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Model 3 Drive by Wire?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Ludus, May 7, 2016.

  1. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Will Model 3 be fully drive-by-wire including steering, brakes and accelerator? It makes sense that any vehicle that's ready for L4 Autonomous driving could also be fully drive by wire because any safety or redundancy arguments for mechanical linkages are moot if it's trusted and designed to be completely driverless anyway.

    Drive by wire would be a major step in design for manufacturability. First it means that there's no need for separate production of right and left drive versions (which matters a lot for vehicles built for a global market). There would just be data ports and sockets for the steering wheel and pedals on both sides and probably a port to plug in a heads up display on either side. The vehicle could be configured by a technician shortly before delivery and changed easily afterward. Right, Left or none would be equally simple choices (I suppose you could also put in dual steering wheels and controls but don't know any reason).

    Model 3's radical interior with no driver's side instrument cluster, just the big center touch screen suggests this approach. Adding a heads up display would completely replace it when used in traditional driver mode. Otherwise, unplug the steering wheel and pedals and you have a level 4-5 autonomous vehicle interior.

    Not having to build separate right and left versions is a big manufacturing savings. Parts count goes way down and scheduling gets simpler. Not needing any driver instrument cluster drops parts count and labor further. Heads up displays can be optimized or customized in software and plugged in as needed just like a steering wheel.
     
  2. Gilzo

    Gilzo Member

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    Interesting. My guess would be no but I see your point of view.
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    The accelerator is obviously already DBW. The couple of forays various companies have made into DBW brakes and steering haven't been well received - both of them got a lot of comments about lack of feedback and difficulty modulating the input.

    I think you're still a generation or two from Tesla going that route - they need the Model 3 to match up with the best mass market cars, and they need to keep costs down, including the development costs which would presumably be quite large to get DBW right.
     
  4. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    The steering is electronically assisted... see the wire design in the model 3 launch, there's a steering column even though I thought one of the engineers said during the launch test drives that it was going to be drive by wire...
     
  5. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Also I think Elon tweeted in response to a criticism of the look of the steering wheel that it wasn't the actual version and the actual version was like a spaceship I I RC. It made sense to me that the demo used available components.
     
  6. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    The experiments to date weren't by automakers as committed to clean design as Tesla is in trying to set new standards for manufacturing efficiency. It's worth noting that DBW means most consumer issues about feel and responsiveness can be addressed by OTA software updates....even on an individual basis. I don't think any of the other companies were even capable of OTA software changes.
     
  7. yesup

    yesup Member

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    At the same time, all the parts and components have to be readily available, cheap and in plentiful supply.
    We may not have reached that stage yet.
     
  8. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    The demo is an engineering prototype, and the steering column is not the steering wheel, the wheel design itself is irrelevant. If the Model 3 was steer by wire then either the internal rendering they showed during the launch was a complete lie or I'm totally seeing it wrong with the rotation and such. No Tesla to date has been steer by wire.
     
  9. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I don't know if the FMVSS allows for fully steer or brake-by-wire functionality yet. The couple of steer-by-wire efforts so far (by Infiniti and Mercedes, I believe) had a mechanical back-up system, which I think was mandated by current regulations. If you have to have redundant hardware in place anyway, I think it would make more sense just to have a conventional mechanical system for the time being. Once the regulations are changed to allow for a fully electronic system without a redundant mechanical backup, then it might make more sense from a cost standpoint to go to a fully drive-by-wire system.
     
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  10. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    I don't expect the Model 3 to be fully drive by wire, and the argument about Level 4 autonomy doesn't work for me because I don't expect the Model 3 to be ready for Level 4 autonomy.
     
  11. geoffreak

    geoffreak Model 3 Reservation Holder

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    Didn't Tesla say on the earnings call that they aren't doing anything drastically new for this car to avoid over-engineering like the X? I think this firmly disqualifies drive by wire.
     
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  12. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    If it's prohibited without a mechanical backup it is pointless. That would of course itself be pointless for a L4 vehicle but so would side view and rear view mirrors and I could imagine regulations still demanding them for awhile on vehicles even though nobody is even in the driver's seat.
     
  13. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    That kinda depends on how you interpret over-engineering. There is a pov that this sort of thing is a major simplification and current control methods are all over engineered Rube Goldberg contraptions. Regulation may make it over engineering though.

    Based on past statements 2018 is also the target for full autonomous capability (though not necessarily for implementing it)
     
  14. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    You can have full autonomy without drive by wire. I'm sure we'll see an advanced level 3 autonomy before full autonomy. The number and type of sensors probably won't change terribly much.
     
  15. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Mail delivery vehicles, and driving instruction cars.

    I certainly see the ≡ as being a move toward that, even if only on an aesthetic level. Simplify and generalize the controls and displays. Get the customers used to having only the information they need at the moment displayed, just for as long as needed. Controls that change attributes of those things display dynamically. If they go with a First person HUD instead of an over the top display of the car (like on the model S), how they display some of that information (e.g. brakes).

    Thank you kindly.
     
  16. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Drivers training mode might be a setting on an autonomous car. No need for a human instructor, the car would just take away control or modify the action if it was unsafe. That's not unlike current systems that brake automatically if a collision is detected, just more general. Of course driving instruction would be more like horsemanship, a sport or hobby not a necessity.
     
  17. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    I'd be pretty ticked off if my car didn't brake until a collision was detected, I'd much rather it detect and brake on a potential collision. :)

    A good driving instructor will also monitor things like eye movement, hand position, etc, in addition to attempting to calm a nervous kid down and tell them what to prepare for. I think the autonomous safety features would serve as a safety net, but there should still be a human instructor in the car for that je ne sais quoi that only a human can bring.
     
  18. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Absolutely. You can also have both with hybrids or even ICE cars. I'm just inclined to think there are reasons that all these technologies work together.

    The use of DBW by Infinity was just an effort at an amusing option. They were hoping the ability to change steering mode in software would be attractive feature. It wasn't there for any deeper reason like improving manufacturability, meshing with autopilot autonomous control or moving to cleaner overall engineering design. It was an ICE car without Tesla ambitions.

    I think cars sold by Tesla or anyone will stick at advanced level 3 for long after they are operated in Mobility fleets at Level 4 still owned by the OEM.

    I think there are barriers to selling Level 4 cars that aren't as high for operating them in limited areas. OEMs will have full liability for everything their cars do and that's in conflict with selling them and giving up a lot of control over maintenance and modification. Also current practices of selling cars mean scattering them all over. L4 is easier in well mapped limited areas that are saturated with other cars in a fleet.

    If you're operating cars in a fleet 24/7 and putting 100k miles a year on them the efficiency of BEVs starts to matter more. You could do it with ICE cars or Hybrids but it would be less profitable.
     
  19. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    The human driving instructor could bring along his own extra steering wheel and pedals and plug them in.
     
  20. Pando

    Pando Member

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    Instructors in middle east would just need an extra horn.
     

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