Originally Posted by JoeBob
I suppose you might have to worry about that when the car is 20-30 years old...also corrosion on connectors, etc.
No Prii are 20-30 years old but their DBW brakes may already be failing unexpectedly at rates higher than normal brakes.
Face it...electrical and electronic skill sets are going to be as necessary dealing with cars of the future as mechanical skills.
For me, electronic systems are an advantage. I am a computer guy. It's easier for me to troubleshoot when I can get error codes. When I can't, it's because the electronic system failed; I'm pretty good at knowing what's going on with that, too.
However, gratuitous replacement of known good systems with electronic systems that bring little or nothing to the table is too much.
- Advantages: Better traction and stability control systems, torque management for overpowered cars that can break components in 1st gear, reduced pumping losses in cars that are tuned to open the throttle more and use a higher gear.
- Disadvantages: Slow/unpredictable throttle response and the far worse rev hang make manual transmission driving a chore; you can't feel what the cruise control is doing; malfunctions cause out-of-control acceleration (a la Toyota).
- Advantages: The only advantage I can think of is on hybrids and electric cars, where it would allow the computer to select whether it will regen brake or friction brake.
- Disadvantages: I'm guessing there's no force feedback so you can't feel what's going on so troubleshooting braking would be much more complicated; lack of feel also makes driving less interactive and you have to listen
for ABS to know if you're on unexpectedly slippery surface; malfunctions cause inability to brake (a la Toyota
- Advantages: I can't imagine a single one.
- Disadvantages: It must
have a force feedback system or it would be impossible to drive so the whole thing has got to be heavy and wasteful of energy; I can't imagine how awful it would be if it has lag; if it malfunctions a la Toyota then you can't even fight it the way you can fight Toyota's malfunctioning electric power assist
(which reportedly doesn't help much).
DBW gear selection (vs. a linkage that controls PRNDL):
- Advantages: ???
- Disadvantages: When you want to shift the transmission to neutral because your accelerator is stuck and your brakes aren't working, you may not be able to because the computer overrides your selection or is already malfunctioning and can't obey.
DBW ignition switch (vs. a plain old key switch):
- Advantages: Slight convenience advantage for drivers. Easier for drunks to operate (wait, that's not an advantage).
- Disadvantages: When you want to shut the car off because your accelerator is stuck, your brakes aren't working, and your DBW gear selection won't go to neutral, the "Start" button doesn't behave the same way as it does when you're stopped, so you press it repeatedly but the damn thing won't shut off. If you happen to know that you're supposed to hold it for a long time (a very
long time at 100mph), you have to hope that it's not malfunctioning too.
Sure, they're not going to all malfunction at once unless the computer fails (which, let's face it, does happen)...but shouldn't those safety-vital systems have real manual overrides, as demonstrated in recent news? On a daily driving basis shouldn't drivers get to feel throttle, brakes, and steering?