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Hay Master
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a software developer, I do not trust computers. I cannot, and will not, trust autonomous equipment, especially after the incident with the steering in my F150.


Ralph
 

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As a software developer, I do not trust computers. I cannot, and will not, trust autonomous equipment, especially after the incident with the steering in my F150.


Ralph
Interesting read Ralph. Care to expound on your F150?

Regards, Mike
 

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I could easily see the day where if you have farms with huge fields (like several hundred acres a field), one or two guys could run/maintain a small fleet of autonomous tractors/planters running 24 hours per day. Computers don't get tired. Or maybe an autonomous tractor pulling a grain cart and shuttling between truck and combine.

Definitely not for the small or medium sized guy.
 

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Oh I don't know. It might be real handy to have a smaller autonomous spreading fertilizer, spraying pasture, pulling a seeder, etc.

Regards, Mike
 

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Hay Master
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting read Ralph. Care to expound on your F150?

Regards, Mike
My 2012 F150 came with what Ford calls EPAS--Electronically Power Assisted Steering (all of them now have this). This means that it is a "drive by wire" system, so the steering wheel doesn't mean much.

It allows Ford to have features like trailer sway control detection and road crown detection and assist. Essentially, a computer is driving the truck and you just get to think you're in control.

I was boogeying down a country road and hit a significant depression in the road bed. The truck somehow thought it was rolling and took over steering, but it reacted incorrectly--it rolled the truck. There I am hanging from the seat belt, horn beeping, lights blinking air bags deployed and I'm wondering what just happened? The truck dialed 911 and the emergency response operator was talking to me.

It turns out that roll over sensing is one of the "features" of EPAS.

Had I been in control, I would have just held steady and probably been OK.

Truck was considered totaled because the air bags had gone off and the cost of cleaning the interior and replacing the air bags was more than the truck was worth.

After this, I did a lot of digging into EPAS and found out many of the things the computer will do to the vehicle.

Here's the odd thing: Three weeks after I received a check from the insurance company, I got a recall notice from Ford to bring my vehicle in for an urgent upgrade to the software.

Makes one wonder, doesn't it?

Ralph
 

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Hay Master (Supposedly)
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Oh yes. The modern wonder of “drive by wire”. If I said what I really thought of it I would get booted by the administrators. Increasingly, you are not operating machinery yourself, you are telling a computer what you want the machine to do and it runs the machine. You can imagine how this plays out on consumer grade products . . .

My experience is with a CAT 226D skid steer which is exclusively fly by wire. Excuse me CAT, but after operating skidsteers for well over 8000 hours of my life I don’t need no stinking’ computer to help me run it. Especially when you (CAT), by accident or otherwise, make machine operate more slowly in the control pattern I prefer.
 
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Hay Master (Supposedly)
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And there was this most comforting tidbit that I ran across in the Operator’s Manual for the 226D . . . in the event that the machine will not shut down with the key find and pull the ECM fuse . . .

Uh what??

You mean the key isn’t really the key anymore?

And how many people read the Ops manual and learn that critical bit of information . . . head shaking’ mode.
 
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Just read this bit of brilliant stupidity that is basically drive by wire gone full idiot. Guy tried to pull out a stuck loaded semi truck with his big CaseIH CVT (remember, this is a computer controled transmission). He could not get the truck moved. Every time the tractor started to pull hard the computer shut it down. No doubt there is a way to over ride that but really?? Another guy said he knew of a similar situation with a Deere IVT. After numerous calls to the dealer, finally went and got a good old quad range Deere and got the job done.
 

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With exception to a few, very few automotive vehicles are steer by wire. They are, however, electrically assisted and that assistance can and has been used to override or adjust the steering.

Steer by wire implies there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the steering gear. The only car I know that is truly this way is an Infiniti Q50, but it has two steering motors and three computers for redundancy. In the event of loss of power there is a mechanical clutch that will recouple the steering wheel to the steering gear.
 

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My old Case 70 series is steer by juice. Hydraulic pressure is all bled off right now so wheel just spins round and round and round. I'm not a fan of that either as if I have to pull it there is no way to steer it.
 

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Kinda glad my newest tractor is 32 years old! :rolleyes:
 

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I been in a combine (I think IH) 30 some years ago that had a rocker switch for throttle control. If I remember right it had idle, mid speed and high. I have heard that one of the combine manufacturers had put a 2 or 3 position switch in but then had went back to a lever. The story was that people felt more in control with a lever, and most likely the manufacturer didn't go out of their way to point out that there wasn't a mechanical linkage.
 
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