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“Biar Orang Nak Cakap Apa, Janji Almy Sihat” – Fizz Fairuz


Uber crash fatality caused by software bug – report
In Cars, International News, Safety, Technology / By Mick Chan / 8 May 2018 5:38 pm / 0 comments

Uber has determined that the incident between a pedestrian and an Uber vehicle undergoing autonomous driving trials which led to the death of Elaine Herzberg was due to a bug in its software, according to The Information.

Apparently, the vehicle’s sensors detected the pedestrian, but the software determined that it did not need to react immediately as part of its protocol to ignore ‘false positives’, such as a plastic bag floating in its path. In the incident involving Herzberg, Uber disabled the standard collision avoidance system on the Volvo XC90 test vehicle, likely to avoid systems conflicts with its own setup it was testing at the time.

Uber and the National Transportation Safety Board have ongoing investigations into the incident to determine whether or not the software is at fault, but sources who were briefed on the initial findings told The Information that the software could be to blame.

“We have initiated a top-to-bottom safety review of our self-driving vehicles programme, and we have brought on former NTSB Chair Christopher Hart to advise us on our overall safety culture. Our review is looking at everything from the safety of our system to our training processes for vehicle operators, and we hope to have more to say soon,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.

Uber halted its testing of autonomous vehicles since the fatality, and the Arizona state governor suspended Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roads. Uber’s operators of self-drving vehicles were required to take back control of the car an average of once every mile (1.6 km), Recode reported, and that it was also struggling to meet its goal of driving 13 miles (20.8 km) on average without having the driver intervene, the New York Times said.

Last month, Uber said that it believes the prospects for autonomous vehicles are still positive despite the high-profile incident, and that they will be safer at maturity and in the long-term, key to eliminating individual car ownership. It had previously constructed a 42-acre ‘fake city’ with roadways, complicated intersections, fake cars and unpredictable pedestrians as an environment for testing its autonomous vehicles.

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Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.

Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo to meet 956 C at Nurburgring
In Cars, International News, Motorsports, Porsche / By Mick Chan / 8 May 2018 2:53 pm / 2 comments

Porsche is bringing together a pair of endurance racing legends from its prototype racer line-up – the Porsche 956 C which won World Sportscar Championship titles from 1982 to 1984, and the 919 Hybrid Evo, a modified version of the 919 Hybrid which won the FIA World Endurance Championship thrice on the trot in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The 919 Hybrid Evo took the outright lap record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium last month with a time of 1 minute 41.770 seconds, usurping the previous record held by Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ by 0.783 seconds. Driven by Neel Jani, the 919 Hybrid Evo attained an average speed of 245.61 km/h and a maximum of 359 km/h during the record lap.

A heady mix of aerodynamic modifications and liberation from race regulations gave the 919 Hybrid Evo its added performance, starting with the 2017 race car as a base. It also applied improvements intended for the 2018 season, which never saw competition due to Porsche’s withdrawal from works LMP1 racing. Freed from racing regulations, the 919 Hybrid Evo pairs a 750 hp biturbo V4 with 450 hp electric drive.

Compared to the previous outing in Belgium, the 919 Hybrid Evo’s next appearance at the Nordschleife will be slightly different. This time, reigning World Endurance champion Timo Bernhard will take the helm of the modern hybrid racer, while the 956 C will be driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck, twice winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours and three-time winner of the Nürburgring 24-Hours.

The particular example of the 956 C is chassis 005, which Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass shared for the 1984 world championship season. The 2,649 cc six-cylinder, twin-tubocharged engine in that car produced 620 hp, and chassis 007 in the hands of Stefan Bellof took the all-time Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record of six minutes 11.13 seconds during practice for the 1983 1000 km Nurburgring race. Track length at the time was 20.835 km.

This second stop of the ‘919 Tribute Tour’ will see the 919 Hybrid Evo and the 956 C conduct the show run behind a safety car, which means Bellof’s lap record will be far from bothered on this occasion. It does raise the question – what lap time could the 919 Hybrid Evo set if it were to run the same 20.835 km loop as Bellof did, unleashed?

GALLERY: Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

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Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.


john on May 08, 2018 at 3:11 pm
Hmmm… since when did Rothmans rebranded as Racing?

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johny on May 08, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Aiseh parade lap je… 919 Evo should attempt a record run lah

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