AD #2537 – Alfa Says It Is Making New Models, Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise, IndyCar to Try New Driver Safety Device

February 21st, 2019 at 11:56am

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Listen to “AD #2537 – Alfa Says It Is Making New Models, Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise, IndyCar to Try New Driver Safety Device” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 5:28

0:24 Alfa Romeo Disputes That It’s Not Making New Models
0:43 IIHS Ranks AEB in Compact CUVs
1:25 Pedestrian Fatalities Are on the Rise
2:53 BMW to Open R&D Office in Tel Aviv
3:22 Ford Considers Trimming Russian Operations
3:48 Audi Making Cuts in Europe
4:04 HondaJet Sales Blast Off
4:24 IndyCar Implementing New Driver Safety Measure

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47 Comments to “AD #2537 – Alfa Says It Is Making New Models, Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise, IndyCar to Try New Driver Safety Device”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Both driver and pedestrian distraction from smart phones probably contributes to pedestrian fatalities. As far as the SUV/CUVs, a lot of them were being sold in 2010 and before, but they and pickup trucks didn’t make up more than half the fleet like they do now.

  2. ChuckGrenci Says:

    John, I think you’re on to something mentioning the widespread use of the “Smartphones” and pedestrian injuries/deaths, and yes, those with faces planted into the screen are both the drivers and the pedestrians making it just more common. I was going to ask why some vehicles were rated superior and others advanced but after reading the transcript there was room for some grey areas. Good report.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    A careless pedestrian who has her nose inside her i-phone and/or a careless driver doing the same will produce a fatality, and do produce a ton of fatalities, and these fatalities are 100% unrelated to what type of vehicle hits the pedestrian, whether it is a 6,000 lb Navigator Hippopotamus or a 1,600 lb “Dumb” (aka “smart”), they both can kill the pedestrian just as easily. If anything, it will be hard to miss the bulky Navigator, while she will miss the tiny “Dumb” more easily.

  4. Brett Cammack Says:

    Another compelling argument for autonomous vehicles.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    For some reason, $5 mill for a Hondajet sounds relatively cheap to me. No wonder they did well in sales.

    In an unrelated Air Transport Manufacturing Fiasco (a big one) the biggest airplane in the world, the humongous A380 from Airbus, after $25 BILLIONS wasted on it for more than a decade, and after selling less than a third (about 300 vs expected 950) over the 2005ish-2018 period, the $500 million apiece plane was finally discontinued. I still would like to fly it once and see how much roomier it is than the other jetliners.

    The EC gave the failed plane untold billions in subsidies, for which Boeing bitterly protested. Total Airbus subsidies (these are just as bad as tariffs and worse, and far stupider) add up to more than $40 billion.

    In the early 90s, I expected the EC to grow faster than the US markets, due to the economic integration and all that. I was bitterly disappointed. The above is just another example showing how idiotic it is for Government to stick its nose in Business and pick winners and, in this case, utter losers.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    4 No, another compelling argument for SERIOUS Driver’s Ed in the US (100 hours and hard tests, like they do in Germany of Autobahn fame) and for throwing the book at the irresponsible clowns that drive and text, or walk and text, and do not look in front of them.

  7. Albemarle Says:

    Potential production numbers versus actual for Ford in Russia just remind us of the traditional worker efficiency in communist countries.
    It will be interesting when the NTSB starts adopting the IIHS standards for pedestrian safety.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    the ENTIRE Russian economy is smaller not only than that of the state of CA, as I expected, but also was MUCH smaller, in 2018, than the much less populous state of Texas!!!!

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 The A380s will be in service for about 40 years, so we should have a chance to fly in one. I’d also like to. Emirates is the biggest operator of A380s, with over 100 of them delivered, and more firm orders.

    I, too, was surprised at how “cheap” the Honda Jet is. The cheapest B737 is over $50M. Yeah, the 737 is much larger, but the parts count couldn’t be that different, except for the number of seats.

  10. Brett Cammack Says:

    You are never going to see comprehensive driver education in America. The savings in avoided collisions, medical care, and litigation will cover the development cost of autonomy in short order.

    As a side benefit, if cars don’t crash, you no longer have to build them like bank vaults and there will be commensurate savings in resource utilization, cost, and energy necessary to move them about.

  11. Drew Says:

    John, thank you very, very much for ascribing a more appropriate root cause for the increase in pedestrian fatalities. I continue to be amazed at other media outlets (e.g., FREEP) that take IIHS releases/positions at face value. IIHS consistently connects anecdotal data without root cause analysis.

    Larry, Driver’s Ed 520 (graduate level course) will be nice, but we also need Pedestrian Ed 101. On second thought, we should start teaching Ped Ed in grade school, then again in middle school and again in high school.

  12. Drew Says:

    I was in an A380 last year. While the jet is bigger, leg and hip room is not.

  13. Drew Says:

    John, thank you very, very much for more appropriately identifying the key cause for the increase in pedestrian fatalities.

    IIHS’s anecdotal analysis lacks science. During the same time period, I suspect there was an increase in tattoos. The shallow analysis of IIHS might blame tattoos for pedestrian fatalities. We need more media like AutoLine to keep IIHS honest.

    Larry, although Driver’s Ed 520 (graduate level) will help reduce the number of Darwinians on the road, we need Pedestrian Ed… at grade school, middle school, high school, and fresh level Ped Ed 101.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Do you have to be in 1st class to use the amenities, like the tiki bar, etc.? I assume so.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 Yeah, the only way an SUV would be much more of a hazard to pedestrians than a car, is that it wouldn’t be able to maneuver or brake quite as well as most cars to avoid a pedestrian. If there is actual contact, I don’t see how there’d be much difference.

  16. John L Says:

    As for Driver’s Ed in the US, it has been phased out in many schools for two reasons; additional instructional time needed in preparation for government-mandated academic testing, and simply as a cost cutting measure for the schools. Meanwhile, we have increased pedestrian fatalities, as well as constantly increasing traffic fatalities on our highways.

  17. Don B. Says:

    Pedestrians are getting stupid or think they are entitled to walkout into traffic with impunity. I drive in New Brunswick NJ the home of Rutgers university and the pedestrians pay no heed to the crosswalk “don’t walk” signs. They just walk into the street. Police should start enforcing crosswalk codes and ticket the people.

  18. Drew Says:

    Kit, I wish I was in 1st class. The pods have lots of amenities and privacy. But the price premium was too dear for my wallet. The cabin crew were friendly enough in coach. But the seat cushions lacked…. uh…. sufficient cushion for our 16 hour flight from Dallas to Sydney

  19. Larry D. Says:

    11 If the enormous plane has the same leg and elbow room as the rest of them, I would be far less interested in flying it, ever. No reason to want to waste 2 hours to get my luggage among 1,000 pieces or to check in along with 555 to 800 other passengers.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    15 “..Meanwhile, we have increased pedestrian fatalities, as well as constantly increasing traffic fatalities on our highways.”

    Actually this is not true at all. For 5 decades, traffic fatalities have been going down by huge amounts, if you look at the fatalities per 100 million miles driven, and in some cases even the absolute numbers came down a lot. Recently there was an uptick due to the texting and other distracted driving, but the long term trend is a huge improvement in traffic safety, and it makes sense 100%, the cars of today are far superior to the death traps of the 60s and before.

  21. bradley cross Says:

    A380 is a great plane. My experience was a smooth flight (maybe due to size?)

    I vaguely recall GM pulling out of Russia a while back. Seems like a good call.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    17 I had responded to an earlier post of yours about the Russian watches, some days ago, mine was also a “Poljot” gold watch, spelled like “POLET” in Cyrillic characters. It had a case and instructions of use, probably in Russian. I still have the box and the non-working watch back in the summer home in some drawer.

  23. Bob Wilson Says:

    S.841 – Senate version ‘Pedestrian Safety Act’ (Bell the Hybrid) was a Congressional Act signed into law to mandate noise makers on hybrid and EV vehicles. Except only the blind benefitted because it did not make cars and non-trained pedestrians safer. As pointed out, distracted walking which predated smartphones with the old Sony Walkman, did nothing to improve pedestrian safety. Worse is the attitude that a ’4,000 lb car will stop for me.’

    A more detailed analysis revealed Prius were safer to pedestrian than the USA fleet (see link.) More importantly, there was a bias in the data that turning into the A pillar, the left windshield mount, was more risky because it swings an arc that can hide a pedestrian. Sad to say, the IIHS is not testing the A pillar hidden, cross-walk pedestrian.

    BTW, I added a backup light beep and discovered that in a parking lot, pedestrians may no attention to it.

  24. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    Does distracted drivers include people holding pets while driving? I’m seeing more of that each summer I guess people like taking there dogs out for a drive.

  25. Glenn Arlt Says:

    I have to say, the pedestrians in Traverse City Michigan are about as dangerous to themselves (and the driving records of drivers) as anywhere I’ve seen, and I’ve traveled the world over the years. I had a guy walk out right in front of me last year (he had a “full” red “Hand” on his crosswalk and I was turning left on green) and after I slammed the brakes on, nearly hitting him, he simply glared at me as if I was doing something out of the ordinary…. driving. But I agree – smart phones in the hands of drivers and pedestrians. I’m surprised the death rate hasn’t gone up much more than it has.

  26. Drew Says:

    22 – Bob, one of the IIHS and NHTSA Test revisions borne out the Firestone tire hysteria was strengthening roof structure. There were three adverse outcomes from the Do Gooder’s requirements… added weight above the center of gravity (increasing the risk of rollover); less energy absorption (increasing the durance/distance of rollover); and thicker roof pillars (increasing the blind spot to pedestrians and other road user such as motorcycles and bicycles).

  27. Bob Says:

    Distraction goes both ways! Driver and pedestrian. I have had pedestrians step out in front of my car, nose stuck in their phone, on a few occasions. Everybody knows about distracted drivers. Time to share the wealth, or blame, with pedestrians.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Dogs standing in the driver’s lap, with its head out the drivers window is the worst. That could be very distracting.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR no longer recommends the Tesla Model 3 because of high unreliability.

  30. ChuckGrenci Says:

    As the Model 3 continues to populate the market, a more reliable evaluation of its reliabilty should emerge. Whether good or bad should normalize as the early adopters are diluted with more traditional buyers giving ‘electrics’ a try. This just meaning it will be more on par to comparisons to a more generic mix of vehicles.

  31. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Pedestrians think they are immune from Don’t Walk signs. Example: U of M Ann Arbor campus at class change time. Don’t go there.

    Ford or GM in Russia? Why? Are they helping with the new missiles that are meant to destroy Europe and the US like Putin is claiming?

    Apologies to Larry about the size of the Tayman, or at least this version:
    That really is BIG! How would a Targa look in a 4-doorl? A Coupe version?

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 The worst of today’s cars in CR’s reliability survey aren’t that bad. I’ve had two of them, Mini and Corvette, and haven’t had much trouble with either. If a car seemed to have 10X the normal number of problems, I’d avoid it, but I’d probably even buy a Land Rover, if I really liked it.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29. Hyundai/Kia seem to be to be the top brands in Russia, other than Lada.

    It appears that Taycan is intended to be a direct Tesla S competitor, based on size and specs. It will be interesting to learn the pricing.

    I am an habitual jaywalker, but I make it a point to avoid getting hit, and to not inconvenience drivers. Yeah, many pedestrians don’t do that.

  34. Jim Thompson Says:

    I agree with Drew. A contributing factor is the wider A pillars. I am constantly rocking back and forth to see around those humungous A pillars

  35. w l simpson Says:

    Ron White, standup comedian , has the simple, oft repeated, reason for most of the world’s problems , other than Greed—” You can’t fix Stupid ! ”
    Spent my working lifetime in the car biz , truly amazed at the jumble that it has become , predict Hyundai/Kia will soon rule , since they
    seem to have a sense of direction sadly lacking everywhere else

  36. Larry D. Says:

    Did you watch AAH yesterday? Very good show, lots of tech details on EV motors, and a good discussion about Ghosn and Nissan, but for the love of God PLEASE stop calling the guy a Frenchman, it is ludicrous. He may have delusions of being whatever, but who he really is is a Lebanese dude born in Brazil. Maybe he appreciates French Cuisine, or even Culture, but that does not him a Frenchman make.

    Also, Gary Vasilach had his usual data, about the number of EV charging stations in the US and Canada, and I thought I knew the answer this time (usually I do not have clue one what his numbers are), because I read that the US has about 44,000 of these, and if you ad a few for Canada, the total should be the highest among Gary’s 4 options, ie, the 50k+ number.

    Gary may want to double check his numbers on the above.

    I have to go to a meeting in 10 mins and will not read the CR link, but what were the Model 3 complaints? Were the faults expensive to fix (they are under warranty anyway for all Model 3 buyers so far), or were they minor glitches of the kind computer illiterate buyers complain about?

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 This is part of what CR says about the Model 3 reliability issues:

    “Model 3 owners in our spring survey sample reported some body hardware and in-car electronics problems, such as the screen freezing, which we have seen with other Tesla models. The latest survey data also shows complaints about paint and trim issues. In addition, some members reported that the Model 3’s sole display screen acted strangely.

    “The touch screen would intermittently begin acting as if someone was touching it rapidly at many different points,” one member wrote in. “This fault would cause music to play, volume to increase to maximum, and would rescale and pan the map in the navigation system.”

    Some owners also complained about glass defects, including cracks in the rear window, in their survey responses.

    In fact, CR experienced similar problems with its own Model 3. Earlier this year, our test vehicle developed a large crack in its massive rear window during a cold spell when it was parked outside.”

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25, 32 It seems that some companies do a lot better than others at making not-so-wide A pillars. I recently noticed that my sister’s Subaru Forester has narrower pillars than many, or most newer cars. The windshield is probably more vertical than some, and the vehicle weighs about 3500 pounds, not 6000, but it seems possible to make the roof strong without 6 inch wide pillars, if the design is done right. A CR list of cars with good visibility shows Range Rover as having relatively narrow pillars, and it is not light.

    It would seem that car companies could make the A pillars narrower as the driver sees them, and wider “in and out” of the car, and make them strong. Doing that would result in the right and left pillars being different, but so what?

  39. Larry D. Says:

    35 thanks. In the Model 3, the touchscreen is a crucial component, actually it is ‘the’ crucial component, if it does not work nothing works, there are no dozens of knobs like in ordinary cars.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    Just opened this article. A BMW dealer has no doubt Tesla was a major source of his recent sales woes.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    38 a sample of what he said

    “You can say all that you want about their (Tesla’s) service problems and all, they’ll just keep selling more cars, and I don’t know if it’s more of a cult than anything else,” Dyke said. “My hat off to them — they’re selling a lot of cars, and there is no question in California that it’s getting in our shorts.”

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There will soon be a genuine competitor to the Tesla S, in the Porsche Taycan. The S will still have an advantage, at least for a while, in their comprehensive charger network, but that will change over time.

    Tesla has been good at selling sedans, while everyone else has been having trouble selling them. Maybe Tesla should try selling body styles that the mainstream brands don’t even TRY to sell, like wagons and coupes. They should add those body styles for the Model 3, after they fix the quality problems, especially with the touch screen and the spontaneously breaking rear window. .

  43. Larry D. Says:

    40 I believe the Taycan has 600 HP, and being a Porsche I expect it to be priced near $150,000, or higher than even the most potent versions of the S in the US market. I bet it will be successful, but still it will only take a few hundred sales away from the S. Porsche makes $20,000 on each ICE vehicle it sells, on average, and it will be interesting to see if it prices the Taycan greedily to also make similar $, or to gain market share and suffer losses on every one it sells.

    Either way, these few hundred units a month are only a tiny segment of the 32,000 units Tesla was estimated to sell last Jan alone.

    The S and the X were, according to some, trial runs for the big game, which was the Model 3 and any other high-volume Teslas in the future. .

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Road and Track have this continuously updated report on the Taycan. There will be multiple versions, some solidly in Model S price range, if their info is correct.

  45. Larry D. Says:

    44 Interesting, so they will offer several downmarket versions. Starting price $75 these days means the $150k I mentioned and beyond for the premium versions and the more potent versions. But the total model S sales are in the order of 2,000-3,000 a month, so even if the Taycan gets most of these, Porsche needs to offer a Model 3 competitor a couple years from now, to achieve any serious EV volume. Maybe the smaller Audi e tron will do that for the VW Group.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    The Taycan will include wagon-ish versions. Here is a Tesla S modified in that fashion in today’s top gear page

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45 All Porsches, at least the cars, have a very wide price range within models, and a long, pricey option list. A Cayman, which I’ve toyed with buying, starts at about $56K MSRP, but there are versions that are well over $100K.

    The VW group Model 3 competitor will probably be a VW, or maybe a Skoda in other parts of the world.