Saturday, March 06, 2010

thoughts on toyotas

So, I've owned a number of Toyotas over the years, and loved most of them (okay fine - all of them). I own one now even, and love it. But come on Toyota - it's pretty obvious you've got a major problem associated with your drive by wire system. End of story.

I think the problem is probably going to end up being rather sadly simple - induction of transient signals somewhere in the system that are not captured by the system recorder. In fact induction is probably exactly what it is - cell phones or blue tooth systems (possibly not even from within the car), maybe changing an output or input signal without a normally coupled reference signal to indicate a change of state (so that e.g. a depressed accelerator signal can never be electronically undepressed even if it's been physically undepressed)

I don't actually have a problem with drive by wire if the system is well designed - isolated from RFI, possibly even abandoning the 12V system in favor of higher voltages like aircraft systems or utilizing a carrier frequency rather than a binary voltage differential for drive train signals. Similarly, the inputs and outputs of the vehicle's computer must be able to recognize that an unexpected signal can occur and not react poorly when that occurs.

Toyota's apparent disbelief that such a problem could exist does nothing to make me love my toyota less, it just makes me glad it's pre-drive by wire (and that I didn't buy and TM shares).


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