A five foot comfort alligator

Why not have a five foot comfort alligator? GM funds Kyle’s $2 billion a year comfort corporation. Speaking of Kyle this week one of his Cruise vehicle ran over a lady and parked on her leg but he still thinks any criticisms of his company are sensationalistic and if we keep doing it he’s going to take his ball and go home. The Teamsters are asking NHTSA to send him to his room without dessert and not allow his Cruise robots to be exempted from federal safety guidelines, Hyundai/Kia’s are still being stolen, some good news on traffic fatalities and some bad news on pedestrian fatalities, plus Fred tries to clear up confusion around GPS.

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note: this is a machine generated transcript and may not be completely accurate. This is provided for convience and should not be used for attribution.

Anthony: You’re listening to their auto be a law, the center for auto safety podcast with executive director, Michael Brooks, chief engineer, Fred Perkins, and hosted by me, Anthony Cimino. For over 50 years, the center for auto safety has worked to make cars safer.

Michael: Is that what that was? Did you ever figure out what that was?

Anthony: So, last week we’re recording, and we’re recording right now. Hi, listeners. Good morning. And we’re talking about the Hyundai Kia Thefts, and I noticed after we finished recording, outside my window, on the corner, is there’s a running Hyundai. Back windows are open, the engine’s running, and I’m, I ignored it at first, because I’m like, ah, maybe somebody just ran into a store.

But then, three hours later, it’s still there, engine’s still running, window’s still open, so I go outside, because I’m… Going off to do things and in the front seat, I notice a USB cable sitting there and I’m like, wow, this is clearly some kids stole this car. They listened to this show or some nice listener said, Hey, you want a free car?

Listen to this podcast and they left it there. But. This is amazing, though. This is, I mean, the kids have gotten better, because in the past, I’ve watched them literally steal these cars and crash into barriers. Whereas this one, they parked it more or less on the side of the road, and, they didn’t turn it on.

Was it a legal spot? It was illegal. Traffic cops came by, looked at it, and… Didn’t take it because, that’s paperwork, I guess, I don’t know. But yeah, there was, I eventually, I reported it to the police and they showed up and they got all very confused and other people in the neighborhood were like, yeah, it’s been there since this morning, since that podcast was recorded.

Michael: It was still running?

Anthony: Still running. Yes, it’s

still running. Hadn’t caught on fire. But as I pointed out I was like, yeah, but they left the engine running because somebody pointed out. Yeah. How are they going to turn it off? They don’t have keys. Yeah, it’s like,

Fred: was there anybody from Guinness nearby for the world record on idling without catching on fire spontaneously?

Anthony: That? No, that was good. But I mean, I also, they left their USB cable behind, which I was like, come on guys. That’s, they’re always useful. Five bucks right there. But anyway,

Michael: yeah, I mean, that’s still going on. We just saw this past weekend. There were at least, I think, two deaths related to Hyundai Kia thefts.

Anthony: Yeah. So let’s just jump right into the more Hyundai Kia. We’ve got a couple of articles we’re linking to. Let’s see there. One is in KOAT action news seven. The most action news in the morning an Albuquerque, a stolen car went through a stop sign around 2 p. m., crashed into another car, front passenger of the car that was crashed into was killed, unfortunately.

But again, this is another Hyundai Kia car. Yeah,

Michael: I mean, we, it, we, I looked at that story and no one is, that I’ve seen at least in the media has identified. It’s pretty clearly a Kia Optima vehicle that was involved in that crash. So, we’re waiting to hear more about that one. But, that’s an innocent bystander, innocent driver that’s been struck and was signed by someone in a potentially stolen Kia.

So, and that’s, and this isn’t just happening, once or twice a year, I mean, we know confirmed, I believe there have been at least 8 deaths connected to this. And we think there are probably many more. In fact, at the end of the year, when the data comes out, we’ll be doing a search in the federal data to see, where stolen vehicles are reported in fatal crashes and how the Hyundai key is line up in that.

But, I think we are, just a. Spitballing, I think we could probably connect 20 deaths or more since this started a year and a half or so ago to these stolen vehicles. So it’s and that doesn’t count the other crimes that have been committed. So these things are continuing to happen again and again.

Anthony: That’s amazing. The other story we have is out of 6 ABC, another action news. Everybody’s action news in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania State Police say a 14 year old was behind the wheel of a car that crashed causing the eastbound lanes of the Scullykill Expressway to be closed for hours. Scu call!

Scu call! Scu call! Anyway, I 76. Troopers attempted to stop a black Hyundai Sonata and the vehicle was reported stolen. The vehicle failed to yield to emergency lights and sped away from officers. Perhaps it was a Tesla. The driver then collapsed control and crashed into a barrier. No one was the kid was, the 15 year old was ejected from the car.


Michael: Yeah, and I ran a seatbelt, I’m sure, and it was a 14 year old girl driving the car who’s now charged with vehicular homicide. That’s when TikTok goes wrong, I think, and it’s, it’s just terrible that most of the, most, I think it was something like half of the humans that are stealing these vehicles are, Under the age where they can even be licensed.

So this is another one of those. And this is also a case of where, maybe is this a case where the police should have chased the vehicle? It’s stolen vehicle. Is that something that rises to the level where they needed to do this? We don’t know. We don’t know the, all of the circumstances, but that’s another issue that we discussed last week.

Fred: Well, two lives ruined for the price of the profit that Kia made on one car. This seems like a really bad idea. This, I don’t know, I don’t know why they haven’t been forced to recall it. And I don’t know why. Kia made the decision to save that small amount of money, the pittance associated with keeping the immobilizer out of the vehicles.

When you personalize it, it’s obvious. These two kids, one of them literally, dead, the other whose life will be ruined by the judicial system and the bad decision she made as a 14 year old, for what? How much money did they make? A couple thousand dollars on these cars? Please, this is just insanity.

Anthony: Yeah, this might not be a popular view, but I think more and more corporations need to lose their business licenses. But, hey, I’m just a guy talking to a microphone. So, yeah, it’s it’s unfortunate. Again, if you own one of these Hyundai Kias go to your dealer. Scream, yell, do not accept just the club as the answer.

Okay. That’s just insulting. If anything, they have a fix to these. Am I right, Michael? They have some

Michael: Almost all of the vehicles. I believe it’s like eight out of the 10 million that are affected. They have a fix for, but it’s. Not all vehicles can be protected with the software update, and, we still have some lingering questions about the software update.

We don’t think it’s 100 percent effective. We’re concerned that it may be not even 90 percent effective but we’re continuing to monitor to see reports of people who’ve had the update and then had their vehicle stolen, which we’ve seen a number of times already.

Anthony: So would your suggestion be, so we have 8 of the 10 million that can be fixed, those remaining 2 million that can’t be fixed, would your suggestion be to leave all the windows rolled down, leave a USB cable in the driver’s seat and just walk away?

Michael: Between some of the engine problems with a lot of these vehicles and the theft problems, I would just stick to the last two words of that sentence.

Anthony: Okay, fair enough. Hey, let’s well, well, since we’re talking about Traffic fatalities. Let’s just continue with this. So, there’s an article that we we didn’t get to last week that we mentioned.

This was about new cars being safer potentially, but pedestrian cyclist deaths being on the rise. And this is an article from the AP, and I’m going to quote from it here. Many studies have shown that larger vehicles like SUVs and pickups are more likely to kill or seriously injure pedestrians and cyclists when they’re involved in a crash.

The design of these vehicles can also pose visibility problems. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study of crashes with pedestrians at intersections found that the vehicles most likely to be involved in left turn crashes were SUVs and pickups, suggesting they might have a harder time seeing some of those pedestrians.

And we’ve discussed this issue ad nauseum. So that’s not getting better?

Michael: No, I mean, there’s nothing… There’s nothing compelling the industry to make it better. There are no standards for visibility. What the driver sees when they’re looking out of a vehicle, whether the vehicle is too high, whether the hood’s too long, whether the windows are structured in a way that allows drivers to see.

Everything around them, we already all of us know we have a blind spot, or we should that’s why we have blind spot monitors. There are other blind spots in your vision when you’re driving a vehicle and particularly on these turns, not just SUVs and pickups have had these problems. I think there’s city buses and I think a school bus actually.

Killed a 17 year old high school student just a couple of days ago making a left turn. It’s, there’s a particular blind spot in turning that, that happens on these larger high vehicles that prevents them from seeing pedestrians and, whether there’s technology that can solve it or whether the vehicles can be designed with better visibility.

We think that something needs to be done because that the pedestrian, even though the, the crash fatality rate overall appears to be coming down a little from some of the highs during the pandemic, we’re still seeing a rise, a massive rise and a scary rise in incidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists and all the other folks who are out on the road and not in a car.

Anthony: Right, so further in the article, there’s this interesting little paragraph, it says, NHTSA has proposed new pedestrian crash avoidance tests, but they would be voluntary and not part of the agency’s five star rating system. So, I mean, why even make these voluntary rules? Like, hey, here’s a really good idea to save people’s lives, but, just do it if it’s convenient.

If, I don’t know, Mario Kart in the entertainment system. I, why so?

Michael: Well, they’re I think in that case that they proposed the crash avoidance test, but they’re not. Basically, what they’re not going to do is say this is how vehicles perform every other in cap test. They come out with five stars. Oh, your side impact rating is a three.

Not so great. You got some things you need to work on. In this case, they were talking about simply publishing a list of the good guys but not rating vehicles, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to us. It’s kind of against the spirit of in cap, getting a bad rating incentivized. Incentivize the manufacturer to improve, maybe they’re suggesting that, it’s the situation simply can’t be improved.

I might be more willing to accept that. And the answer to that would then be, we need to make vehicles, the average vehicle size on the road smaller to avoid not just these visibility incidents, but also a lot of the crash consequences of having heavy vehicles matched up against small vehicles. So. I’m not, we weren’t fans of that proposal.

We think it goes against the spirit of NCAP, what NCAP’s meant to do, and ultimately, it’s only giving, sugar cream puffs to the vehicles that do well, and then ignoring the bad guys that are actually out there killing people.

Fred: Well, Hunt’s smaller, excuse me, smaller, yes. That has a lot of virtues, but there’s also a lot of design features that can be built into cars to make to minimize the consequence of impact on pedestrians and bicyclists.

I read one story about Subaru, which is putting airbags on the outside of cars. So that they could protect the pedestrians or other people who might be impacted by the cars, the technologies there would be an interesting approach, but that’s only 1 of many design features that can be built into cars to protect people outside of the car.

We’ve talked about how the SUVs may protect the people inside the car, but it’s a zero sum game to some extent. And when you’re protecting people inside the car, preferentially, it means you’re increasing the jeopardy to people outside of the car in many cases. So, they really should expand the design scope to include protective measures for pedestrians and bicyclists and other vulnerable road users who might be impacted by the vehicles.

Anthony: Well, I mean, they do have, at least there’s a lot more of them in New York is they have these white lines on the road and it says, Hey, this is the bicycle lane and no car ever drives into the bicycle lane. So that’s, it’s a, it’s an imagination protection system.

Fred: Yeah. Imaginary is good.

Michael: I think dedicated lanes are probably, I mean, obviously they’re more expensive and there’s a lot of. Opposition to them in some areas. I know that in the northern Virginia area, sometimes we’ve, I’ve seen opposition to, taking one lane where cars would be moving and replacing it with a bike lane which people don’t like, but also, it’s like Anthony says, cars do veer off the road.

Cars don’t see bicyclists. Cars don’t respect lane markings all the time and having. Dedicated bike lanes away from traffic to me is the ultimate goal. Whether that can be implemented in practice and, cities that are already overcrowded where property is very expensive is a completely different situation.

Fred: Well, Europe’s found that you really need a physical barrier. To protect the pedestrians and bicyclists effectively, it really needs, especially in North Virginia, it really needs comprehensive planning because a lot of the streets that do have marked bike lanes, however inadequate they might be, at least are marked and spontaneously at intersections with no place to go.

And you really need to have a regional approach to make sure that the bike lanes are consistent and comprehensive enough so that. It makes sense to use them and it makes sense to respect them.

Anthony: Agreed all around and I think that’s two votes for socialism. Here is, let’s see, Michael promoted smaller cars and Fred mentioned Europe.

So clearly you guys hate… My freedoms in this country to drive wherever I want, whenever I want, however I want. Anyway. I think

Michael: it’s just a freedom to run over people who are choosing a different mode of transportation than you that we don’t like.

Anthony: Yeah, different is bad, right? Different is bad. Hey, but know what’s not bad, folks?

Going to autosafety. org and clicking that donate button, that is good. It will improve your complexion, your sleep will be better, your posture will improve, your friends and neighbors will go, Hey, what’s different about you? Did you get a haircut? And you’ll say, No! I donated to the Center for Auto Safety.

And they’ll be like okay, that’s, but you still got a haircut, right? And you’re like, Yeah. Continuing with this, so this is a little confusing because we were just talking about the pedestrian deaths issues, but NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a press release showing that More miles driven, combined with fewer traffic deaths, resulted in a fatality rate of 1.

2 fatalities per 100 million miles, down from the projected rate of 1. 31 fatalities per 100 million miles in the first half of 2023. So, what we’re seeing, very simply, is people are driving a lot more, but fatalities have gone down, which is a good thing, we’re very happy about. One thing I want listeners to keep in mind from when we talk about something else is, they did this over 100 million miles.

So the next time you hear some tech bro being like, we drove a million miles, or five million miles, keep in mind, no one cares, okay? 100 million miles is the threshold for anything with safety with vehicles. So, Michael, okay, so, pedestrian deaths have gone down but it’s still, Wait, they, sorry, pedestrian deaths have gone up, I’m sorry but traffic deaths have gone down.

Michael: Right, well, and pedestrian deaths are actually included in the overall traffic death number and estimate. That’s what I thought. That’s why I’m confused. Yeah, so that shows that, well, it could show a lot of things. It could show that we, if we were also protecting pedestrians as well as we should, then we would be getting much better numbers at this point and much far fewer fatalities.

But. It also shows that, there is, somehow there is a fairly significant decrease in fatalities and vehicle to vehicle collisions or, vehicle only collisions that is impacting these numbers, which, that’s a good thing. We want that number going to go down to zero.

And. The pedestrian numbers are holding that, continuing to keep the number a little higher than it would be since we’re not protecting pedestrians. So it’s the overall numbers, this is just their estimate. They’ll come back with a final next year. Sometimes it takes about 18 months, I think, for that whole process to play out.

But it’s, Thanks. Good news. We’ve had a lot of bad news since the pandemic regarding, traffic deaths and, the injuries never really spiked the way the deaths did. It was very suggestive of, high speed, high impact type crashes that were driving this trend. A lot of reckless type driving that were driving the trend and vehicle crashes.

And to see that come down is. Thank you. It’s encouraging, but it’s, we’re still a long way from where I think we should be given the technology we have. And, I think it’s easier to educate consumers these days. There’s a lot more helpful technology that can be included vehicles to stop these crashes.

And I think where we’re failing is really getting that stuff out and into cars as fast as we can.

Fred: Michael, you’re always a cheerful optimist. I wonder if I wonder if this is actually the result of highway construction, because we know that when cars slow down, they’re safer. And there’s been a lot of highway construction that’s taking place, particularly in urban areas right now, because of the what was the infrastructure?

What was the inflation reduction

Anthony: action act?

Michael: I’m sorry.

Fred: So the, it would be interesting to see this play out and see if it is just a beneficial impact of all those traffic jams that we’ve been seeing. Due to construction,

Michael: a few weeks back when we talked about the cities with some of the worst traffic, I believe, were the ones that had some of the lower fatality rates because keeping the cars slow, keeping the cars slow.

Well, you’re not, it’s not artificial, I guess, but you’re keeping the traffic moving slowly because there’s so many cars on the road. It’s so congested that they have to move slowly, which reduces speeds and reduces the.

Fred: Yeah, I was in New York City over the weekend and you didn’t stop and say hi, I’ll say hi now. Hi, Anthony. How are you doing? Good enough. A little late. Yeah. Okay. But, I just noticed there was plenty of traffic congestion to go around. So I really think there’s something to that. I don’t think anybody’s ever teased out the impact of highway construction on highway safety.


Anthony: you’re also just in New York, so it’s just nonstop traffic. So,

Fred: no, it was stopped traffic.

Anthony: Oh anyway, so I’m curious. So these numbers are talking about this 1. 3 one fatalities. And now it’s, their estimate is 1. 24 fatalities per 100 meal, million vehicle miles. So historically, like we all realized that during the pandemic that people just.

Decided to drive like they’re in a video game and it’s crazy on the roads, but Like historically like 10 years ago. Do you have any idea of what these numbers were? Are we trending downward overall? Is it flat?

Michael: We’re you know, it’s saying I believe it was around year 2000 we were at about 1. 5 But by 2009 2010, we were down around 1.

11, 1. 15, 1. 14, 1. 08 is the lowest I believe we’ve ever been in 2014, so that’s 1. 08 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That went up. From 1. 11 in 2019 to 1. 34 in 2020 when the pandemic started. So that’s when the absent, and it’s hard to, it’s, I don’t want to solely blame on the pandemic, but it’s kind of an, it’s kind of hard to see what else it could possibly be that’s out there.

Cause we were in this very declining state for, 15 years there. And all of a sudden you have, a. Almost 20 percent leap in the number of fatalities or the rate of fatality. So that suggests that the pandemic played a major role. And now that we’re kind of past that, we’re not quite, it’s not like we’re just dropping back to the old number.

We’re still up in 1. 24. Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. And maybe, maybe if we were only counting vehicles in this, we might see that we’ve returned to normal and that it’s the pedestrian deaths that are driving this. I’m sure there are multiple factors, but that’s definitely one of the areas that’s keeping that number high and high, a lot higher than we’d like to see.

Fred: But remember over that span that you talked about, the average highway speed has gone way up. Because the 55 mile an hour speed limit was changed and vacated. And during the pandemic, there was a lot less highway congestion, so people drove faster. I think a lot of this may just be related to the average speed of the vehicles.

Anthony: So I want to point out to listeners, so we’re talking 1. 3, 1. 2, it sounds like very low numbers, but over the course of the year, that’s… 40, 000 plus deaths a year. So when we’re talking about these large abstract numbers, it seems you can disassociate from what the actual impact is, what 40, 000 deaths a year is like eliminating a midsize city or a smallish type city completely off of the map.

I’ve Oh, clear Wisconsin, for example. There you go. I was waiting for it. Oh, clear Wisconsin. That entire population gone. So keep that in mind. Like,

Michael: so yeah. Another way to think about it is a hundred million miles sounds like a lot, but. Americans are driving, three plus trillion miles per year.

So wait,

Anthony: 3 trillion

Michael: with a T and that’s a T.

Anthony: Wow. Where are we going? Just a Starbucks and a good question. Yeah

Michael: that’s what I want. I would like to see how many of those miles are necessary to travel a mile.

Anthony: Yeah, that’s insane, huh? But hey, you know what in the future everything will be better and know what’s gonna make everything better in the future our friend Kyle says everything’s gonna be better in the future Kyle from GM’s cruise boondoggle Last month, in an interview with the Washington Post, chief executive Kyle Vogt said many of the incidents involving his cars have been sensationalized and said that driverless cars will ultimately lead to safer roads in a city that experienced a spike of human driver related road fatalities in 2022.

That’s right, this has been sensationalized. Well, let’s get a little sensational then. Freak accident in San Francisco traps pedestrian under robo taxi. Yep, that’s right. No one inside this robo taxi pedestrian was hit by a vehicle driven by a human next to it. That person, unfortunately, bounced off of that car and got caught underneath the cruise robo taxi thing.

Michael: Yeah, so…

Anthony: I’d like to point out that, okay, this is a horrible incident the crews slammed on the brakes, stopped, but you know what? There was nobody inside the vehicle. So there was nobody there to get out and help that person. Instead, they had to wait for emergency responders to show up. I don’t know how the emergency responders were contacted, there’s no mention of that, cause I don’t imagine this car that…

Drives itself into wet cement, hits fire trucks, gets stopped by a snow cone, or traffic cone was like, Hey, I think I ran over a human.

Michael: I don’t, I don’t know. Maybe they have that in there. I would, it seems like something you would really want to put in a vehicle that’s driving around without a human in it.

And for this exact scenario, or you have a pedestrian or where there’s a hit and run in this case where the other drivers fled. And so they’re functionally the only. The only party there that has the ability to report is the GM cruise vehicle, because it’s currently sitting on top of the victim. I want

Fred: to point out that it stopped with the tire on top of the victim’s leg.

If there had been a human in the car, you can expect the human might have said. Gee, the car stopped on top of this victim’s leg. Perhaps I’ll move the car now. Right. This is not a, this is not a perfect example of the intelligence of AVs, or maybe it is.

Anthony: Yeah, from the an article in The Verge that mentions this that we’re linking to, the driver struck a female pedestrian, throwing her in pass of a cruise robo taxi that was operating autonomously.

The cruise vehicle then braked. With it’s rear tire still on top of the woman’s leg. After crews disabled the vehicle, rescuers were able to get the vehicle off the woman’s leg using the jaws of life. That there’s so many things we have to unpack from that. I think as Fred just said, yeah, a human driver wouldn’t be like, Hey, let me leave my car that weighs a few tons on top of your femur.

And then, the, that some crew, some, somebody in a call center somewhere had to deal with, wait, I have to disable this car? No, we didn’t roll over a person. Please hold. Press 2 if you’d like to speak in Spanish. I’m like, this is Absurd and then because I guess the vehicle didn’t move still the fire department had to come out and use the jaws of life To move this.

I don’t know if anyone’s ever seen the jaws of life in action. It’s pretty cool but they’ll use it to bend sheet metal and whatnot. So it’s This just seems like a giant failure in my opinion, but Kyle will tell me I’m wrong.

Michael: Well, they’ve apparently Kyle has shown video of this to the Washington post and some of the local papers and others out there, the video that we never get to see.

And in this case, it’s not something you want to share publicly. I mean, there’s obviously a victim trapped under the car, but and that’s not a, not really something fit for public consumption in any respects, but it would be. It would be, I think it would behoove crews to share as much with, as possible with, NHTSA and, the safety community on issues like this, just to, maybe there are things that we would be able to notice in the video that they haven’t.

I’m sure we’d like to point out a lot of things that we think they haven’t noticed. So, and just. It’s complicated scenario and situation. We don’t really know the extent of the injuries. We don’t know, if there were other people around and I’m sure it’s in a larger city there, there were probably other witnesses.

We just don’t know. So once again, we’re kind of operating in a vacuum where, we get to hear what Cruise tells us and what they tell the media, but there’s not really an opportunity for an independent verification of the facts on the ground here.

Fred: No, but note that based on what’s been reported, they use the jaws of life to remove this clear the pedestrian from the vehicle that was parked on top of her if it had a human driver, or it had access to controls that a human driver could use.

There would be no need to use the jaws of life. I mean, good that it was there, but in a rational world, somebody would be able to get into the car, use the controls, roll the damn car off the poor woman’s leg. There’s just so much wrong about this that is never going to go away with any amount of hand waving from the tech

Anthony: bros.

Right. I can’t imagine the amount of delay this would have put in with, since there wasn’t a human there like I said, there’s a human driver in the car, that person’s moving the car, they’re getting out, so now the fire department’s still going to respond because it’s an emergency, but they’re not wasting time setting up the jaws of life, which is not just like, hey, press a button.

It’s a big, heavy piece of machinery that’s hooked up to hydraulics. So they’re doing all of that, and then they have to do that, and then the EMTs can get involved. I mean, the amount of delay here just because hey, tech bro’s got a tech bro is unfortunate, to put it lightly.

Fred: Unfortunately, yeah, the woman’s on the road either unconscious or screaming in pain while all this is going on. I actually, but it does bring to mind a great analogy for the cruise vehicles, if you’ll indulge me. There’s a guy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Who has a five foot long alligator. That he uses as a comfort animal.

Oh, no. And and the guy says, and this is like the early adopters for the use of Cruise, he says, quote, He puts smiles on thousands and thousands of people, and he does it every day, he says, noting the number of Phillies fans entering the ballpark wanting to meet Wally. Now, Wally is the name of the alligator, and the gatekeepers at the Phillies stadium apparently were smart enough to not let him in.

Which created a certain amount of controversy. But the guy goes on to say, he puts smiles on the faces of thousands of people and does it every day. He’s never harmed anyone and he’s never tried to. Now, to me, that sounds a lot like the advocates for the cruise automatic controls. And then he went on to say, Penny can understand why some may be skeptical of an alligator being an emotional support animal, but encourage them to meet Wally.

Quote, until then, stop bad mouthing him, he said. Again, sounding just like Kyle. And then… Well, I guess

Michael: there’s some two odd things in this story to me. One, if I was going to take an alligator to a game in Philadelphia, it would definitely be an Eagles game that I’d want to at least and the other thing is that, alligators aren’t even native to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area.

They can’t even live there. So what,

Fred: well, a cruise is not native to San Francisco either. So yeah, you can, the analogy holds up. So Jaws of Life led to Jaws of Wally. I don’t know, interesting how people approach new stuff, but again, the gentleman says until he actually until Wally’s actually starts biting somebody, stop bad mouthing him and said, so any reasonable person approaching this data would say, well, there’s nothing wrong with a five foot alligator being brought into the public and brought into public spaces.

Sounds a lot like the cruise advocates to me.

Michael: Yeah, I mean a five foot comfort alligator hasn’t, has never killed a human as far as I know. Not yet, yeah.

Anthony: Well, it probably won’t, ever, right? Five foot comfort alligator. Hey! Congratulations, that’s the name of this episode.

Okay, so hey, this is the cruise vehicles we’re talking about are basically just modified Jaguars. Not the Animal, the British car company that makes such… Good vehicles. But Cruz, as we’ve mentioned a number of times,

Fred: I think that’s actually, that’s

Anthony: Waymo. Oh, that’s Waymo. What is Cruz? Oh, that’s, I’m sorry.

Right. Cruise uses General Motors. Yes. General.

Fred: That’s a big company that’s headquartered in Detroit.

Anthony: Right. Right. And they’re spending 2 billion a year on Kyle’s comfort animal. It must be nice. Kyle’s comfort company. So they, we’ve talked about how they want. Full exemption from federal motor vehicle safety standards, because they want to put out the Cruise origin.

Yes, imagine the ugly side of a Honda Odyssey connected to an ugly side of the Honda Odyssey. Remove all steering wheels, all pedals, all controls. Have rows of seats that face each other, use this as a carpool car and stare across from some stranger and breathe in their exhalations of garlic fries.

Anyway not only do I think this is a stupid idea, so does the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. And they sent a lovely letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listing out why they think this is a bad idea. Part of it, it’s great. You can just see right on page two, they have a bullet point.

Cruise’s safety record. They list out a collision with a fire truck. Vehicles becoming immobilized after driving into wet concrete. The blocking of emergency response vehicles to a pedestrian accident. Which may have contributed to a pedestrian’s death. Vehicles losing connectivity and causing traffic jams near a music festival.

Malfunctioning cruise vehicles impeding sanitation vehicles. And this gets personal. Operated by members of Teamsters Local 350. Doesn’t even mention driving over a woman’s leg and parking there. So, this is this is interesting. Not everybody’s a fan of, but I guess Kyle would say this is just sensationalism.

Cause that’s what we all think of, we think of the Teamsters. We think they’re a bunch of flag waving conspiracy theorists. Sensationalists.

Michael: Here, they’re opposing essentially some of the same things I think we are is that there’s just not a lot of evidence that’s been provided by GM on these Origins.

There’s obviously we don’t have federal motor vehicle safety standards for vehicles without. Steering wheels, brake pedals, and a lot of other things that humans have to act, interact with in a vehicle. And, they’re functionally saying, hey, NHTSA, can we put 1 of these or a few of these on the roads and try them out?

And. See if they’re safe, even though we don’t have any safety standards that apply to them. And this is kind of a back and forth that’s been happening. Waymo has been involved as well for about 4 or 5 years now. They petition that’s that’s holds the petition for a year, 6 months, doesn’t tell anyone in the public about it.

That’s an aside. And then they move forward with a a notice and comment period where They essentially, the ultimate goal of this would be to decide whether or not crews can deploy this origin. Waymo, I think, submitted one and then withdrew it. Another company, is it Nuro, Fred, that submitted an application for a vehicle that was, had no human occupants, and that one was approved.

That’s basically a delivery drone type vehicle. Yeah, Nuro is correct. Carrying vehicles but in this case, it looks like this is going to be, the 1st. 1, that’s decided in regards to a vehicle with occupants in it.

Fred: But you said a few vehicles, but we’re talking 2, 500, right? Isn’t that the number?

Michael: I think so. It’s 2, 500 or so that can be exempted under the provision they’re seeking exemption from. So. That’s something we’re watching. We’re not sure when that’s is going to decide on this. Kyle came out a few weeks ago and said that it was going to happen a week later. We still haven’t seen that.

So we don’t know where that information came from. But this, it. It’s an, I think it’s a, the teamsters has been very highly involved in overseeing some of the things that are going on in California regarding the trucks and the safety drivers. They were 100 percent in support of the bill out there that would have kept safety drivers in heavy trucks.

I think we would want safety drivers and all trucks, all vehicles in all of these cars right now. I mean, the origin as. It stands. There is no safety driver. There’s no way for a safety driver to operate these vehicles. They are putting a vehicle out that does not envision the need for or, essentially will never have a safety driver.

Maybe they’ve got somebody remotely back at headquarters that can operate it. In certain circumstances, but there’s no 1 actively in the vehicle that can steer to avoid a crash or to pull it off a pedestrian’s leg that they’re sitting on. So there’s still a lot of concerns for us there. We just don’t think the technology has matured to a point where it’s safe to turn these things loose on streets.

And the reason we don’t think it’s safe enough is because we just simply don’t have the proof. We don’t have evidence that has been provided by cruise or any other of the autonomous vehicle companies that would ensure the public that we’re going to be safe with these things on the road. And not just safe, but as far as crashes, but safe in terms of, is this going to create conjecture?

Congestion on our roads that blocks, not just garbage trucks, but also ambulances, fire trucks, how do we know? That we can avoid what we’ve seen in San Francisco when these things are deployed on streets, are they going to be worse? We just don’t know yet. So it’s a difficult decision for the D. O. T. to make, but I don’t think it’s made any easier by the fact that there’s, just not enough data out there or evidence that for safety of these vehicles yet,

Fred: I would think as a minimum. As an absolute minimum, the company should be required by federal legislation to have some mechanism for emergency responders to take control of the vehicle in an emergency.

But, I mean, that seems like the absolute minimum requirement before you put these things on the road, as we’ve just seen in San Francisco, the damn thing stopped on top of a woman who was injured. I mean, come on, this is not rocket science. Which I can swear to because I’ve got a rock science heritage, there’s, we should just do this and don’t be stopping stupid.


Michael: like this. So there’s also other issues, some might think they’re minor, but there are things like door handles, like these vehicles are kind of. Totally computerized, the, you don’t open the door opens for you. And when there’s an event where someone in the vehicle needs to get out of it, we’re not sure, how are you going to do that?

How are you going to accomplish leaving this box that a computer is in control over?

Anthony: I like that you’re channeling Yakov Smirnoff

Michael: there. I did rush out. And

Anthony: GM Cruise, the car doesn’t open door for you. Wait, no, I can’t do it.

Michael: Yeah, just stop But it’s a it’s you know, they’re just that’s one minor question There’s also, question about maybe that’s not a minor question It could be really major for someone who’s trapped in one of these vehicles for instance, you know this past weekend we saw an anhydrous ammonia leak that contributed to the deaths of five people in the midwest, after a Trailer ran off the road and the tank was pierced and if you’re in an autonomous vehicle In the area there and you and the vehicle stops, you know in this plume of anhydrous ammonia You need to get out of the car and run away as fast as possible as far as you can How are you going to accomplish that?

There’s just a lot of questions about escape and egress from these vehicles, you know Do they have a red stop button that? Pulls the vehicle to the side of the road and lets people leave it safely in the event of an emergency. That’s another one.

Fred: And remember, a lot of the advocates for mobility for handicapped people have been saying these things are going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

But there’s not been a nickel spent on emergency, safe emergency egress for people with any mobility problems. Or for people with vision problems who might be the customers for these vehicles.

Michael: And a big red button doesn’t help some people if they can’t see where it is. So there need to be, they really need to think out ways of enabling human passengers to respond and save themselves in emergency situations when the vehicle isn’t capable of doing so.

Anthony: So, Michael, I have a question. So, we’re linking to this article about anhydrogous, goddammit, ammonia. Anhydrogous, I don’t,

Michael: I I may not even pronounce it correctly because it’s anhydrous.

Anthony: No, you did pronounce it correctly. My question was how did you learn to pronounce that correctly? Because I use the internet to say, hey, wait, how do you pronounce this?

Anhydrous ammonia. Are you a tech bro? Are you a tech bro, Anthony? Bro. Bro,

Michael: bro.

Anthony: Is that how they do it? I don’t. That’s how an 11 year old girl talked to me the other day and I was like, this is the strangest conversation I’ve ever been in. . Yeah, so this is this is interesting because, okay, there’s tractor trailer overturns.

It’s got hazard hazardous material into it. You’re in a driverless car, what does that thing do? How does I mean, it can’t identify wet cement. You think it’s not gonna just plow right through some sort of What is it? It is a clear colorless gas that is toxic? I mean, it has no way to see this happening.

I mean, it’s just like, hey, something overturned. Keep driving. And if it’s, if it’s some liquid on the road, might just think, hey, maybe it rained in this part of the road. Not that it’s, some acid that’s eating my tires. I’m melting. I’m melting.

Michael: Right. To be fair, somewhat, to a driverless vehicle in this situation, I don’t know that the humans in this situation…

We’re all that aware of the problem, but at least in the aftermath, the immediate aftermath, although I’m pretty sure in hydrocemonia, although it’s colorless, it is not smellless.

Fred: I think it’s pretty powerful. I don’t know. This is an agonizing death of those people. It’s awful stuff.

Michael: So there, I mean, The fact that there’s a tanker on the side of the road and you smell something really off is, something that humans can do that, that vehicles cannot do yet.

They do not have smell o vision yet.

Fred: I’m sure the AVs are going to be built with mass spectrometers that constantly analyze the environment to make sure there are no chemical substances that are going to kill the pedestrians. Wouldn’t you think that’s an important part of vehicle design? On board, automatically operating spectrometer.

I mean, they put it on. They put it on vehicles that they send to Mars, why not put it on the vehicle that they, send to Los Angeles?

Anthony: They save pennies not putting immobilizers in cars, Fred. Come on. You think they’re going to do that? Really? You’re so naive. The youth. Sorry. So naive. Hey, let’s talk safety drivers.

Cause Mercedes has the first, is this correct, they have the first license to operate a Level 3 Well, driver. Okay, it’s not autonomous, a level 3 car, which a level 3 car says, Hey, under these certain conditions and these certain areas that we’ve pre mapped out you can take your hands off the wheel, you don’t necessarily have to pay attention.

And so, Ars Technica they got to try one of these out in Los Angeles area. And when the traffic, the, bumper to bumper traffic dropped below 40 miles per hour, the system’s like, hey, go ahead, we got it. It goes above 40 miles per hour, it’s like, nope, we ain’t got it anymore, you’re taking over.

Fred’s pointed out numerous times in this podcast that the reaction time for humans in these scenarios, eh, it’s needs a little more time than just, hey, on, off. Like, wait, what? But this is Mercedes, has done a decent job, and it’s not just because I want them to give me one. From the article, the driver cannot doze off, though, nor can they recline or spend too much time turned around talking to rear seat passengers.

A camera tracks the driver’s eyes and head movement to ensure that they are ready to take over duties at a moment’s notice. More amazing with this, they call this thing DrivePilot. Confidence in drive pilot is high within Mercedes Benz, as the system has been active in Germany for over a year without incident.

That confidence is demonstrated by Mercedes decision to assume liability for the vehicle while drive pilot is in use. Some conditions may apply.

Michael: When you say that, you have to classify it, because they can assume all the liability they want in that scenario, but if a criminal court decides that you’re responsible as a driver, It doesn’t matter what Mercedes says.

Anthony: Oh, so that’s total BS then?

Michael: Essentially. They’re assuming a certain amount of civil liability but you would have to prove that it was actually the vehicles Fault right in order for them to accrue that. So this doesn’t stop a lawsuit from happening. It doesn’t stop a criminal case from happening, but it does at some point, if you can prove to Mercedes that their vehicle was, or their software was at fault here, then they say they will assume liability.

We’ll see what their lawyers say behind closed doors.

Anthony: Okay, so this is operating below 40 miles per hour, so like, see you tap another car in front of you going 35 miles per hour that’s, pretty much your insurance is gonna be like, you haven’t even met the threshold for deductible on this.

You’re paying the 750 bucks to an auto body shop.

Michael: I’m pretty sure your insurance company isn’t going to be going after Mercedes 3D to try to get that money. I mean, it’s kind of silly. The other thing about these cars that’s a little weird is that they, obviously, it’s only gonna be used in traffic areas, but it requires, they call it drive pilot, but it requires a vehicle to be in front of your car for your car to follow, which suggests that the real pilot may be in the car in front of you.

I’m not sure how that works. But it’s, it’s conditional automation. They’ve been approved in, I think, Nevada, California to do this. And we’re going to, see how it works. We’re really concerned about the takeover scenario. You’re in 40 mile per hour traffic.

It comes on and then all of a sudden the traffic eases and people are zooming ahead. You’re stuck on your phone on a video conference or doing whatever you’re able to do. While the system’s in operation and you can’t take over in time. What happens there? Are we going to see accidents? I mean, crashes caused by, that, that lack of guarantee takeover.

I mean, there is no guarantee that humans are going to do anything. You can set up these systems to make it more likely that the human is going to take over in a certain period of time, but you can’t guarantee anything once they’ve relaxed into a state where they’re not responsible or don’t think they’re responsible for the operation.

Anthony: I figured out the solution. I’m going to sell a brick. That you just put on the accelerator pedal the entire time. So when the system’s engaged, that’s not going to do anything. But when it disengages, boom, I’m zooming. Look at that.

Michael: The original autopilot.

Fred: Well, this article, I guess it’s going to be posted on our website, but it’s a, it’s very much a booster article.

And the driver talked about how cool it was. I want to point out though, that. The test drive did not include following a leading driver who is drunk. Did not include the response during torrential rain. That happens, right? It did not include response during a dust storm or a brush fire. Anybody who reads newspapers knows that these things happen.

Did not, there’s no evidence that it worked properly while stuck in a traffic jam and a fire truck was trying to make its way through. Working through the traffic because some idiot blocked the breakdown lane. There’s no evidence that it includes an anhydrous ammonia detector to get you the hell out of the car when poison gases are spewing over the highway.

And the assumption of liability. By Mercedes includes a 2, 000 per year subscription fee. So if you’re getting all these wonderful benefits, you’re spending 2, 000 a year or another way of thinking of it is. Twenty some odd thousand dollars over the typical lifetime of a car that’s owned by a single owner.

That sounds like an insurance policy. Yeah, well, right.

Anthony: Well, clearly you’re not a Mercedes driver, Fred. I was once. Oh, okay, well. I was once. Hey, does can I was a

Fred: youthful indiscretion, which I’ll never repeat.

Anthony: Can I get an anhydrogous ammonia detector at a Piggly Wiggly?

Fred: No, you a damn shame they should have them because they certainly generate a lot.

Anthony: Oh my word. Hey, we’re running low on time, but can we… So, last week’s Towel Fred, it was all about GPS and in depth. Can we… And some of our listeners are just like, wait a second, you threw too much tech babble at me. Are you becoming a tech… Translate it to American. You’ve now

Fred: entered the dialogue.

Yeah, we’ll go ahead and do that. I’ll give you five seconds here for the intro. No, just jump into it. Okay, fine. What are the critical components of GPS? Well, first is a server. Now, what is a server? A server is basically a very competent computer somewhere. that is programmed to give automated responses to whatever is happening around it.

So it’s technically a lot like the computer you have sitting on your desk, but it’s, has many processors and it can handle a lot of inputs and outputs. So the critical component is that there’s a GPS mapping server, this big powerful computer, and that has access to geospatial databases. It knows the location of Fixed points that are near your vehicle because it’s already done its homework mapping the world that has the ability to create a graphical map image and it has the ability to receive.

Geospatial data from your vehicle that’s being generated in real time to allow it to map the vehicle against its known reference points. So it mixes up all this information, and then it creates a map, a picture that it can send to your vehicle that then gets updated on your vehicle. And there’s several ways of doing that, but.

The point is that as you move, you’re constantly getting new maps sent to your vehicle that allow you to Locates your vehicle relative to the geographical points around you and typically the server has also mapped out a route that it wants you to follow or express you to follow so that it has a couple of virtues number one tells you whether or not you’re on route.

The other is that it narrows the scope of the analysis that it has to do, because it figures out what are the points you’re likely to encounter as you go down this road. So it helps from computing that way. It also needs a way of communicating with your car in both directions. Your car is sending it information about where the car is located.

The computer is sending you back information, which is a basically map that can be projected into your car. That connection, in civilian applications anyway, is usually done using cell phone technology. So how does it know what your relative location is? Well, it has mapped previously certain locations that are in the world.

It knows where certain servers are. It knows where certain routers are. Certain cell towers. And when it knows where these locations are, these fixed locations, it can calculate Your car’s location relative to those based upon signal strength, for example, or the cell tower might be reporting your location relative to its own, and it sends out, you can visualize a bunch of circles that are being sent out from all these different sources that say, well, the car is somewhere within this fuzzy band that represents the location.

And the distance and uncertainty in distance from the source where I know the location, right?

Anthony: So this is like those crime shows that are like, we got a ping on the cell tower. I think we know they are. Oh, we’ve got a ping on this other. And then they figured out, Oh, they’re in this building and they’re wearing these shoes.

Fred: Right. But the cell tower pinging. It actually works, but it’s only going to tell you within, we’ll say, 100 feet, 200 feet, something like that, where you’re located. Now, if you’ve only got one cell tower, what this means is there’s a big circle, a big fuzzy circle around the cell tower, and you’re somewhere within that big fuzzy circle.

But if you’ve got two cell towers, then you have to be somewhere within the two fuzzy circles that are generated, right? So you’ve got to. You’ve got a narrower space, but it’s still pretty fuzzy. Now if you’ve got three cell towers, it’s still fuzzy circles, but it’s a smaller area within those three fuzzy circles where everything overlaps, right?

Kind of like a Venn diagram. So, the circles, if they were perfect, would tell you exactly where you are, but the circles are fuzzy, so there’s still some fuzz in the location. That’s okay with the GPS, because it says, well, I’m just going to put a dot in the middle of all this uncertainty and say, that’s where you’re likely to be.

I’m going to put that dot in the map, and I’m going to send it to your car. That’s, and it’s probably pretty much right. It’s probably right enough for the person using it. And that’s kind of the way it works. You receive it over the cell phone technology as well. Hazards that are known only show up if they’ve been loaded into the database by some human being.

Like last week we talked about the poor gentleman who drove off a a road when the bridge was out. Nobody had ever reported that to the utility that he was using. So there was no way for the server to know or to understand that location that was a forbidden location.

Anthony: Well, in that case, a lot of people reported it.

It’s just Google unfortunately just ignored all of those reports.

Fred: So you’ve got human beings at both ends of it. So a human being has got to report it. A human being has got to update the information into the database and. Probably another human being has got to say, yeah, that’s valid information. So there are human defects involved in this.

And like the lawsuit probably says, if you assume people are going to use this for life making decisions, then you have to also have a responsibility to make sure that the service responds to that need and actually puts the important information in the database so that people are relying on it for their lives.

Don’t. Die, right? So actually, this is the same point we’ve been making about a V is they have lots of hidden safety critical features that no human being can ever inspect. You can’t look at it and say, this parameter associated with safe adaptive adaptive cruise control. All these parameters are working properly.

There’s no way of visually inspecting that. There’s got to be. Our responsibility for the company to identify failures when they occur and report them out. That’s not being done, but that’s a slightly different issue. So, is that clear, Anthony and Michael? Does that give you a better idea of how this GPS works?

Anthony: Yeah, fuzzy circles.

Fred: Fuzzy circles, yep.

Michael: When I am using my phone and I do not have my wireless turned on, sometimes my phone will say, hey, you need to turn on your wireless so we can get a more accurate GPS. Location for you, is it using my Wi Fi router as one of the reference points in mapping my location?

How is it? I’ve always wondered what’s going on there. Why does it need? Why is it? Why is my location going to be more accurate with a Wi Fi? Can I jump in there? Probably your

Anthony: routers. Yeah, go ahead. Okay, so, there’s a class action lawsuit filed against Google, like, in 2010, 2011, where their street mapping software went out there and mapped everybody’s home Wi Fi routers without permission.

And so that’s what they did, because most people don’t change that, so they can go, Hey, this is, Michael’s Wi Fi, there’s a hidden address associated with that, a machine address, and they put that in their database, and most people don’t move their Wi Fi routers around. So they use that point as part of their mappings.

thing, because especially in your large cities, sometimes GPS signals can’t get through because of buildings and, people putting aluminum foil on their heads. So they’re

Michael: not just mapping our roads, they’re mapping our secret Wi Fi routers. Well,

Fred: They’re mapping the roads relative to your Wi Fi router, and they’re mapping your Wi Fi router relative to the cell tower locations, because the cell tower locations are fixed.

They’re known. And they can be identified individually. So yeah, there’s actually, there is a vehicle that drives down the street with specialized equipment that listens in on your router. Now, again, we’re talking about the fuzziness, right? So it’s relying on the signal strength from your router to tell exactly where it is based on, the signal strength when the car goes by.

So if they know exactly where the car is, they know exactly where your router is, and they know exactly what the signal strength is. They can get a pretty good location. None of those things are exact. So, so that all contributes to the fuzz and the location that they’ve got. So, yes, they certainly want you to turn your router on and use that as part of their location service.

Michael: And so the GPS. Server has to be able to handle requests from millions of people at once, basically, right? I mean, anytime someone’s using an app on their phone that requires GPS, I probably do that. I don’t know, 20, 100 times a day. I’m not even sure. So,

Fred: yeah. And each, so the way the servers are built up is the bunch of what they call, I think they call them card servers, but basically each one of those.

computer cards is a complete computer that’s got a lot of capability, might be able to handle 10 or 20 requests or 100 requests, something like that. But there’s a server farm somewhere that has thousands of these plug in computers in the server farm, so that it’s able to process all of those millions of requests that are coming in essentially simultaneously.

Now there is a lag involved in that. You may have noticed when you’re driving down the road, And you don’t take the recommended turn that the computer wants you to take. It takes 10, 15, sometimes 30 seconds for it to catch up and say, Hey, you dummy, you didn’t go the way I wanted you to go, so now I’m going to have to calculate a new route.

That lag, that interval is associated with the uncertainties in the location and the ability to update the location in the server based upon your actual location versus the predicted location. Makes sense. It’s a good conversation stopper. If you’re ever in a, if you’re ever in a cocktail party and you want to get away from the person you’re talking to, just bring up subjects like this.

It works every time.

Anthony: Oh my God. Pay attention to Fred Perkins, other podcasts, how to lose friends and leave a party. Hey, let’s jump into our weekly segment called Rearview Image May Not Display. I mean, sorry, Recall Roundup. Recall Roundup, the first one I gave it away. Rearview Image May Not Display.

This is Chrysler 272, 000 plus vehicles. They’re recalling certain 2022, 2023 Ram 1500, Ram 3500. RAM, a bunch of RAM, you got a RAM, check this out. This is a weird one because the remedy says, dealers will update the radio software free of charge. So the radio software may prevent the rearview image from displaying.

One, who’s listening to AM or FM radio? If so, you’re on a list. Okay and how does this affect a rearview camera? Like, what? What engineering meeting did this occur on? Hey guys you know that CCD camera we have in the back of the car? Wouldn’t it be cool if it pulled in Casey Kasem’s Top 10 Hits?

Is that what happened there?

Michael: I don’t know what happened here.

Fred: Golden oldies stations. Somebody mistook the rear view for looking back at some of the golden oldies. I think that was what happened.

Michael: Crazy. It’s just another product of trying to integrate, infotainment and other types of software with the same systems that are running safety, critical software, something that we probably don’t think should be done.

Anthony: No. Hey, if you’re an engineer on one of these things or you’re a project manager on one of these, please just, you can anonymously write in to us and tell us, like, what the thought process behind this is. Is it an honest mistake? We’re all humans. We’ve made mistakes. Or is it just no, this is a, a bean counter said this is a cost saving measure, or it was just I don’t know, you just, wire went this way.

I’m really curious. I don’t know. Moving on Hyundai Kia Wait, no ABS fire recall. That’s all it says in my notes. There’s no link. There’s nothing. Is it just a tease?

Michael: Yeah, there was a very large recall from Hyundai and Kia last week. They were having in fact if you look back in history, my understanding is that this is the 16th and 17th recall on ABS.

Problems involving this component in the past 10 years. So this has been a long ongoing issue. In this case, the these analog break system is what I’m saying when I say a B. S. The. Brake fluid, some brake fluid is leaking through an O ring that degrades over time, getting onto the HECU, which is the hydraulic electronic control unit for the analog brake system, shorting it out and causing fires.

And, it’s. This was, this recall was influenced by NHTSA pursuant to the investigation that has been open for about five years now, since we petitioned over the fires we were seeing in some of these vehicles, a lot of those fires were related to the engine problem where, they had a bearing failure and, one of the rods from the engine, a connecting rod pierces the engine, allows oil to flow out on the hot surface of the vehicle and causes fires.

This one is a completely, when we were looking at the complaints before we filed our petition, we continued to see other types of fires. There were fires that appeared to be related to the electrical system that, we saw a lot of melting around lights. There were a lot of other little things. We saw fires that were occurring when the vehicle wasn’t in motion, which, is definitely not an engine related fire.

All of those occurred when the vehicle was on and moving. This ABS problem can occur no matter what the car’s doing. The way they manufactured these units, they’re on all the time, 24 seven. And so this failure can occur at any time when your car is parked in your garage and you’re asleep. So there’s also a park outside warning for those recalls.

So, if you have one of these Hyundai’s, you need to get into the dealership fast, get your theft software installed. And make sure that you’ve got all of your engine software installed so that you qualify for that part of the extended warranty. And now make sure that you’ve got this ABS recall performed.

One of the issues here is that they’re not replacing the O ring that’s allowing the brake fluid to leak. They’re not replacing the ABS unit that’s. Then a problem that there’s this the 17th recall 16th and 17th recalls on it. They are replacing a fuse on the hydraulic electric control unit. That’s part of the ABS to prevent the short circuit.

So, we still have a lot of questions that seems like the cheapest possible fix they could do here. It might prevent the fire, but. What’s it doing about all of that leaky brake fluid? And, it’s another situation where we’re looking at the manufacturer going, why haven’t you fixed the real defect here?

That’s causing the problem. Why are you just mitigating it?

Fred: So they’re putting a bandaid on arterial bleeding. Is that what you’re telling me?

Michael: Yes.

Anthony: Bad approach. And with that folks, I’m gonna, I’m gonna call this a wrap for this episode. We’ve stolen enough of your time, but you know, hey, we didn’t do it for free because you went there and you donated.

Autosafety. org, you donated. You told all your friends. Didn’t you donate? Why didn’t you donate? You know where you are, you have your GPS turned on, we’re tracking you. That aluminum foil isn’t going to cut it, we’ve mapped out your router. None of those things are true except for your donating. So hey, thanks everybody, and we’ll be back next week with another exciting episode of Rearview Camera Failures.

Thank you

Fred: folks. Thanks everybody. Thanks for listening.

Michael: For more information, visit www. autosafety. org


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