Friday, September 26, 2008

M Class

There is a commercial that claims the BMW M class car senses when you are about to be in an accident and closes the windows. I assume BMW drivers want to windows closed so that no one can here them scream right before impact. I have few other useful suggestions of what the car might accomplish just before impact. It could spray some air freshener, just incase the drive craps himself. Perhaps clean underwear could pop out of the dashboard for the driver to change into. That assumes, of course, the closing windows haven’t decapitated the driver.

The car could also start playing taps. There is nothing quite as sadly beautiful as taps playing at a military funeral. Additionally, the car could log into the drivers schedule and cancel the rest of today’s meetings. The driver will be otherwise occupied. Higher end versions of the car could cancel meetings based on the speed of impact. So if the car was only going 45 miles per hour at impact, it would only cancel today’s meetings. If it was traveling at 90 miles per hour, it would cancel meetings for a month.

I’m not sure if drivers would be willing to pay extra for the next couple of ideas but if the car senses that it is about to be in an accident, perhaps it could . . . I don’t know . . . . maybe it could put on the brakes. How about if there is about to be an accident, a voice comes on the radio and says, “LOOK OUT!!!!” That might be useful.


Aaron said...

Consider this scenario:
You are in bumper-to-bumper traffic during the commute to work. With rising gas costs, and being late autumn, you have the windows rolled down to conserve fuel. But because of the constant start and stop motion rush hour causes, the car keeps rolling your windows up.

I bet you didn't consider that inconvenience, did you BMW?

I can't believe you don't find indoor female volleyball players hotpants sexy. Maybe you're culturally biased being a married man, or maybe I'm just lucky enough to have very attractive female volleyball players at my school.

Juliet said...

How in the world is it supposed to tell if you're about to get in an accident? And I agree with you. "Look out" while it might make me get in an accident because I'm freaking out wondering who's in my car yelling at me would probably be more helpful than rolling up my windows.

If this window thing would become standard for cars, I can imagine it would become a saying for death or something. Like, "Yep, Jimmy's rolling up the windows."

The Logisitician said...

This is great. I'm passing it on to my auto advertising industry buddies.

The cup is half full of something I don't like said...

At least this marketing gimick makes more sense than the cars skidding out of control.

Anonymous said...

First, it's Mercedes, not BMW. Second, don't you think they thought of the bumper to bumper traffic issue?

Anonymous said...

Was a safety/crash engineer for 7 years -- some comments are right, some by the author as well.

I am similarly wondering how these windows "close" on impact -- since a crash occurs in 1/10 of a second, if you have the window full down it must travel about 2 feet in that time. As a point of reference, the closure velocity of an airbag covering that distance maxes around 300 mph. I suggest you don't have anything in the way of that window, you'll lose it.

That is, unless there is some fuzzy logic predictive radar that is better than the human eye. Which may exist, except it's on F22 jets and costs around 10 million dollars.

The pretensioning belts are a good idea, but nothing new (been around for a decade). The prebraking sounds like a good idea, and Volvo actually did it, until you realize you're only going to get rear ended as the computers are programmed conservatively, so will brake first (sometimes unpredictably to everyone around you) to be "safe".

The good engineers follow Occams Razor (KISS, or keep it simple stupid), and the doctor credo, which is first do no harm. Marketing guys like all sorts of explosives (sorry, airbags, guillotining windows, all sorts of gadgets that INTRODUCE energy into a crash).