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    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Hi,

    I've been following this technology (see attachment) because it relates to safer cars. Cars that detect pedestrians and motorcyclists and give the driver an alert. Ultimately, these need to be integrated with the vehicle controls and make everyone safer, including the blind. But at a minimum, a first step, bleep the horn.

    My understanding is JC Whitney has 400 coming July 19. At just under $1,000, it is not a perfect solution but the price is about right. We don't have to wait for manufactures to listen to their customers . . . Ok, this customer. If only they adopted safety, automated safety systems, as part of their corporate self-image across all models. It would be a game changer as much as efficient drive systems. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

    Bob Wilson

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    kgall Active Member

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    Re: After Market, accident avoidance/alert system--And how to get safety improvements on all cars

    Bob and all,
    There's a real cost-shifting problem with making this type of thing standard.

    Things that save me and my loved ones (e.g., seat belts, air bags) most folks might with nudging be willing to pay for.

    These accident avoidance systems, however, are different. Much of the benefit goes not to the driver/owner but the cyclist/driver of other car, etc. For example, when I complain about poor rear visibility on the Prius, it's only partly because I don't want to run into other people by shifting lanes into them if their in my blind spot. That benefit I'm willing to pay for. But it's also because I don't want other people in Priuses to run into me (and other folks) because they have slipped up and didn't use their mirrors perfectly. That's something that I can't pay for directly--i.e., I realistically can't pay you to have a safer car.

    There are two obvious ways to pay for it, neither of which is universally liked. One is to allow victims of these accidents to file large lawsuits against the firms that manufacture the products. That way, the firms have incentives to internalize the cost of safety to third parties--you might say that this is what America has largely done. While in theory this should be efficient, as it essentially puts the costs of accidents into the marketplace, the huge transaction costs of lawsuits (beginning with the 33% contingent fees common for plaintiff's lawyers, and very large costs for defense lawyers, but not ending there) really puts a crimp in this as a method.
    The second is to regulate heavily, so that the government will say which safety advancements will be required. This is the European way, though the US does it somewhat through the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other entities.

    The reason that I support these things, with all their weaknesses (transaction costs or market distortion) is that otherwise I have to depend on people doing what you are willing to do--pay a lot for an accident avoidence system whose cost mostly benefits others. And most folks aren't bwilson4web, including me.
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    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Re: After Market, accident avoidance/alert system--And how to get safety improvements on all cars

    Hi,

    This argument makes sense for a 'noise generator', especially worse because we know they are ineffective:
    The problem is a noise generator makes no significant improvement in our safety. But these accident avoidance systems are a shared savings with some part shared by others, which I don't mind. My savings or rather my family savings is more than enough if an accident is avoided.

    Today, I filled out my JC Whitney order and will put it and the check in the mail next week. Their web site claims the first week of August for shipping. But I also went by my insurance agent and asked him to find out if I can get a break on our insurance for our commuting car. This won't pay for the system but can soften the costs, a little.

    The real savings is not having to deal with a collision or if one occurs, to lessen the damage. This can mean the difference between a vehicle write-off versus repair and keep on rolling. It means I may be a little safer to continue taking care of my family instead of being medically disabled. It only takes one accident to make a significant impact as did my September 2005, Camry crash.

    Our 1991 Camry was getting ~32 MPG but I lost it on a rain-slick, downward, off-ramp when the driver in front stopped at the bottom. I tried to stop but without ABS brakes and trying my best, we impacted at just over 5 mph. Both cars drove away from the accident later but the insurance company called it a total loss and seized the title for a $1,300 check. A month later, I bought our first Prius, a 2003 model, and have been driving one ever since.

    Now I fully understand that today's price, $920, is outside of many folks comfort range. I can only justify it because at 60 years of age, I intend to drive another 15-20 years as I grow older. One accident avoided and the C2-270 has paid for itself. But I'm also very curious and intend to find out how well this one works. Such questions can't be answered by paper specs but by testing.

    Remember the Utube videos of cardboard box tests with today's collision avoidance system? Well this system should pass those tests in spades ... if the claims are correct. I want to find out and can afford to get and share the answer.

    Bob Wilson
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    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Interesting product, but is it really an avoidance system? it doesn't seem to have any capability to steer or brake the car.
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    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    It isn't integrated with the car controls and this makes sense for an after-market device. Some cars won't have an interface for steering, brakes or accelerator. Rather, it is aimed at alerting the driver so effective avoidance can be taken. However, I have a plan (somewhere God is ROTFLHAO.)

    I'm thinking it will be fairly straight forward to add a horn "bleep" interface. So the car will make a noise not only for the driver but the other driver, cyclist or pedestrian. What a concept, everyone working from the same page.

    Bob Wilson

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