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The 2009 Flex will be available with the Ford Collision Warning System

Ford Collision Warning System Diagram  (Source: Ford)
System warns of impending collision and prepares brakes

Ford Motor Company is betting big on new technology to help drivers avoid accidents. Most cars on the road today utilize technology like air bags to help you survive an accident, but typically only expensive luxury cars utilized technology that actually helped drivers avoid a crash.

Ford announced a new technology called Collision Warning with Brake Support that is coming in 2009 on certain Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The crux of the system is that it detects an imminent collision via a type of radar and produces a tone over the cars audio system to warn the driver.

In addition to the tone warning, the system also projects a red warning light onto the windshield of the vehicle. At the same time the audio and visual warnings are going off, the system primes the brakes for emergency stop.

Braking is pre-charged and a brake-assist feature is engaged to help the driver get maximum braking force as soon as possible. Paul Mascarenas, Ford VP of product engineering, Global Product Development said in a statement, "The new Collision Warning with Brake Support technology puts us on the leading edge of active safety to help customers detect and avoid possible dangers. Ford will be the first to offer this technology on mainstream models that many families can afford."

Ford is mum on exactly what the Brake Support system entails and how specifically it works. It doesn't appear that the system starts braking the vehicle alone; the driver has to initiate braking. Collision warning with Brake Support isn’t the only radar assisted safety system making its way into Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Ford is introducing Adaptive Cruise Control that will adjust the speed of the vehicle when cruise is engaged depending on proximity to other vehicles. Ford has also announced a system known as BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) that also uses radar.

DailyTech reported this week that Ford introduced a speed limiting key system called MyKey that limits the car to lower speeds when used to start the vehicle. The system is being marketed to parents of teenage children. Interestingly, Bugatti uses a similar system on its exotic Veyron; a special key is needed to get maximum speed from the car.

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The future
By FITCamaro on 10/8/2008 12:25:33 PM , Rating: 3
They keep throwing things into cars and pretty soon we're gonna have to start taking our cars to the dealership to fill up the gas tank.

I'm all for safety but at what point do we say no more? All this stuff keeps doing is adding complexity to the vehicle which creates an opportunity for more things to break.

How about instead we just invest in good driving campaigns. I think insurance companies have the right idea in trying to create better drivers by rewarding a lack of accidents or tickets. All this new technology is doing is making people every more lazy drivers who pay less and less attention to the road.

RE: The future
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 12:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
What it is leading up to are cars that drive themselves, especially in traffic.

The root cause of most traffic is human error and communication with other drivers. Once within a zone, cars should be taken over by the road so the traffic flow becomes seamless.

Never understood why people keep 6+ car lengths while driving through the Lincoln Tunnel when the speed limit is 35. If there wasn't that much gap, then there wouldn't be that much traffic.

RE: The future
By FITCamaro on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: The future
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 1:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
I was hoping for Demolition Man

RE: The future
By FITCamaro on 10/8/2008 3:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
Insta-foam airbag FTW!

RE: The future
By Samus on 10/8/2008 6:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
FIT, I agree. I autocross and have faith in my driving. Ihave avoided pretty complex scenerio's on the road. However, most people are not very good drivers and without the continued developement of safety technology, traffic collissions and fatalities will continue to exist at the frequency they do.

However, I know what you mean. My girlfriend awhile back was cut off and hit someone, very minor accident, no airbags and no real damage outside of the bumper and headlight, but the seatbelt pretensioners were triggered for the driver and passenger seat (no passenger) because of the hard braking and needed to be replaced along with the restraint control module (which is good for ONE use)

Total bill of materials was $500 bucks just for the stupid pretensioners/module which essentially did nothing but hold her back in the seat. This was on a 2002 Focus.

RE: The future
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 8:09:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised it was that cheap.

Don't know why the truth got rated down. Guess its rarely popular anymore these days.

RE: The future
By clovell on 10/9/2008 12:40:25 PM , Rating: 3
It got rated down because you guys seem to think your nuanced personal experience should be generalized.

RE: The future
By Regs on 10/9/2008 9:53:29 AM , Rating: 3
I actually agree with you there. At that point we might as well all take a train.

RE: The future
By ZmaxDP on 10/9/2008 12:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'm right in the middle on this one. I like to drive, but I hate traffic and all the stupid drivers that cause it. Then there's the whole toll-road thing. As a Texan, I hate toll roads and refuse to use them (which is getting hard here in Dallas).

I think the way this should roll is that cars should be capable of driving assistance through some kind of guidance system. Because I don't want it, I don't want to have to pay for it. So, what if toll roads had the other half of the system built into them. You pay the toll, and your car takes over and drives itself until the toll road ends or you get to your exit and pay the exit fare (speed pass or whatever it's called in your area). Then you take back over. For those people that don't want to drive they can take the toll road and subsidize their laziness. For those of us that do we can take the old road and drive like we want. Way to idealistic to happen, but if only it could...

RE: The future
By Lord 666 on 10/9/2008 3:10:23 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea for the toll roads. The infrastructure costs of building traditional mass-transit (light rail, subway, monorails) in Texas and other metro areas outside of NYC are very cost prohibitive to start from scratch. Especially how fast DFW area is growing (or was growing).

Anyway, by using your proposed system, it effectively becomes mass transit, but a Bring Your Own Car approach. I would love to pull onto the NJ GSP and/or Turnpike and have the car take over so I can read a book, hold a conference call, or prepare for the day.

RE: The future
By Reclaimer77 on 10/8/2008 6:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
What it is leading up to are cars that drive themselves, especially in traffic.

Brought to us by Ford ? No thanks. When they can figure out how to make SUV's and cars that don't explode... maybe.

The root cause of most traffic is human error and communication with other drivers.

Thats the " root cause " of every problem in the world isn't it ? Simply taking people out of the loop is a childish idealist goal.

Once within a zone, cars should be taken over by the road so the traffic flow becomes seamless.

Yes because those same " human errors " surely wont factor into this system, right ? It will be magically delivered to us by angels or aliens.

So what happens when we're dumbed down to the point that a fault or failure in this system causes massive pileups and death because nobody knows how to actually drive ?

Never understood why people keep 6+ car lengths while driving through the Lincoln Tunnel when the speed limit is 35. If there wasn't that much gap, then there wouldn't be that much traffic.

Its called safety. Would you rather them tailgate and caue a wreck ?

Traffic congestion is caused by bottlenecks, poor planning, and of course, Liberal politicians constantly raping the highway and road funds to dump it into community planning and wealth redistribution plans. NOT the occasional driver who leaves too much space.

RE: The future
By clovell on 10/8/2008 1:42:46 PM , Rating: 2
I see how the concept applies, FIT, but most of the stuff in this article isn't too revolutionary. These techs have been standard on Volvos (except for adaptive cruise - that was/is an option) for a few years.

Once you start nixing mechanical linkages in favor of a drive-by-wire design, precharging brakes is almost corollary. Radar has been around for like a century (I will be either downrated or corrected via wiki link on that one, I'm sure). What I mean to say is that the systems described in this article aren't all that complex to where they would be likely to break down and render a vehicle inoperable / unsafe.

But, as I mentioned, I get your point. We say no more when we don't buy stuff we think is 'too much'. We buy insurance from companies like you described, etc. We vote with our dollars.

Helps Speed Traps
By Slaimus on 10/8/2008 1:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
If everyone has this, then everyone with a radar detector would get tons of false positives.

RE: Helps Speed Traps
By donxvi on 10/8/2008 1:29:20 PM , Rating: 3
While I don't know what frequency this uses, I would be shocked if it operates on the same frequencies as traffic radar...

RE: Helps Speed Traps
By austinag on 10/8/2008 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not 100% on this, but I don't think that is accurate: this kind of system would require that each vehicle operated on it's own radar band, or whenever 2 Fords crossed paths they'd start slamming on their brakes from the interference. So the already heavily occupied radar bands used by law enforcement are out the window.

JG Wentworth
By isorfir on 10/8/2008 12:33:38 PM , Rating: 3
For me, this would have to be well calibrated or I’d start getting annoyed every time I come to a stop and it thinks I was going too fast, so it alerts me every other stop. If it goes off too often it could defeat the purpose because people would get desensitized to it.

On a side note, maybe Ford should start working on radars for their design team, so they can find some good styles…Flex = Bleh

RE: JG Wentworth
By threepac3 on 10/8/2008 3:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously the system will look at the speed in which your' approaching another vehicle.

Questions, Questions, Questions
By bldckstark on 10/8/2008 12:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how they calibrate it also. They would have to start with the lowest coefficient of friction road type, then add in the maximum vehicle weight with passengers and cargo, then work it against the distance it would take to stop the vehicle from the speed it is traveling. So what happens if the road is wet (but my windshield wipers are not on)? What happens if someone changes lanes in front of me? How is it calibrated for different tires when the OEM tires wear out?

Mercedes used a system like this, but they let the system apply the brakes initially. A lot of vehicles use adaptive cruise control now.

RE: Questions, Questions, Questions
By donxvi on 10/8/2008 1:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
One design philosophy for these types of systems is to try and reduce crash energy. I think that's even hinted at in the graphic, which seems to imply that the system will automatically brake once a collision is imminent. It won't seize control of your car, and you can still crash if you're inattentive, but it will step in to reduce the severity. As such, the system probably isn't required to alert you every time you're close enough to a car that you may hit it in worst case conditions. There is probably still an assumption that you'll increase following distance and reduce speed in inclement conditions, etc. Good luck finding more information, though, you know this is far more sophisticated than your local Ford dealership will be able to explain !

Trickle Down
By clovell on 10/8/2008 1:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
This tech has been available on Volvo cars for a few years. It's nice to see it trickling down to the rest of Ford's lines of vehicles.

Far from ideal
By reredrum on 10/8/2008 6:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
i would prefer to see a system that automatically stopped the car without having to hit the brakes yourself. i don't like the idea of giving control of the car to a computer, but i think it would save a lot of lives. i was just in an accident the other day in my friends car (she was driving). she looked down at her cell phone (dumb i know), and then BANG! her brand new altima is gone. had her car had a system like this, the car could've stopped us before smashing into the back of my dads car in my grandma's funeral procession of all things.

By AlexWade on 10/8/2008 9:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
It is called the HAL 2000. After the success of Microsoft Sync technology, Ford decided to expand voice recognition software. Ford engineers gathered the leading minds from all over the word to work on this project. One thing led to another eventually Ford designed a true AI for the car, the HAL 2000. HAL speaks in a lovely non-threatening accent and has control over the air, steering, braking, radio, windows, locks, and engine so that absolutely nothing can go wrong.

This is why gas milage...
By Marlin1975 on 10/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is why gas milage...
By UppityMatt on 10/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is why gas milage...
By Tsuwamono on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: This is why gas milage...
By walk2k on 10/8/2008 2:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, what?

Chevy Malibu Hybrid
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway)
Automatic: : 26 mpg / 34 mpg

The Prius can get 48+ in the city...

RE: This is why gas milage...
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 2:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
The Prius can get 48+ in the city...
More like 48MPG downtown city when you never go over 40km/h and you are constantly breaking. Every single roadtest I have seen where point to point travel such as going to the train station and averaging 40km/h shows it gets no more than 40MPG. That along with the fact that on the highway those numbers drop very close to those of other cars like the malibu.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By walk2k on 10/8/2008 6:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
Prius 48/45
Malibu 26/34

Where do you get the Malibu coming anywhere close to the Prius highway?

Both EPA estimates. If you assume the Prius will be lower in daily driving you have to assume the Malibu will too.

Besides that I know plenty of people that get high-40s in mixed use. The Malibu best-case is going to get mid-30s.

Sorry but they do not compare, I can't even begin to see where you think they do.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Ammohunt on 10/8/2008 2:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Say what? I get 48-50 MPG in my prius on my daily 150 mile commute.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By jimbojimbo on 10/8/2008 3:26:23 PM , Rating: 1
You are a moron for having a 150mile commute.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By mdogs444 on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: This is why gas milage...
By clovell on 10/8/2008 3:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully he likes them more than his time - that's at least four hours spent on the road each day. Easy on the trigger, everybody.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By mdogs444 on 10/8/2008 4:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
Its obviously worth his time or he wouldnt be doing it.

Besides, lets not worry about him driving 150 miles a day to work, even if it takes 4 hours. We should be worrying and yelling about the people who sit on their a**es for 24hrs a day as opposed to someone who goes out of his way to contribute to society and federal taxes.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By clovell on 10/9/2008 12:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not worried about him. I've done this for a couple years before, it's not necessarily something you enjoy, but something you have to do.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Ammohunt on 10/9/2008 3:33:11 PM , Rating: 3
Actually i average 65Mph so its roughly 1.5 hours one way(75 miles) And its a long story and yes to me its well worth it. Work in the city live and raise my kids in a small town of 1200 people.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By FITCamaro on 10/8/2008 4:22:36 PM , Rating: 1
I did the same thing for 9 months @sshole.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Brandon Hill on 10/8/2008 12:33:55 PM , Rating: 4
Well, I'm not too concerned about my driving...

I'm concerned about the soccermom in the 6,000 pound Chevy Suburban with Starbucks in hand and Jr. in the middle row t-boning my 2,850-pound hatchback in an intersection.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 1:21:30 PM , Rating: 3
I too have the same problem. If we didnt have these people driving these big trucks and SUV's, safety ratings would not need to be as high, which is the case in Europe.

I never understood why people think higher off the ground = safer. I have heard of many more horror stories of moms flippings their SUV's, than mom's crashing their volvos. Worst part is, SUV's don't adhere to the same safety ratings as cars. They fall under their own category between trucks and cars. A 5 star safety rating on car is much more impressive than one on an SUV.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By MrPoletski on 10/8/2008 1:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
I never understood why people think higher off the ground = safer.

It gives you a better perception of depth. Whether that translates into better safety is another question.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By clovell on 10/8/2008 1:45:31 PM , Rating: 5
I never like driving behind SUVs because I can never see around them. Vision / awareness is a big factor for me when I drive. I imagine those driving in SUVs have a much nicer field of view than I do in my Taurus.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By ebakke on 10/8/2008 1:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
I too have the same problem. If we didnt have these people driving these big trucks and SUV's, safety ratings would not need to be as high, which is the case in Europe.
UGH! The problem isn't trucks or SUVs. It's the person behind the wheel. An irresponsible person can cause enormous amounts of damage regardless of what car they drive. This is the same guns kill people vs people kill people argument. There's a person behind the machine that ultimately makes the decisions, and the machine itself isn't inherently bad.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By othercents on 10/8/2008 1:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
A 5 star safety rating on car is much more impressive than one on an SUV.

Yes thats because they have to withstand an impact from an SUV.


RE: This is why gas milage...
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 2:46:06 PM , Rating: 3
If we didnt have these people driving these big trucks and SUV's, safety ratings would not need to be as high

Which is what I already said.. SUV's are pointless for most people. If you have a family, get a damn VAN. If you need to lug stuff around, get a truck.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By mdogs444 on 10/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is why gas milage...
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 3:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
What happened to the Accord coupe? Must have gotten a great deal on it. Going to put a gun safe or rack in there?

I've been looking at used XC90 V8's lately as they have depreciated from 50,000 to high teens in matter of three years.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By mdogs444 on 10/8/2008 3:53:25 PM , Rating: 1
I ended up trading in the Accord. The Tahoe was at a great price - employee discount, plus several thousand off for being an 08 and because they are hard to sell, plus $1500 off with my GM MasterCard. Ended up getting it for about 16k under sticker, and that's for an LTZ with every option available.

No gun rack - not much of a hunter. But I do have my conceal & carry permit for Ohio now. I fish quite often in the summer, and it'll be nice to not have to borrow my dad's S10 4x4 to tow the little 16" bass boat around.

The XC's are nice. A buddy of mine when I lived in Chicago had an 07. If you can get one for under $20k with less than 30k miles on it, sounds like a pretty good deal.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By rudolphna on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: This is why gas milage...
By mdogs444 on 10/8/2008 4:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
hear hear.

Although, I would have though the V8 had much more than 230hp. Figured in the 300+ range.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By rudolphna on 10/8/2008 5:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
Its an older model, thats why. But even so, 230 HP is PLENTY. It can push you back in your seat if you floor it from a stop. It has pretty good acceleration too. Its one of those few SUVs that you can get away with driving it like a sports car. Which I do ;)

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Bluestealth on 10/8/2008 6:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Handle like a sports car? I can't stand how SUVs ride, it feels like a truck because it is one. Not that I refuse to drive anything else, my Civic is a piece but it still handles better than a truck.

BTW I am fine with people driving their SUVs aggressively fast as long as they aren't passing people while forcing their suspension to the edge, a 30 degree roll is not safe.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By rudolphna on 10/8/2008 7:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
lol not like that. I tend to hit the gas hard, and i speed up quicker than Beemers lol. I have an 03 expedition. It has an Independent rear suspension, and has a very car-like quality to the ride.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By TSS on 10/8/2008 12:38:32 PM , Rating: 3
the only reason why safety is a bigger priority then milage is because it sells better. in america, atleast. when you start paying 10 dollars a gallon at the pump we'll see how long that lasts. because we dutch do and i have seen about 3 SUV's drive by my entire life.

in the 70's car safety was none-existant, simply because gas guzzling muscle cars sold better, nobody cared about safety. gas prices where low so who cared about that either.

personally i'd prefer the slow and safe to the fast and furious. you can cuss about safety measures "because of those idiots" all you want, once one of those idiots crashes into your 14K car you'll be praying all that safety stuff actually works.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By SanLC504 on 10/8/2008 12:46:44 PM , Rating: 3
You're right, we need to increase fines and take away their license, cause everyone knows cars can't run unless you have a license in your pocket or purse.

Oh please, they've been doing that for years, and guess what? People drive without licenses. Shocking! Dateline did a story where they found 20 people driving away from a courthouse after having their licenses suspended/revoked in ONE DAY. One guy had the audacity to say "Well, I'll be a more cautious driver without my license."

My father and I sell Hondas, and every Honda sold today in the U.S. (aside from the S2000 roadster) has six airbags and ABS. Do you think Honda does that for the idiots? No, Honda does that for the people idiots hit. (Or accidents, for that matter.) There's a reason why the federal government mandates that cars now have at least front airbags and seat belts at all seating positions: because they save lives.

Half of your car is safety equipment because sometimes, you just can't control when someone in a 6,000 pound SUV T-Bones you or jumps out in front of you (I should know, it happened to me. My Accord suffered over $10,000 worth of damage, and I made it out with one scratch.) I'll be happy when the federal government mandates SUVs and trucks like they do cars.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 12:53:37 PM , Rating: 3
The reason why Honda will not get my money is because the Accord does not have eight airbags; as in rear side door. Is this critical (to me) feature in the works for either the Accord or Civic?

Was hoping the Accord Diesel will come sooner than later as well.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By blaster5k on 10/8/2008 1:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
Accidentally voted this down. Whoops.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Pirks on 10/8/2008 1:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
Get VW Passat 2009, it has all the eight bags including rear door bags and tons more safety features plus the best crash scores I ever seen on Even t-boning this car won't have people inside even slightly injured (I'm serious, check its review).

Honda tin boxes are nowhere near it, except maybe for Accord 2009, also there's one Acura model and one SAAB model which are pretty close safety-wise. Unofortunately they all cost arm and leg, with Passat costing close to two arms and leg.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 1:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for the follow up. I purchased the 2006 Jetta TDI new in October 2006 for the fuel economy and safety (rear side airbags or the 4*4 option.)

It was between the VW and MB E320 CDI at the time. Passed on the MB because I'll take front wheel drive in the Northeast over rear anytime as the all-wheel drive is not an option on the diesels yet.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Pirks on 10/8/2008 2:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
I can't say anything about Jetta's safety, but going for TDI for fuel economy is akin to purchasing Chevy Volt - you pay insane amount upfront _hoping_ that _maybe_ your car stays alive for maybe 15 years and you may be able to recoup that initial overpayment if you maybe drive often and long enough. I'm not buying that "fuel savings" marketing crap. Any new $9995 Hyundai Accent (current promotion in Canada for 2009 models) will save you TONS of cash AND tons of gas money at the same time. But you won't get any resemblance of safety of course. Accents just never been designed to be safe. Not their turf.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 2:42:46 PM , Rating: 2
Check out the pictures of the Taurus on my flickr page -

In the child's seat was my friends 2.5 year old. He is now bi-laterally paralyzed. After this accident happened, sold my car for the Jetta as it has five star side impact and rear side airbags.

But as others said, no one plans to get into an accident. Its the position of responsible parents for us to do our best (within means) to protect the children at any and all costs. The Jetta TDI was only $1000 more than the standard motor.

Had the Passat offered a diesel option, the MB CDI in AWD, or the Accord with diesel and rear side airbags would have picked them up. We drive about 30,000 miles per year so filling up the tank once a week is nice for an average of 550 miles per tank leading to about $100 fuel savings per month regardless of fuel price.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Pirks on 10/8/2008 3:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
Why did he put his toddler's car seat NOT in the middle? Why did he put it next to the side door? Is he a careless person, or does his Taurus miss middle seat belt on the back seat?

BTW do you know that children can get life-threatening injuries if they sit next to the door (like in this Taurus you mentioned) and the door's side airbag goes off? If you place your child not in the middle of the back seat - be prepared for potentially catastrophic consequences.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 3:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
There was a booster seat not visible in the picture behind the driver. The booster and child's car seat didn't well fit together with the car seat in middle, so she moved the car seat behind passenger.

Tragic mistake and accident that changed my perspective on things as well.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Pirks on 10/8/2008 3:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, sh1t happens. I'm looking at your Taurus pics and now I know what I'll be eyeing for my wife's first car next year. 2004 Saab 9-3. Used to be the first safety gold pick at way back in 2003. In fact a first car ever to get gold pick award. Only six airbags tho... but too cheap to pass.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By clovell on 10/8/2008 4:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
That's crazy, man - I drive an 01 Taurus/ Just throwing this out there while we're on anectdotal stuff. A guy I knew back in college had the same car as me - down to the trim and color. He tries driving home one night toasted and end up taking a hairpin onramp too fast - offroads it off the embankment and flips four times before it's over with. The guy walked away from it without a scratch.

I've heard a lot of stuff about VW's reliability lately - you know anything about that?

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Lord 666 on 10/8/2008 6:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
Our particular Jetta has been reliable. Its never stranded us, but has been in the shop for minor things and overall more than the Accord it replaced.

Here is today's Wall Street Journal review of the 2009 Jetta TDI Doesn't get into safety, but presents an honest review of a decent car/powertrain. Just hope they do the same for the Passat or Tiguan and put the TDI motor in them.

In the long run, I would rather drive a car that is safer but needs a little more trips to the shop than a death trap service-free car.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By rudolphna on 10/8/2008 6:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
well ya know... SUVs are safe. I was rear ended in my expedition by an idiot woman in a Civic, who was chatting on her phone. I was stopped at a red light, she rear ended me doing at least 45. Guess what? her car was totalled.. My truck had but a few scratches on the rear bumper. And yet you say that SUVs arent safe =P

RE: This is why gas milage...
By theoflow on 10/8/2008 1:27:05 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that weight penalties are attributed to safety features, but they also have to do with refinement and ride quality.

Luxury cars have always weighed more than mainstream cars, and there is a trickle down effect that consumers demand those sort of offerings in mainstream cars. The new generation Accord is a perfect example, and with high trim Camry's you sorta feel like your in a Lexus.

Test driving a Honda FIT compared to a Honda Civic today, almost any driver can notice the difference in road noise. Even when you open the door you can see how much more or less sound dampening rubber is used. I'm not saying that is a good or a bad thing, since I think both cars are great.

I agree that there are bad drivers on the road and need to be remember that driving is a privilege not a right, but having this sort of technology is for better rather than for worse.

I also believe that all these "new" technologies are already in the Ford parts bin coming from Volvo.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By walk2k on 10/8/2008 1:35:50 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, wrong.

First of all, what does traction control or airbags have to do with gas mileage? Very very little.

Secondly, engine performance HAS increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Take a look at i.e. the VW Rabbit when it was first introduced - 75-85hp? Vs the Golfs and GTIs today, 160-190 hp?

It's exactly BECAUSE horsepower has increased so much that gas mileage hasn't. That and people driving ever larger and larger truck and truck variants as passenger vehicles.

I swear for a tech-blog there's a bunch of luddites here pooh-poohing every new technological advancement. You don't want this on your car, fine don't buy one. But I bet you'll be glad the soccer mom in her 8,000lb SUV has it when she's about to rear-end you.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By joeld on 10/8/2008 9:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
For the most part, I agree. You can only get so efficient, an the higher the performance, the more economy will suffer.

I think there are some models that haven't changed significantly (perhaps the entry level engine in many compacts) with regards to performance, yet gas mileage has dropped considerably because of the additional weight associated with increased safety. I think paying a little more for gas is worth it! These models are what the poster you replied to are referring to.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 8:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Airbags add weight. More weight = less mileage.

Consider that since the 80s the weight of a cars drivetrain has been reduced at least 100 pounds(due to use of aluminum) but the weight of the average vehicle has gone up 300-400 pounds at least.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Chaser on 10/8/2008 1:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
As a driver that was hit head on by an uninsured janitor driving home from a Ford Truck Plant (I might add), she turned right in front of me at a green light was I was legally going through 45 MPH. Her excuse? She was tired after work. Those "safety" devices saved my live. Everything deployed and the only thing that happened was my forehead got a knot from hitting the steering wheel. The small subcompact performed incredibly by absorbing most of the crash energy. As a result the car was totaled.

The moral here is that you're only as good as the worst driver on the road. Every time you get behind the wheel you subject or rather trust yourself to the lowest denominator and in many circumstances no amount of driving skill is going to save you.

As far as your post goes, I don't think I've read anything so stupid in a while. In this case Darwin has failed. Please have insurance.

Driving is convenient, sometimes fun but also can be dangerous. Anything the manufacturers can do to make it more safe is not a bad thing at all.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Schrag4 on 10/8/2008 1:54:43 PM , Rating: 3
This post always seems to appear when a vehicle-safetly-related article comes up. So where do you draw the line on safety? Seatbelts have mass, you know.

Also, you may be an experienced driver, but what about when your teenager starts driving? I whole-heartedly agree that we should emphasize driver education to reduce accidents, but accidents will happen. Are you saying anyone who gets in an accident deserves to die? (darwin reference)

I'm not saying I necessarily like this particular feature. I agree with another post here that suggests that people will simply ignore the tone if it goes off all the time. All I'm saying is that safety IS important. How about if every auto manufacturer offered a coffin-on-wheels for you to drive and the regular gas-guzzler for me to drive. Would that be ok?

RE: This is why gas milage...
By 7Enigma on 10/9/2008 12:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm...what is the gas mileage of this coffin-on-wheels?

RE: This is why gas milage...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/8/2008 6:23:56 PM , Rating: 1
Why did this guy get a negative one ???

He brought up a huge fact. My 1994 4 door Protege has LESS curb weight than a 2008 MIATA ! Gee, I wonder why...

By clovell on 10/8/2008 1:48:11 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, FIT - I've gotta disagree here. ABS saved my ass at least a dozen times last winter in Chicago.

By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 1:58:53 PM , Rating: 3
I also have to disagree, I live with snow at least 5 months out of the year, anti-lock breaks can be the difference of sliding 10 feet and 20 feet. Pumping your breaks, does work, but not with the efficiency of anti-lock breaks.

What most companies do not mention is the fact that in order for ABS to be effective, the tires must remain in contact with the road, so if there is debris, or one side of the cars tires are on ice and the other is not, it can cause more harm than good.

I do agree with you on one front, ABS is not a replacement for driving carefully for the conditions. When trying to stop from 60MPH on icy roads, ABS is not going to help you, at that point it all becomes about physics, and not even ABS can cut down stopping time enough for it to be a safe driving replacement.

By Mitch101 on 10/8/2008 3:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why they should make skins like those for an iPod or Zune for cars.

Make them from Nerf and in the winter you can hit anything. Then reckless driving would be fun. I also believe Nerf floats for even more reckless driving fun. ;)

RE: Help me Ford, I don't know how to slam on my brakes!
By on 10/8/2008 4:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
You may disagree, but who needs any brakes when its time to run over those global warming lemmings. I like to yell out the window "Now that's an inconvenient truth!" after I pancake them.

By clovell on 10/9/2008 12:47:00 PM , Rating: 2

By jimbojimbo on 10/8/2008 3:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a documentary on autmobile safety and they said when anti-lock brakes came out, everyone dreamed of safer driving and predicted accident rates will go down. They found out that people just drove more recklessly and accident rates stayed the same. It seems there's a rate of accidents that people are happy with. If safety devices go up they just become worse drivers until they pass that rate at which point they start to take notice and drive a little bit more carefully. Human behaviour at its finest.

By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 8:26:41 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The safer you make cars, the crappier people drive. The only reason people have to fear most accidents anymore is that of their insurance going up.

By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 9:03:16 AM , Rating: 2
And you seem to assume I care what people on the internet think of me.

I agree that road deaths are tragic. Is it so wrong to think though that instead of pouring billions of dollars into safety systems which only add cost, complexity, and weight to our vehicles, we should perhaps instead focus on improving the quality of our drivers so they are unneeded?

Do I mind ABS existing? No. Do I mind airbags existing? No. Do I think we need warning systems of an impending collision? No. You should already know that because you are supposed to be paying attention to the road first and foremost.

By andrinoaa on 10/10/2008 3:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yea right FIt, same as sex education, just say no. Ignorance is bliss all right.

By donxvi on 10/8/2008 1:27:40 PM , Rating: 4
I can tell you how these pre-braking systems work, they use the ABS/stability control hardware to (1) apply a slight pressure in the system to remove the pad knockback that pushes the pads away from the rotors while you drive, this allows your brake apply to produce deceleration several milliseconds faster and (2) it may enable a panic brake assist because, contrary to what you may believe, many drivers, even in a panic stop, do not apply enough brake pedal force to drive the tires to full deceleration; the ABS system detects a panic stop and increases line pressure to drive the system into max decel.
And while I can't speak for your Subaru's ABS system, a typical ABS performance requirement is for the system to outperform a driver's best distance on snow, ice, wet and dry. Drivers can't modulate all 4 tires individually when they begin to lock, so any competently tuned ABS system has a huge advantage.

By clovell on 10/8/2008 1:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
It could, but it doesn't. This tech has been standard on Volvos for the last few years. The light and sound are designed to bring the driver to attention, and they are used in conjunction with a host of measurements that the car takes to see if a person is drowsy or unalert.

By Screwballl on 10/8/2008 2:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
I have been saved by ABS where standard lockup brakes would have likely killed me.
When you get these old people going across traffic in their "ho-hum no rush" style of driving to the side roads on an already strained stretch of state highway here in FL, the ABS has allowed me to swerve properly to avoid them at least 5 times in the past 5 years. If the brakes had locked up that would have been 5 major accidents and possibly death involved due to the circumstances.
Even the one major accident I did have on that same stretch in 2004 had helped slow the vehicle to around 45mph (from 60, the speed limit) from some 17 year old kid trying to gas it across the lanes to the side road... I had Tboned his truck. This was a 2001 Ford Exploder and they had a safety feature that locks the speedometer at the point the airbags are deployed and it showed 45mph.
If it wasn't for the ABS we would have hit at around 55-60 and been much worse for both of us.

By walk2k on 10/8/2008 6:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
ABS doesn't decrease stopping distance in fact it INcreases it. That is not its job, its job is to prevent spins and loss of control during hard braking, not to decrease stopping distance while braking in a straight line.

Have to say, I've only seen where ABS has hurt me, by increasing the stopping distance. I wish I could disable it on my car.

By andrinoaa on 10/8/2008 10:02:45 PM , Rating: 3
Ok , brain surgeon, explain the mechanics of why ABS increases the stopping distance!
By inference , you are saying you know how to lock your brakes in the wet and still stop quicker than ABS!
Join FIT in the back of the classroom, please.

By Reclaimer77 on 10/9/2008 12:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
ABS excels at " panic breaking ". In other words, breaking that would otherwise cause a 4 wheel lockup. But for all other transitional breaking, yes, anti lock will slightly increase your stopping distance. So technically hes right, and wrong.

For extreme weather conditions obviously ABS is superior as even one wheel locking up in ice/snow/rain can cause unwanted lateral rotation.

By Calin on 10/9/2008 12:26:15 AM , Rating: 2
ABS, by allowing the blocked wheels to not brake until they start turning again, increase braking distance in "perfect conditions" (dry asphalt, when the locked wheels and the rolling ones have about the same traction).
ABS is useful only when you try to manoeuver while braking (which with ABS you can no matter how hard you push on the brake pedal), or when you want to stop but the locked wheels have less traction than the rolling ones (on water films, snow, and so on).
Look at braking distance with and without ABS on dry asphalt - from 60 to 0, for one model of car it was 42 with ABS and 40 without it.

By andrinoaa on 10/9/2008 5:55:12 PM , Rating: 2
Like I said , boys, go to the back of the class.
What kind of education allows you to open your mouths on something you don't understand?
Best braking is done when you have the most friction between rubber and road. This is at its maximum JUST BEFORE LOCKUP. At 5-10 times a second, ABS works so much faster than a dickhead driver, at keeping the friction at its optimum point. If you are getting "without" figures to be better, then ABS hasn't been implemented very well on that car. In which case I would never ever buy that car!!!!

By donxvi on 10/9/2008 7:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto this. I don't know how to rate your post up, but you're spot on. A tire loses a lot of its ability to slow the car when you drive it into too much slip; that is, when the rotational speed of the tire differs too much from what it would be if it was rolling freely.

How do I know ? I'm an ABS development engineer for a major automaker.

Here's the bonus for the remaining unabombers out there-ABS will increase stopping distance on deep, soft surfaces, that's deep, soft (I said DEEP & SOFT, not around town at noon) snow and loose gravel where the wedge in front of a locked tire will help stop better than the tire can grip the surface. In these conditions, ABS still allows steering where locked tires don't.

By andrinoaa on 10/10/2008 3:33:11 AM , Rating: 2
When ABS first became available , issues about its effectiveness in gravel came to the for. These issues have now been resolved with subtle ABS tuning. Basic science. I guess I payed attention in class, lol.
I repeat for the ignoratus out there, if you dont understand, don't create "white noise".

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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