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Antilock-breaking (ABS) vs Stabilty Control (ESP) vs Traction Control Video

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...If the guy behind me can't stop as quickly as I'm about to...then who's fault is it really if he just so happens to run my stupid ass the fuck over? ...
-Stoic Joker (June 23, 2014, 06:07 PM)
--- End quote ---
^^ That!
I reckon right there is yet another example of why brakes were a ruddy dangerous invention in the first place. My old driving instructor always said that the risk of rear-end shunts would likely take a nosedive if cars were not fitted with hydraulic brakes. He said they were just not natural, and if you learned to drive the car without using them, then that was a huge economic saving as you wouldn't need to be worrying about the palaver and cost of servicing the unused hydraulic lines, brake shoes and disk callipers, and it was good riddance when the brake lines corroded - you could remove all the surplus deadweight of that paraphernalia and improve the car's power-to-weight ratio.
And as for engine-braking, I recall him saying that it was to be avoided at all costs, as, not only could it make for really jerky driving and risk hurting passengers' necks, but also, with constant use, it would destroy the transmission as you were making it do something it was not designed to do (it was designed to transfer the engine's energy to push the car forwards, not slow it down). My instructor felt so strongly about this that he always had the reverse gear in his cars disabled by having the reverse cog removed from its gearshaft. That way, he reckoned his gearbox would last a lot longer, without all that unnatural grinding and wear and tear. I reckon he had a point.

I often think of him. He taught me all I know about driving, though I haven't driven for the years since as my eyesight was too bad to get me a driving licence. I was sad to hear a couple of years ago that he had been killed in an unfortunate accident in our small home town. Apparently, he had slammed into the back of a school bus that had stopped in a hurry to avoid running over a child crossing the road. I went to the funeral, and found I was the only one of his thousands of ex-pupils to attend, as they had all pre-deceased him. Would you believe it?

Stoic Joker:
 :-\ ... You're screwing with me, aren't you? :D

IainB: are a Stoic Joker after all - right?     ;)
But not just you. This thread.

From an old mechanic/street racer perspective...

Cars are designed purely so people will buy them, with the over-riding principle of cost savings to the manufacturer. Many times when you read about [or heaven forbid experience] some rather drastic problem with a car or truck, it's because someone decided to save $, sometimes as little as a penny, maybe even less.

Understanding that is important in two main ways or aspects... Features like you're discussing, ABS etc., are not designed to work optimally, but rather so that the people making up the target market for whatever car/truck like it. Automotive engineers have come up with countless improvements over the decades, some of which really could have made a very big difference in safety &/or performance, but they never saw production because the target market didn't approve. AND when features are included, 90+% of the time they are not as effective or reliable as they could be.

The performance & reliability of ABS, stability & traction control depends on the vehicle -- it's usefulness further depends on the driver -- how to best utilize any of the 3 depends on the vehicle, driving conditions, & the driver. All 3 are there because tires will lose traction with the road, and most all cars [& all trucks] are Not designed for handling, or put another way, are Not designed to maintain traction. And most people have better things to do or are not inclined to try to become race car drivers. :)

Give up ground clearance & a soft ride, pay the cash for better tires, if you can find one get a car with 4 wheel steering [e.g. Honda's simple system that wouldn't sell in the US], & have/use the modern equivalent to the old positraction. Then spend time playing in an empty parking lot or similar & find your car's limits, & how best to handle them. A *good* ABS system might be worthwhile, but the other 2 would be pretty much senseless. They're band-aids for less practical design & well, frankly a result of the car or truck you chose to buy.

I'm not saying don't buy a SUV for example -- I'm trying to put it in perspective, saying that attempting to compensate for less than optimal design [& perhaps driving skills] is going to have limits & will never be the absolute best answer. I'd prefer the idiots we all encounter on the road had all 3, out of a sense of self preservation. With the exception of a *good* ABS setup, I don't believe automated systems can ever do as well as a highly skilled human -- that's what I have against the Google cars -- because the possibilities that can be encountered are almost infinite, while forethought designing this stuff & writing code are definitely finite. :)

Stoic Joker:
I like ^this guy! :Thmbsup:


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