PCS (Pedestrian-avoidance)

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    So this evening I was watching TV and saw several ads about "Lets Go Places . . . safely" and I was doing a slow burn. In 2009, I had the option of buying a Prius with the pre-collision system but only if I tossed another $8,000 onto the table:
    • $6,000 - for the top of the line model
    • $2,000 - for the safety system
    So here it is February 2014 and now Toyota has discovered safety sells:
    I went back and checked the Toyota pressroom and found:
    source: Toyota Develops New Pedestrian Safety Technology | Corporate

    This is the one announcement that would lead me back to a dealer if and when it shows up as an option in all Prius models. I just checked the Toyota web site and this system is still limited to the top of the line Prius, only. If not available in September I'll take another look at the Lincoln MKZ, not because I'm in love with that model. Rather, if I have to pay $8,000 to get a collision prevention system of which $6,000 is wasted on buying an 'upscale model,' I might as well go for a really nice car.

    Five years ago, Toyota had the technology and in spite of the these safety black eyes, they sat on their hands:
    • Saylor crash
    • "run-away acceleration"
    • "Bell the Hybrid" legislation
    • brake pause recall
    • brake accumulator recall
    I'm glad Toyota is finally doing the right thing . . . just late. All they have to do is make PCS available as an option on all Prius models . . . a missed opportunity five years ago.

    Bob Wilson
     
  2. CraigCSJ

    CraigCSJ Active Member

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    Wouldn't just slowing down save a lot of pedestrian lives? When a car is going faster than expected, or the speed limit, it arrives much faster and neither the driver nor the pedestrian have as much time to respond. It bothers me when I read so often that people think it is OK to routinely exceed the speed limit, and also posted safety speed signs.
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Speed is less of a problem than just having the never blinking, never tired, always running, safety system. Like wearing a seat belt, a few seconds of overhead getting in and out of a car, it pays for itself in an accident.

    Bob Wilson
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Isn't that the most common way advancements in all automobiles kind of vet themselves?

    Whether it's a safety innovation or luxury or convenience, usually they appear as options or even standard equipment on "luxury" or upper end vehicles. Then if they work well and are popular enough..slowly it trickles down to become options and/or standard equipment on more accessible or a wider range of vehicles.

    To Go Before....Prius..

    Toyota considers Prius one of it's Halo vehicles or benchmark products. And Prius has the deserved reputation of being a technology based product. Look at the overall history of Prius and I don't think complaints about what Prius hasn't offered are very valid.

    Toyota might hide some of the "treats" up the trim ladder, but overall The Prius offers a lot, that you aren't going to get on a lot of vehicles without paying a whole lot more...whether that is Standard on a more expensive vehicle...or as a upgrade on a higher trim Prius.

    As things become more common the bar keeps being raised. That's normal. But I think back to 10 or more years ago, where The SKS system of The Prius seemed an exotic and rare, especially on a hatch-back that could be purchased for less than $23,000. Today? If you want to pay $600 additional..you can buy a Mini-Cooper with a SKS system. But even today, where it's simply expected on a Prius...it's a "luxury option" for a Mini-Cooper.

    As you know, as we all know, in recent years Toyota has taken some significant hits concerning the safety of their vehicles with some high profile recalls. Fair or unfair.....

    I really see this recent advertising campaign stressing the safety of Toyota as simple continued reaction to those events as well as some new questions that are continuing to be raised about Toyota's software and software vetting process.

    But the as far as technology and advancement....the higher end..option and trickle down affect has existed for decades. Usually changes are incremental and trickle down. Unless it's a major entire industry standard deal, such as the acceptance of airbags...and anti-lock brakes, which were so basic as to happen to the entire industry very rapidly.

    Sure Toyota made the "Pre-Collision" system an option on The Prius and offered it at the top of the Prius line. As these type of systems prove their worth and become more accepted I'd suspect it to become less and less a higher end perk and more and more simply standard equipment, but that to me is not surprising...just usually how it works.
     
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  5. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I really doubt slowing down does much to reduce pedestrian fatalities. Reducing speed limits has even a smaller effect. You hit a pedestrian at 25 mph it still causes a lot of damage.

    Cars hitting pedestrians and bicycles has a lot to do with road design and driver training. If we can reduce these accidents with technology all the better. A camera in the rear and collision detection beeps can do a lot. We have an aging population that is not going to get retrained, but is likely to pay more to keep driving longer and safer. I don't think the tech is there yet, but in 3 years perhaps the NHTSA could have some more studies complete, and in 5 these might be public enough to give advantage the car makers that made these available at an affordable price. I think we still are in that tech adopter phase today, and toyota and other automakers are offsetting R&D costs by charging money from those most willing to pay. Prices should drop once the technology is more mainstream.
     
  6. JamesBurke

    JamesBurke Senior Member

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    Toyota has been sued over its ads for these safety systems because some people think it's a force field device and they no longer need to brake or even pay attention to what's in front of them.
     
  7. Alan Claver

    Alan Claver Junior Member

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    I agree that PCS systems should be standard but it does require a significant amount of extra technology including the radar unit, upgraded computer controls, different braking systems (I assume) which I also assume is why it's only on the high-end Prius.
     
  8. SwhitePC

    SwhitePC Active Member

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    I think it's not only cars that need a pedestrian avoidance/safety feature...or should be wholly blamed for pedestrian accidents

    Nowadays, a lot of pedestrians themselves are more at fault then the car that hit'em...We might need all pedestrians to be outfitted with a car avoidance system.
     
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Don't all smart phones have cameras. So couldn't we have them tell their owner that they are about to step into a street while they walking and web surfing, texting, etc. at the same time.
     
  10. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Here is the big problem with that. The economy would grind to a halt if everyone would have to junk their car and buy one with more advanced accident avoidance. Which means you only require it on new cars. But because of the high cost, it will older, less efficient, and less safe cars on the road. The technology is still evolving and expensive. When it gets down to say $1500/car and it is more reliable,, perhaps you can require it. American car companies would like the government to require it, as they could make a bigger profit on each car, but sell slightly fewer.

    Pedestrians always should have the right away. They are slower so they can not easily get out of the way of a fast traveling car. They also are fragile and more valuable than the car. Every pedestrian is outfitted with a car avoidance system, but most of the incidents, drivers are distracted and don't do what pedestrians expect. Often these pedestrians do exercise poor judgement.
    Pedestrian fatalities in Toronto hit 10-year high | Toronto Star
    As road deaths fall, more pedestrians struck – USATODAY.com
     
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    In March 2009, the incremental cost was $2,000. As for reliability, the 'standards' are evolving and the IIS and NHTSA seem to be in 2013, four years later, finally trying to figure out what the standard should be.

    Sorry but this pops in my head every time we discuss pedestrian-centered, safety systems:
    [​IMG]

    Or the Woody Allen movie:
    [​IMG]

    Bob Wilson
     
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  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I'm not sure you mentioned in 2009 you had to pay a lot more before you could do that $2000 upgrade. The cost to the consumer was all that junk they didn't want plus $2000.

    Systems are much better today than in 2009. I am also thinking the price of the 2+ cameras needed hae dropped considerably. The radar or laser systems may be more expensive and better. I would look to google, volvo, mercedes and lexus for standards of what these things can do. I know the sensors for google cost about $100,000;), but they need to be better for self driving cars than simply hitting the brakes to not hit a bicycle or pedestrian, and prices are going down.
    Cheaper Laser Sensors for Self-Driving Cars Are on the Way - The CIO Report - WSJ

    We do have the volvo pedestrian airbag
    Volvo Introduces the World's First Car Equipped With Pedestrian Airbags | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
     
  13. SwhitePC

    SwhitePC Active Member

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    I can just see all the lawsuits that autonomous systems will bring...

    scenario 1...Dude going very fast (fast speed limit posted), car can't stop/decelerate in time to not hit smartphone...although car did decelerate in time, pedestrian still kicked the bucket. Dude in car is getting sued by pedestrian's family, dude in car then turns around and sues car maker for "bad" safety feature.

    so on and so forth.

    It's great that there's all these new autonomous safety features, but dang, some of them will never take the "stupid" out of humans...and actually put more "stupid" and "lazy" in humans.

    While we're at it, we might as well give the police a kill switch to all our vehicles like what's being proposed in Europe.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I believe these things will not be guaranteed to stop stupid, that is a bigger problem with the google, nissan, and lexus self driving cars.

    You probably didn't see it, but I posted a link to volvo that has an airbag on the windshield to protect people that car owner runs into, and flung up. The bulk of these accidents are in 35 mph or less speed limits. IMHO technology can greatly reduce accidents here. IMHO also cars are safer which allow drivers to act less safe and not look out for those bikes and pedestrians.

    +1


    Somethings like driver training and the autobahn are things that seem to work in Europe. Police with kill switches, just anouther dumb european idea. There is more stupid over there than over here IMHO, lets copy their smart and not their stupid. Volvo and Mercedes are very innovative on safety systems, that is where we should look.
     
  15. GBC_Texas_Prius

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    Asking people to slow down was decades ago. Now you have to tell people to stay off their communication devices. There is a big incentive to offer safety because the car companies want and are getting a piece of that connected everywhere market.
     
  16. Skylis A

    Skylis A Senior Member

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    That's just scary to think about... (n)
     
  17. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    My car has "PCS", but it's not for pedestrians, it's for the occupants of the car. It stands for "Pre-Collision System". When I turn it off a light comes on that reads "PCS". It's yellow. Mine is off all the time because the system has "just a little" problem, it -may- detect expansion joints on bridges and think the car is about to collide with something so it applies the brakes. Not a very good idea to brake on a highway, without warning, in rush hour, on a bridge!!!

    So are they using the same name for two different systems? Sure hope the system you are talking about works a little better than the one on my car (it hasn't failed, but others have reported the false trips and it's warmed about in the owners manual - so it's turned OFF).
     
  18. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Pedestrian safety Steer Assist is a new feature that future cars may have added on to PCS. It will turn the car if braking is determined not to be enough to prevent hitting a person.
     
  19. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    I don't understand why the silent rage? This is how technology works. My first computer was 1 megahertz with 0.01 megabyte of RAM and cost $1000 in today's dollars. (Now I own a $20 watch which has more power.) The first VCRs were about $1000 but today they're about $50 (with a free DVD player too).

    My dad bought a car in the 80s that cost $2000 extra for the airbag restraint system in his luxury Chrysler. You'd think it would be included with a $30,000 car, but no. It was extra. (Now airbags are standard even in the cheapo-econo Nissan Versa.)

    On my own car I wanted power windows, and they cost me $1000 extra. They too are free on virtually all cars today.

    New stuff always costs more when introduced, and then gradually phases over to free or dirt-cheap.
     
  20. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    And yes, some posters are correct that safety systems =/= improvement in safety.

    Some things like belts and airbags obviously do, but so far nobody has proved that Daytime running lights, or Lane drift warnings reduce accidents. All the studies show no change. I kinda suspect this pedestrian avoidance system may also be ineffective.

    (For me I don't worry, because how many pedestrians are wandering around the I-5 or 15?)
     
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