[SystemSafety] AVs vs. driver aids ... some more WTF questions

Olwen Morgan olwen at phaedsys.com
Tue Jul 23 14:02:33 CEST 2019

Folks here will have gathered that I regard AVs as a kind of modern 
plague - in part because of jaded experiences with much simpler 
technology. A few weeks ago I posted some gripes about driver aids in a 
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Here are some gripes about a Ford Grand C Max:

1.    Speed limiter settings are in multiples of 5. Cruise control 
setting can be done in units. Why the lack of orthogonality?

2.    Engagement of both speed limiter and cruise control uses the same 
buttons that also set the relevant speed on SL or CC engagement. Why the 
functional overloading of the setting switch?

3.    The overall Set/Cancel function for Sl and CC has a button right 
next to the Set+ and Set- buttons for speeds. Also the buttons feel 
almost identical to the touch. Why no salient haptic distinction?

4.    The road speed limit display is on the central console and not the 
driver display on which SL and CC set speeds are shown? Why separate them?

5.    The road speed limit display is often inaccurate and usually errs 
by showing too high a figure. WTF?

6.    The driver display shows dark grey on black when SL and CC are set 
but not engaged. It is difficult to read in low light conditions. Why 
such an obvious error?

7.    The auditory SL overspeed warning is often inaudible above cabin 
noise. I haven't yet found a way to increase the volume. Also the audio 
system does not suppress other sound when the auditory warning is 
triggered. WTF?

8.    On overspeed when Sl is engaged (which can occur going downhill as 
their is no SL-triggered braking), the set speed flashes on and off as a 
white numeral on a black background. It would have been trivially easy 
to make it toggle between red on a white background and white on a red 
background, thus making it much more salient to the driver. Did this not 
occur to any of the HMI designers?

9.     There is no differential on-screen colour keying to distinguish 
whether Sl or CC is engaged.

10.    The central console faces straight to the rear and is not angled 
towards the driver. As it happens, this is not too bad because all 
functions are within reach but it does involve more reaching than would 
otherwise be the case.

11.    There is a steering wheel heater - presumably to cheer you up 
after the rudimentary HMI howlers listed above?

... and this industry expects us to believe that they'll get AVs right?



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