Yup. Stopped my search at 1995 (and didn’t include that pic) when I realized the bubble cars had taken over.
I suspected that it was a combination of both, and your answer confirms it.
Air bags seem a bit of a mixed bag. They’re fairly expensive and might drive a purchasers to motorcycle/moped, while at least according to the NHTSA increase effectiveness of avoiding fatalities from 48% to 54% NHTSA Study (page 18/page 20). Nothing to sneeze at unless it puts a lot more people out of cars.
But that’s assuming everyone is wearing seat belts. If not, air bags become huge life savers.
[quote=“tlwest, post:5, topic:89024”]
Renke, do you think it’s car design improvements that make it safer, or materials, weight, and other elements that influence the cost of construction?
[/quote]As an engineer who used to work on vehicle safety, this is mindbogglingly redundant.
As a layman who doesn’t, care to elaborate?
This is how your question reads to me:[quote=ME perspective]do you think it’s car design improvements that make it safer, or design improvements that reduce the cost of construction?[/quote]
The only non-design element of cost reduction is labor cost which is a sticky mess; but the materials are designed by scientists, selected by engineers, and installed using engineer derived methods using tools designed by other engineers etc. In 25 years a lot of the cost savings can be attributed to the rise of personal computers and enterprise networks alone, let alone isolated engineering to reduce cost or improve designs (frequently by reducing cost to perform the same or better).
Business and marketing people love taking credit for cost reductions, but I have never once been with a company where the design engineers didn’t also do all the detailed cost analysis and report it to teh business folks to make a (generally contrary) decision.
But what would the test results be if the computers sensed steering?
Trump just announced that the designer of the Tsuru will be the new administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Ah, what I meant was doing things with the same materials that are safer and don’t significantly increase/decrease the cost of construction OR using ‘better’ materials that are both more costly and safer.
Sometimes you can make things better because we simply know more (what I was calling design improvements). Other times, you make things better by using better materials, which will cost you and thus mean a more expensive final product.
I assume in the real world, businesses usually aim for a certain level of ‘X’, where ‘X’ may be safety, reliability, etc. They then look for the combination of design process and materials that allow them to achieve ‘X’ as the minimum cost.
These days it’s pretty incremental regardless of industry. Product comes out, each company years down their competitors units, sales figures come in, marketing claims their approach was flawless and that it was design issues abound that caused the company that is ahead to be ahead, engineering is told to copy or improve aspects marketing selected as the reason for the highest selling product to be winning, and then engineers do that and put out every fire that jumps up as marketing makes up their mind months after their schedule and you need to come in with all the design features within the budget. Then you repeat.
Most new innovations crap out and then engineering fiddles with it until business units figure out who will actually buy it instead of the projections before it gets cut entirely. Occasionally there is someone who actually cracks a code and pulls an iPod and iPhone, normally by catching a wave of success from tiny start up passion projects and buying or ripping off the technology.
It’s not particularly fun or rewarding but I’m used to it now.
Reminds me of the 1959 Bel Air vs the 2009 Malibu:
ETA: How come they don’t simulate soft parts and fluids in test dummies? Fill em with ballistic gel or something?
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