Reply to post: Re: If a car has automated braking

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: If a car has automated braking

"If a car has Automatic Braking (to apply the brakes automatically when it detects that a crash would otherwise occur), then that may be a very good thing. Nothing but good.

But if that system started slamming the brakes on randomly, then please turn it off. Not so "nothing but good" now."

Well spotted. And here's my own experience. Make your own mind up whether it's anecdote or evidence.

I had a car that "slammed the brakes on randomly" (or, arguably, worse)..

It was a brand new "city car", intended mostly as an around town runabout. It had Automatic Braking including some kind of forward looking 'radar'. It also turned out to come with an interesting failure mode where under certain initially unclear circumstances the radar would apparently see things that weren't really there and the result was that the (automatic, computer controlled) gearbox went into neutral (even if you were moving at 30-40mph at the time).

Turning the car off and on again while stationary restored normal service (for a while). Definitely 'not so good'.

The dealers were clueless, especially as no fault codes were recorded, so it stopped being used for anything except test drives based on my low speed very low traffic 5km commute.

Eventually I became able to provoke the failures and to recover, safely, during that route almost on demand on a specific low risk llow speed low traffic section of the route.

After a few weeks experimenting it turned out that one way of avoiding the failures was to push the button that disabled the forward looking radar 'safety' system. Pretty much 100% repeatable. Fancy that.

It did eventually get fixed, but it took rather longer than it should have done to work out wtf was going on.

Still, I'm sure Boeing, CFM, FAA, etc will sort out the 737-MAX issues in due course. It'd perhaps be better if these things were sorted *before* they were certified for commercial use.

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