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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-30-2017 12:36 PM
Michael Smith I think you'll find that all those Buicks sold in China are actually Opels. Made in China also. The Verano is an Astra with weird looking bodywork and the Lacrosse is an Insignia with very odd alterations made to the bodywork.

And NAFTA ensures North American made cars are sold in Mexico and Canada as well as the US, all nicely insulated from foreign competition by tariffs and, more importantly, significant and almost entirely arbitrary regulatory restrictions.

But we digress.

The thread topic suggests that the Giulia is of relatively poor quality. Turns out many of the complaints are based on software glitches easy to "repair" and user interface issues largely explained by the Giulia attracting customers who never before bought an Italian design.
12-30-2017 10:54 AM
Del "We would find very, very few American cherries which no doubt biases your views on this topic" "Again, the US industry fails to innovate without regulation. It is the consumer who drives this industry wide attitude. American cars are still avoided by consumers outside NAFTA"

Talk about biases, lol. Yours are clearly showing now. Let's not get nasty.

In a parting attempt at evenness, let me cherry pick now. In 2016 Buick sold 4 times as many cars in china than in the US, and 46 times as many than in Canada and Mexico. So much for NAFTA. Granted, there may be per capita differences, but just counting the number of people who can actually afford the cars, the volumes speak, well, volumes.

American cars didn't sell in many countries for several reasons: one, where they were sold, they were generally too big for the infrastructure or not supported properly; two, not right hand drive; three, national purchase biases; four, high import tariffs; and five, just not sold in many countries by factory choice.

When I was working and we had foreign workers, either direct employees or job shoppers, the first thing the did was buy American cars. Asked them why, since many different foreign cars were available, and they said, well, we can actually afford them, and we can finally haul big things in them, plus they were generally more reliable than the cars they were used to, or if needed, service and parts, were always available

I think I'm done with this discussion.
12-30-2017 09:56 AM
PSk The biggest issue will be hackers taking over the control of vehicles ... while initially hilarious, like the sad result of the young kids removing a stop sign deaths will result.


Michael, I'm not sure who pays your wages but you have an unusual bias towards supporting manufacturers. Yes auto manufacturers have improved safety but in quite a few cases they have to be pushed to do so. Take the manufacturer's love of SUVs, they love them because they don't have to crash test them thanks to their separate chassis. Now of course there are SUV's where the technology is not stuck in the 1940's but that is one of the reasons GM and Ford pushed them so hard originally.

I also know that there was a Ford Laser/Mazda 323 that when sold in NZ they left out internal roof bracing because NZ's laws did not demand it ... this saved them $'s but weakened the vehicle. I could go on for hours, but main point is that accountants (now) run these companies and just like every other company, profits matter. There are no exceptions, Volvo and Mercedes continued with their safety improvements to grow their marketed image, not just for safety.

In the end, when a product is sold, everything is done for the mighty $!
Pete
12-30-2017 07:50 AM
goats Yes, the millionth / billionth time the executable runs, it’s the same as the first time. No disagreement.
12-30-2017 07:42 AM
Michael Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by goats View Post
I agree the bug was there from Day 1, but the point is that complex software and never be tested to all permutations and therefore, hidden bugs become visible “all of a sudden “ when the permutations get “tested” by the million users in the field. The end result is exactly the same.
The point being made is that software only runs the way it was written without variation. Run two properly complementary programs and execution of bugs becomes impossible. That's how redundant feedback loop systems produce perfect execution of their software, perfect being defined as not dangerous.

Ironically, the human mind can invent a non existent defective execution of such software and convince twelve other humans that the non existent defect really existed. The annoying result of several alleged occurences of one of these types of incidents, in America only just btw, was redesign of brake and accelerator pedals making heel and toe virtually impossible in almost every car on the North American market.
12-30-2017 07:33 AM
Michael Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del View Post
"As for heartless car makers I refer to Volvo which invented the three point safety belt and, I believe, made it available to all manufacturers. There are other examples of safety engineering pre-dating regulation"

Cherry picking? There are recalls every week which are due to either poor engineering, poor management decisions, or poor manufacturing.
Mercedes Benz invented the crumple zone now used universally.

I could keep going.

We would find very, very few American cherries which no doubt biases your views on this topic.

America vigorously legislated in this area mainly for this reason, US consumers and their suppliers were so far behind nobody outside North America wanted their cars. America is still behind in the safety aspects of the SUV and related vehicles. Again, the US industry fails to innovate without regulation. It is the consumer who drives this industry wide attitude. American cars are still avoided by consumers outside NAFTA.
12-30-2017 07:12 AM
goats I agree the bug was there from Day 1, but the point is that complex software and never be tested to all permutations and therefore, hidden bugs become visible “all of a sudden “ when the permutations get “tested” by the million users in the field. The end result is exactly the same.
12-29-2017 11:21 PM
Del Electronics, though, can be affected by EMI/EMP. It is a real worry for the Pentagon and commercial satellite systems, the satellites being very vulnerable, to say nothing of ground based control systems for our electrical and industrial systems. Work is in progress to reduce this threat but will take years.

Ford had an EMI problem years ago with their cars, when driving near certain airports, the engine would quit. The electronics were not properly shielded from airport radar signals, etc. Friend of ours, a Boeing electronics tech, was hired by Ford to help solve the problem. Part of his payment was a new Ford, lol. Granted, the auto companies have learned much, and car mounted computers, dozens of them per car, are better shielded.

However, there are indications that cosmic rays can also alter software. While the concept of bombardment of neutrons from space sounds like something straight out of Star Trek, neutron-induced errors are a dangerous reality for many types of automotive electronic equipment. Mechanical systems just don't have this problem.
12-29-2017 10:08 PM
PSk
Quote:
Originally Posted by goats View Post
Software DOES suddenly 'go wrong'. Look up the Therac 25.
No it doesn't, the Therac 25 was produced with 'this' bug from day one. Sadly every now and then somebody got the wrong dosage as the code went down the buggy path.

BUT software updates are usually shipped now via the internet so an update could contain a bug that could cause issues, but I don't see how open sourcing the code can solve any software issues. Heck if I purchase something, I'm not remotely interested in seeing how it is coded, and I have a Computer Science degree.

Imagine also permitting anybody to alter the code for their self driving car in the near future, would be a disaster!
Pete
12-29-2017 09:08 PM
goats
Huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSk View Post
Hmmm ...

Michael, there is no need to open source the software. Software doesn't suddenly go wrong, sure it might be shipped with bugs but all software is and the car worked when new so no change there.

What happens is the sensors or wires fail (and why self driving cars scare me as they will always fail, or have their operation impeded, ie. bird dropping on them, etc.). So regarding DIY servicing, which the manufacturer does not care about or even want as they want a new unit to be bought, you just need to replace the faulty sensor(s) or damaged wire (this was the problem with the VW Golf's automatic as there was an internal short in a wire).

There already is hundreds of programs you can download to work with modern cars fault detection software, and you can buy the plugs/leads to connect your computer to them. My friend has one for Alfa Romeos and my 156v6 has been plugged in and old error codes erased.

Anyway manufacturers have finally made the mechanical aspects of a car so reliable that they are very close to being treated like mere appliances that the often touted 'run until it fails and just get a new one when it does' concept is very close. IMO once we have electric cars this will be reality, especially as the electric motor takes a lot of the brake wear away.
Pete
Software DOES suddenly 'go wrong'. Look up the Therac 25. Software should be open source for consumer products, but, there do need to be safeguards. In the not too distant future, software will be responsible for an ever-increasing number of deaths worldwide. I spent a good portion of my career in medical device Class 3 with tons of software. You would not believe how pervasive software bugs are based on unanticipated 'random' events that when in the hands of a million users, become reality.
12-29-2017 08:17 PM
Del "As for heartless car makers I refer to Volvo which invented the three point safety belt and, I believe, made it available to all manufacturers. There are other examples of safety engineering pre-dating regulation"

Cherry picking? There are recalls every week which are due to either poor engineering, poor management decisions, or poor manufacturing.
12-29-2017 07:46 PM
PSk Lets not forget the Pinto, and even with a recent Jeep the fuel tank was still in a dangerous location made 'safe' by installing towbars.

But yes Volvo was not one of those manufacturers that (as far as I know) put profits before safety.
Pete
12-29-2017 01:08 PM
Michael Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSk View Post
Michael,

Please point me to the 2 actuator motors for the throttle on my 156v6. I don't believe their are 2, but could be wrong.

I agree with Del, manufacturers have proven that human lives mean less than profits many times. Plus can you imagine an autonomous car after it has been through a panel beater ... heck I lost most of my Sud's trim and all they had to do was final prep and paint! Maybe this change will result in the death of panel beaters and the mechanic trade? ... and no I do not at all believe autonomous cars will mean no car accidents; quite the opposite in fact.

Pete
Two throttle position sensors and two pedal position potentiometers, rather than two separate motors, apparently. Not sure where I read about redundant motors.

As for heartless car makers I refer to Volvo which invented the three point safety belt and, I believe, made it available to all manufacturers. There are other examples of safety engineering pre-dating regulation.

Much of safety related engineering was stymied by the ignorance of consumers rather than the venality of car makers. Private business builds what people will buy. Many times safety features were declined by buyers for long periods before education or regulation convinced them otherwise.
12-29-2017 11:18 AM
PSk Michael,

Please point me to the 2 actuator motors for the throttle on my 156v6. I don't believe their are 2, but could be wrong.

I agree with Del, manufacturers have proven that human lives mean less than profits many times. Plus can you imagine an autonomous car after it has been through a panel beater ... heck I lost most of my Sud's trim and all they had to do was final prep and paint! Maybe this change will result in the death of panel beaters and the mechanic trade? ... and no I do not at all believe autonomous cars will mean no car accidents; quite the opposite in fact.

Pete
12-29-2017 10:11 AM
Del I'm not convinced by your argument. Knowing just how much pressure the manufacturers are under to save weight, reduce costs, and to increase fuel mileage by upcoming regulations, we just know that there will be "management dictated" shortcuts in the systems as there always have existed in the history of even the best of automobiles. Just count up the recalls which pop up almost every week.

Maybe not in the super expensive super cars, but the cars for the masses will have built in shortcuts, because there will be sooo many more manufactured, leading to the types of failures we have always seen (I've read of 50 cent fixes or changes for some fault in a car being rejected because that 50 cents truly adds up over the millions of a model manufactured).
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