AD #3283 – Tesla Outranks Renault; A-Pillars Are Killing Pedestrians; Ford Uses Robot To Run 3D Printing Machines

March 17th, 2022 at 11:50am

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Listen to “AD #3283 – Tesla Outranks Renault In Revenue; A-Pillars Are Killing Pedestrians; Ford Uses Robot To Run 3D Printing Machines” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:38

0:07 A-Pillars Are Killing Pedestrians
1:17 JLR Makes Energy Storage Systems with Used I-Pace Batteries
2:16 Top OEMs Ranked by Revenue
3:59 Ford Uses Robot to Run 3D Printing Machines
4:58 Honda Bets on Hybrids
5:23 Geely Develops Battery Swapping for Big Trucks
6:25 Lamborghini Sets All-Time Sales and Profit Record
7:34 Li Auto L9 Has 745 Miles of Range

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45 Comments to “AD #3283 – Tesla Outranks Renault; A-Pillars Are Killing Pedestrians; Ford Uses Robot To Run 3D Printing Machines”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Aren’t many, or most of those rollover fatalities probably the result of unbelted occupants being ejected, and either the 5000 pound vehicle landing on top of them, or the person flying into another object?

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Those Bentleys and Lamborghinis really add to VW group’s top line, even though the volume is low. Porsche and Audi also help offset the high volume of not-too-pricey VWs, Skodas, and Seats.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought Renault and Nissan (and Mitsubishi) were the same company. Is that not the case?

  4. Albemarle Says:

    There are ways to make the A pillar less bulky. Once again, we may need government to step in to mandate the obvious.

    I’ve rented cars with enormous A pillars, mostly from trim. I’ve also had issues with the location and slope of the A pillar. On one very twisty road on Vancouver Island, I felt I spent half the time looking out the side window.

    The position of the rear view mirror can also be an issue when turning right. Maybe blind spot technology could help.

  5. ChuckGrenci Says:

    1, And what about the corollary of the increase of device carrying pedestrians that are oblivious to traffic and put them self in harm’s way.

    Using BEV batteries for power stations is a good idea, but ultimately, it still just delays the inevitable, which still requires a battery recycling program at a grand enough scale.

    Battery swapping for trucks makes more sense to me than in autos. It is kind of the advantage BEV trucks and fuel cells trucks can more fully take advantage when those vehicles return home after a day’s work schedule (on a more regular routine).

  6. wmb Says:

    I guess we know why VW Group didn’t sell of Lamborghini, when there were rumors suggesting that they were considering it! While divesting some of Bugatti might have cut some of the group’s expenses with engineering and development cuts (which they probably weren’t makingba lot of money on when you consider how much the were spending on it), keeping Lambo close definitely helps their bottom line!

  7. REY Says:

    Tesla.a profitable? Elon said they would be , way back in 2017, and yesterday mnbc was a piece about what company and country will lead in BEVs and the US has a very limited time to get in there before that window in time closes, a special contributer there is Michael Duune of ZOZOGO , often guest in Autoline daily, John McElroy should know him a bit.
    I HO Tesla will have 4 million units capacity / year by 2025 -26, and legacy auto are in for the EV SHOCK of their life.

  8. Lambo2015 Says:

    I really have to echo Chucks comment that I could easily see the increase in pedestrian accidents being attributed to people on their phones not paying attention and getting hit when it normally would be avoided. The increase in it being trucks and SUVs could also be because that’s what everyone buys now. Remember how sedan sales have dropped off so of course pedestrian/truck accidents will increase accordingly. Not saying the A-pillar isn’t a problem but as John pointed out to have the strength and include side airbags they grew.
    A more rectangular shape angled toward the driver so the thinnest area obstructs their view would help but would probably look funny.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 If gas prices stay as they are now, or go a lot higher, the north American legacy car companies will be in big trouble, at least in the near term. I haven’t seen numbers yet, but I suspect sales of pickup trucks and big SUVs have crashed. Probably the most expensive ones will be least affected, because people who buy Escalades, Range Rovers, and Navigators probably don’t care much about fuel cost.

  10. XA351GT Says:

    A High School girl developed a camera system that allows the driver to “see through” the A pillar. I saw this on the local news here in the Philly area a few years ago. It looked like a great innovation . I wonder why it’s not being used

  11. XA351GT Says:

    https://didyouknowfacts.com/teenage-girl-invents-a-simple-and-innovative-way-to-get-rid-of-your-cars-blind-spots/

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Did it display what’s on the other side of the A pillar on a screen on the A pillar? I remember reading about something like that.

    7 At some point, Tesla will need to come up with a smaller, less expensive car than the Model 3, which now costs $47K in its least expensive form. The cheapest Model Y is $63K.
    The Tesla site now gives May of 2022 as estimated delivery for a Model 3 Long Range or Performance, so it looks like they are nearly keeping up with demand. I suspect they are adjusting prices upward to keep it that way.

  13. bradley cross Says:

    I think Jag also showed a concept with cameras to see thru the A pillar.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 That’s what I remember. You posted the link while I was typing.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    John; When weight reduction was the huge target in the auto industry we used to hear figures like XXX weight equaled 1 mpg depending on vehicle and engine. Have you heard any such thing when it comes to BEV’s? Like 200lbs reduces range by X amount. Cause as manufacturers try and get more and more range the larger batteries/weight can become counterproductive.
    So if 95% of your driving in under 200 miles but you can get a 500 mile range battery but it adds 600lbs your basically carrying extra weight for that 5% of the time you need more range. I guess it would probably be in terms of Kw per mile and how that changes per each size battery offered.

    As for that LI Auto L9 a 1.5L turbo seems pretty small for that size SUV.

  16. John McElroy Says:

    #15. Lambo, I have seen data that shows the extra battery cost and lower range caused by extra weight, but I don’t have that info at hand. Let me see if I can get my source to show that to me again.
    And you’re right about choosing the right battery size for the amount of driving you’ll be doing. Too many people are fixated on max range when they don’t need it +90% of the time. Ford is getting commercial customers to choose battery sizes based on their actual daily driving, which in the vast majority of cases is a total of 80 miles a day, or less.

  17. George Ricci Says:

    John, I totally agree with you ” While trying to save people in one area, it’s killing them in another”. When the rollover standards where increase several times, no one seemed to realize the negative aspect that would be created. The larger A pilers and how they interfere with visibility, the extra weight of the A piler that raises the center of gravity and increases the likelihood of a rollover, the extra weights effect on gas mileage and braking distances which leads to more accidents.

  18. Drew Says:

    Does IIHS acknowledge their role in increasing the size of A-pillars? When NHTSA modified FMVSS 216 to require a 2.5x roof strength factor, IIHS was pushing a 3.5x factor. Their only justification for 3.5x was to cite one compact car that already attained it. But they paid no attention to the scale-up requirements for larger vehicles. Engineers they are not.

  19. Drew Says:

    Specifically, IIHS requires a 4.0x to earn a Good rating, 3.25-3.99 to earn an Acceptable rating, 2.5-3.24 to earn a Marginal rating, under 2.5 gets a Poor rating.

    Crushed roofs provide graphic TV images, but are not the primary cause of injury. Major injuries are caused when unbelted and loosely belted occupants will have their heads jam into the roof BEFORE the roof collapses.

  20. Bob Wilson Says:

    In 2010, Congress passed the “Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act” that mandated ‘quiet cars’ (i.e., Prius) have noise makers for pedestrians, especially the blind. However, the early data showed the driver side turning bias in often fatal car-pedestrian accidents.

    When turning left closest to the driver, the A-pillar sweeps and blocks a stationary point in the cross walk. One eye is directly blocked and the other has a natural blind spot in the retina. This deadly bias was evident in the flawed NHTSA study that falsely justified adding the noise makers.

    Tesla AutoPilot has 3 of 8 cameras on the windshield just forward of the rear view mirror. No camera is blocked by the A-pillar (see web link.) BTW, no car radar unit would detect pedestrians on a crosswalk.

  21. ArtG Says:

    In the early 2000s, Volvo (still owned by Ford then)showed the SCC2 Safety Car Concept that featured a see-through A-pillar. I suspect that would never meet roof crush standards today.

    https://www.media.volvocars.com/us/en-us/media/photos/798

  22. Bob Wilson Says:

    As a Tesla stock holder, I approve increases in prices to exploit the demand that has some deliveries out to November. The price increases and improved manufacturing means Tesla Q1 2022 profits will more than cover the startup costs of the new Austin and Berlin factories.

    Then there is the $12,000 Full Self Driving (FSD) option that buyers can get an earlier delivery. Tesla is following the principle of accelerating deliveries of the highest profit margin vehicles.

    FYI, I bought my 2019 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus for $24,000 by trading in a Toyota Prius Prime PHEV that did not work out. I also bought FSD in October for $6,000. GOOD; FAST; CHEAP … pick two.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just saw a pedestrian almost get hit, while I was walking back from the beach about 1/2 mile away. The pedestrian started to walk when the blue “walk” light came on, as an 18 wheeler was running the red light. The yellow at this location is pretty long, but still, the light was red when the truck went through. Red light cameras are needed, it seems.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 I’d think weight would make less difference with EVs, and hybrids, than with ICE cars, because part of the energy used to get up to speed is recovered when slowing down. Still, weight would matter, because the energy recovery is far from 100%, even when slowing at a rate where you don’t use the friction brakes.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Couldn’t strong A pillars be made more-or-less elliptical, with the small dimension facing the driver, so there wouldn’t be as much blockage of the driver’s view?

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 According to the Tesla web site, deliveries of the most popular Model 3, the Long Range, are estimated for May, as is the Model Y Performance. For the Y Long Range, it’s September.

    Yeah, it makes sense to charge what the market will bear, which is quite a bit at this time. As more and better competition becomes available, the price increases will need to slow, but for now, production and demand about match, even with the increases.

  27. Drew Says:

    Bob, Tesla decided to bet on camera technology and take a cost saving from the more robust camera-radar combo. Cameras and radars each have their own weaknesses. Like humans, cameras can be blinded in low sun light and bright oncoming lights, and be inconsistent at night. Radar needs a relatively hard object to reflect (obese pedestrians and puffy winter coats are challenges). Beneficially, radar is not affected by high or low light. This is why the most robust systems use both radar and camera sensors.

  28. Merv Peters Says:

    the great white North? Well i live here and its great,but seldom white.

  29. Wim van Acker Says:

    @4, 5, 10, 18, 19, 20, 27 and others: thanks for your insightful comments. I am enjoying this Comments section.

  30. Bob Wilson Says:

    #27 – Posted “. . . from the more robust camera-radar combo.” Tesla pointed out the radar stack was giving false signals that slowed down the full optical-radar stack. Removing (and disabling) the radar makes the optical system more robust.

    I noticed phantom braking significantly reduced after a downloaded firmware disabled the radar. Speculation but radar multi-path can easily return a false indication and suddenly the car brakes. Your experience may be different.

  31. MERKUR DRIVER Says:

    30) That is because TESLA uses an old outdated and cheap radar system that was used for cruise control systems since the early 2000s. Radar is the wrong name for the correct combination which is Cameras and LIDAR. There is no camera solution that is better than LIDAR on any day of the week. And that is where the self driving companies are all going.

  32. Drew Says:

    Bob, a well tested and developed radar (antenna and calibration) can minimize those false positive events. But such a development involves millions of simulations and real world miles. This is the trade off versus Tesla’s Speed of Thought… customers become the beta testers. If the problem was the hardware (e.g., antenna), then no OTD update can fix it. Instead, they turned off the radar and expanded the role of the cameras. My advice – don’t rely on the system at sun rise, sun, set, or at night. It may seem like it’s working, but it is not robust.

    I could tell you dozens of stories about the conditions that confuse AV sensors.

  33. Bob Wilson Says:

    Dr Demming once said, ‘Without data, everything else is opinion.’ The web link is safety data Tesla shares each quarter. Where is your safety data?

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,32,33 etc.
    I might buy a Tesla at some point in the future, but I will pass on paying $10K for “full self driving” which isn’t even close to that.

  35. Bob Wilson Says:

    #34 – Hindsight says standard AutoPilot is enough. A FSD beta tester, I opted out after the last draconian Tesla warning. I like FSD but Tesla can stuff their threats to take it away where the Sun don’t shine.

  36. wmb Says:

    When it comes to the A pillar, IMHO, it’s not just the size of the pillar, that creates the blindspot(s). With vehicles shapes being so aerodynamic and wedge like, when the exterior mirrors are placed at the intersection of the A piller and the base of the car door window, it creates the biggest blindspots on both sides of the vehicle, while turning! At times things larger then people have been hiden behind the A piller and the side mirrors! Or…maybe it’s just me?

  37. Mark Brichacek Says:

    I agree that A-pillar size has become a visibility problem through the years.I have autocrossed several vehicles through the years-
    1989 Dodge Shadow ES,1995 Dodge Neon ACR,2004 Neon SRT-4,2014 Dodge Dart GT.Each car got larger A-pillars which made it more difficult to see the cones on the autocross course.My current vehicle,a 2019 Jeep Cherokee,which I have not autocrossed due to its height,is about the same as the Dart as far A-pillars.

  38. Mark Brichacek Says:

    I agree that A-pillar size has become a visibility problem through the years.I have autocrossed several vehicles through the years-
    1989 Dodge Shadow ES,1995 Dodge Neon ACR,2004 Neon SRT-4,2014 Dodge Dart GT.Each car got larger A-pillars which made it more difficult to see the cones on the autocross course.My current vehicle,a 2019 Jeep Cherokee,which I have not autocrossed due to its height,is about the same as the Dart as far A-pillars.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37,38 I had a 1992 Spirit R/T that I autocrossed a couple times. It was a real “sleeper” on the street, but Neon ACRs were much better autocrossers.

  40. Lambo2015 Says:

    The blind spots have not only increased with pillar size but as people move away from sedans you’ll find most of the large SUV and trucks have much larger mirrors which hides even more area. Mirrors on most sedans are like 3×5 while a truck mirror even without the extended towing ones can be 5×7.

  41. MERKUR DRIVER Says:

    My Fiero has very thin A-Pillars. Yet in a roll over there is no other car I would rather be in. That is because there is a massive safety hoop directly behind the head of the occupants due to the unique space frame structure of the Fiero. It is impossible to crush that hoop in a roll over. It is also very light so that also makes its more favorable in a roll over.

    That space frame structure is also quite strong in full overlap front/rear impacts. They never tested it in partial overlaps but I would assume it to be pretty decent as there is a ton of structure in that space frame. More than any modern car I have taken apart. Throw some airbags and better seat belts in it and it would be a fairly safe car to drive. Even with the lack of airbags/better belt technology, I don’t feel unsafe in a Fiero.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    F1 practice 2 now on ESPNEWS.

  43. Doug Says:

    A-pillors. Good thing they are saving big trucks with rollovers and probably strength in accidents too because many people did get injured not many years ago. Something nit mentioned and spoke from many people with experience. Newer cars have more swept/sloped A-pillor as well for aero/mpg making it have to be thicker than a more box shaped. Also many people now drive larger cuv/suvs/trucks. Many of the seating positions are made for people of all sizes especially greater than 5’10”. If you are shorter to reach pedals you are way up close to the wheel blinded by A pillor. That is why I like the jeep grand cherokee, bmw x 5 , teluride sitting position and squareness of the roofline/a pillor. Although great vehicle the worst for me was the mazda cx9 which obscures view for shorter people but is very aero shaped. Some cars as well do this not to pick on mazda.

  44. Doug Says:

    A-pillors. Good thing they are saving big trucks with rollovers and probably strength in accidents too because many people did get injured not many years ago. Something nit mentioned and spoke from many people with experience. Newer cars have more swept/sloped A-pillor as well for aero/mpg making it have to be thicker than a more box shaped. Also many people now drive larger cuv/suvs/trucks. Many of the seating positions are made for people of all sizes especially greater than 5’10”. If you are shorter to reach pedals you are way up close to the wheel blinded by A pillor. That is why I like the jeep grand cherokee, bmw x 5 , teluride sitting position and squareness of the roofline/a pillor. Although great vehicle the worst for me was the mazda cx9 which obscures view for shorter people but is very aero shaped. Some cars as well do this not to pick on mazda.

  45. Doug Says:

    A-pillors. Good thing they are saving big trucks with rollovers and probably strength in accidents too because many people did get injured not many years ago. Something nit mentioned and spoke from many people with experience. Newer cars have more swept/sloped A-pillor as well for aero/mpg making it have to be thicker than a more box shaped. Also many people now drive larger cuv/suvs/trucks. Many of the seating positions are made for people of all sizes especially greater than 5’10”. If you are shorter to reach pedals you are way up close to the wheel blinded by A pillor. That is why I like the jeep grand cherokee, bmw x 5 , teluride sitting position and squareness of the roofline/a pillor. Although great vehicle the worst for me was the mazda cx9 which obscures view for shorter people but is very aero shaped. Some cars as well do this not to pick on mazda.