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Emergency "Kill Switch" - Would this work?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by passion4audio, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. passion4audio

    passion4audio member

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    Over the years there have been a few reports of "unintended acceleration" in various car models.

    While some of these may possibly be attributed to driver error, some are most likely true.

    In either case, would it be possible to install an emergency "kill switch" (maybe mounted in an out-of-the-way location on/under the dash) that would shut off
    the "power" (whether gasoline or electric) should a driver find him/herself in this circumstance?

    If so, how difficult would this be to install on a Tesla?
     
  2. cybrown

    cybrown Member

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    In a gas car, the kill switch is called "the key".
     
  3. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Most of these incidents seem to be a sudden surge that results in a collision (wall, rear-end car in front etc.). Having a kill switch hidden away somewhere probably wouldn't be useful under these circumstances.
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    What would this switch offer that the brake pedal currently doesn't (in the Model S)?
     
  5. dave

    dave Member

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    I thought putting it in park engages the parking brake? Haven't tried it while moving...
     
  6. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Yeah no need for a kill switch. Just put the car in Neutral. (Pressing and holding P, does engage the parking brake as you mentioned).
     
  7. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    Turning off the key works on old cars, and many (most?) electric start cars have some form of "kill switch", it's just not consistent or well known. examples:

    On my Camry Hybrid (and I believe all other Toyotas), press and hold the start button for 2 seconds

    On my Volt, press the start button twice within 5 seconds.
     
  8. passion4audio

    passion4audio member

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    I think it might be advantageous to have a kill switch. Most likely will never need it, however should the need arise....

    Here's an article about an unintentional acceleration issue that killed a 19 year California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members a few years back. The officer apparently did everything you would think to do in a situation like this, to no avail. A dedicated kill switch, in this case on his gasoline-powered Toyota (maybe a fuel cutoff switch?) may very well have saved the lives of four upstanding citizens.

    How difficult would it be to install an AFTERMARKET kill switch in the Tesla to override anything should an unintended acceleration problem suddenly arise. If this were to happen at high speeds, perhaps the brakes wouldn't be enough to prevent an accident?

    Just saying.

    Here's an article:

    NHTSA Moves to Address Unintended Acceleration In Keyless Ignition Vehicles
     
  9. dave

    dave Member

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    Also an EJECT button.
     
  10. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    The Toyota has a kill system in place. If he pressed and held the start button for 2-3 seconds it would have killed the engine and no one would have died. Tragically, he was unaware of that feature.
     
  11. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

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    If you want to do this, add a button that when pressed would break the service disconnect wire off the 12v battery. When that wire is cut it removes power from the high power relays that allow power to flow from the main battery to the drive unit.

    If that wire is cut / broke / disconnected the car is disabled. Unless the main high power relays are fused open in which case you're stuck. In that case, cutting power would need to be cone between the inverter and the motor. Not at easy but still doable.

    On top of all of this, there are always the hydraulic brakes on the car which are functional regardless of the state of power on the car. STAND ON THEM. On most cars the brakes are powerful enough to over power the engine. Hopefully that is the case on the MS.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Unfortunately, he failed to familiarize himself with how the car works before driving. Had he pressed and held the start-stop button the car would have shut off. That's how the kill switch works on that car. This is a big reason why renting a car for a vacation trip is a bad idea. Also that car didn't have brake-override (Toyota only had brake-override in their hybrids of that vintage). There were also some indications that previous renters had complained about the brakes on that car. I never saw any verification of that, so I don't know how true that is.
     
  13. dsmith2189

    dsmith2189 Active Member

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    How many ways do you need to address unintended acceleration?
    • move your foot off the accelerator. Whenever the vehicle is moving and your foot is off the accelerator, regenerative braking slows the vehicle
    • Press the brake pedal
    • shift into N (Neutral) by pressing the gear selector.
    • shift into P (Park) by pressing the button on the end of the gear selector. The parking brake automatically engages and all systems keep operating. (Users Manual)
    • To manually power off Model S, or to control the parking brake, touch CONTROLS > E-BRAKE & POWER OFF. (Users Manual)
    • With no weight on the driver’s seat and no proper code within proximity of the vehicle, the controllers will shut down the vehicle.
      (Tesla: Comments to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Theft Prevention and Rollaway Prevention (Docket No. NHSTA-2011-0174) Mar 12, 2012)
    (there are probably other methods, but these are the ones I found documented)
     
  14. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Every car has a kill switch: brake pedal.

    You just have to use it...
     
  15. SteveTheTech

    SteveTheTech Member

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    My concern about adding something at that point in the system to a car like this would be increasing the likelihood of a problem from a faulty/failing/damaged killswitch effecting the reliability of the car. It would undoubtedly void the warranty (not just on a Tesla). All too frequently I see add on accessories fail causing all types of issues, typically it has little or nothing to do with installation more often than not it appears to be an issue with the quality of the

    I know the manufacturer I work for has been using two foot cancel logic since the first day they started using throttle by wire. In addition to that all keyless systems will kill the engine if the button is held for 3-5 seconds (depending on age and model). At my brand there is still a mechanical gear shift lever that can be hit into neutral if something really goes wrong. (interesting side note, I have experienced unintended acceleration 4 times in 14 years as a technician, all were on cars with throttle cables)

    Floor mats getting caught under pedals is a surprisingly common pet peeve of mine, I see it on a daily basis (unfortunately no exaggeration). It is one of the most basic safety precautions, but then when polling drivers most say they never look (or think about) the position of the mat. Maybe it is something I have picked up working on 10-20 different cars in a given day but after opening the door and before I step in I always look at the left rear corner to see where it lies. I am now at the point where I will not drive (and assume liability for) a car that has more than one set of floor mats.
     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When I first started driving all cars had the accelerator pedal hinged to the floor. Mats always pressed on the accelerator if you weren't careful. Checking the mat position was just something a driver was expected to do, and still should be. However, I can't recall ever having a mat-induced acceleration event although I'm sure others had them (I had several where the throttle linkage stuck and a couple where the hood flew up). Of course, a bottle rolling under the brake pedal was even worse. And you're right, two mats are more problematic than one.
     
  17. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    During an advanced driving course I was taking, the instructor in the passenger seat pressed and held the parking button on the stalk, as well as the big red on-screen button, in an attempt to induce the rear to kick out during heavy accelerator and steering input (we were going around a big wet circle learning how to control the car in over/under steer situations). Pressing both the parking brake and the accelerator at the same time seemed to have little to no effect on the cars behavior, and it just "double beeped" like it does when pressing both the brake and accelerator pedals at the same time. It may also have popped up a message on the screen, but I wasn't in a situation to read what it said.

    When I let up on the accelerator, the car did slow down, so the parking brake works--just not if you are also mashing the accelerator pedal simultaneously.
     
  18. WeazL

    WeazL Moderator - Hawaii

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    I tried it at 50mph. I wanted to know what the consequences would be. To my (pleasant) surprise, the car brakes in a very controlled manner fairly quickly. It does not throw you forward or stop suddenly--again, it's very controlled by the braking system and I felt in complete control of the vehicle during the entire slow down period.
     

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