models in order to keep the batteries working longer. That they can and will unlock this during a disaster, at the potential expense of degrading the battery and pushing wear to the side of needing to perform warranty service, is a good thing.

    I'm not a Tesla fanboy, either. Their auto-pilot scares the crap out of me, because it's basically training people to not pay attention and then killing them when it has to hand control back over to the driver, because the driver is at best distracted. They hide behind the fact that they tell people in the manual that they have to be as alert as if they were actually driving the car, but this is both near impossible from a psychological perspective and removes any benefit of the feature, because if you have to be that alert you could just drive.

    Leave a comment:


  • engifineer
    replied
    Thats going to have some career impacts for some!

    Leave a comment:


  • haroldk
    replied
    I'm OK with this. Partly because by the time it would really affect consumers all that much, there should be a lot more infrastructure to support electric vehicles. The engine in my 944 had a production run of 39 years. If you go 39 years out from 2026 (I know, different manufacturers, but this is just spitballing anyway), you get to 2065. I will probably have had my license revoked for senility by the time they build the last of these things.

    On the other side of this, the more electric vehicles there are, the more will be totalled and the sooner I can do an electric swap that's likely to be any fun.

    Leave a comment:


  • SlowAndo
    replied
    Jason Cammisa's take (linked below) makes sense to me. Not saying anyone here is freaking out, just thinking about the future of vehicles.

    RE: Locked down cars.
    Modern cars are already pretty flipping difficult to work on without a degree in computer science. My FIAT is a pretty simple car (no infotainment) but it takes 13 (THIRTEEN!) computers to run everything. At this point if my BCM fails the car is totaled. That's wild. Mazda's Skyactiv-X is incredibly interesting to me but it's so complex and precise I would have absolutely zero desire to even do simple bolt-ons if I owned one.

    The whole Telsa thing with shipping every car with the same mechanical performance and asking the customer if they would like to unlock it for an additional cost turns my stomach. That and over the air updates. Every time there is a natural disaster Mr Musk is praised for unlocking additional range on Teslas and every time I think it's completely sick to have such little control over an expensive vehicle. I guess some people are really into them tho. Gives me the heebie jeebies.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq_FiEDgl8U/

    (Sorry if this double posted, I suck at links and the forum got mad at me)

    Leave a comment:


  • Wallawallaman
    replied
    "The times, they are a changing..."

    Wake me up when Caterham makes an electric model. Everything else is a smartphone with wheels.

    I am curious if there will any serious electronic aftermarket in the hardware segment, with better motors, add in capacitor banks, KERS systems etc.

    I am rather afraid that due to intellectual property concerns, these newer VWs and porches will be completely locked black boxes, leading to a situation where your choices are either "stock E-GTI" or rip it all out, and start from the ground up with more flexible gear. I bet an electric Golf-R would be a torque monster though.

    Leave a comment:


  • tarball
    started a topic Next gen VW IC engines to be the last

    Next gen VW IC engines to be the last

    The times be a changing.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...rnd=hyperdrive

    Electric Porsches just won't be the same.


    Tom
    Last edited by tarball; 12-05-2018, 07:28 AM.
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