It's a Miracle!

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It's a Miracle!

Postby Rope-Pusher » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:15 pm

Fiat 500 Sport: The miracle of hill-start assist, Edmunds Inside Line, Sept. 26
o The Fiat 500 has hill-start assist; the car maintains brake pressure for a short period of time after you lift your foot from the brake pedal and begin to apply the throttle to coordinate the getaway with the clutch, Edmunds Inside Line said. It’s one of those miracles of electronics, the website said. Thanks to hill-start assist, the Fiat 500 with its manual transmission is easy to drive, the article said. A manual transmission has a fun factor that you can’t beat, since you always feel like you’re operating the car instead of it operating you, the article said.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:07 pm

So, are we really different from most manual drivers in terms of applying hill start methods such as handbrake and brief clutch hold? They make sense to me, why wouldn't most manual drivers employ this?

I am making my assumptions based on the idea that where there is a feature, there is a convenience, need, or appeal. I see neither, really. It matters little to me.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby theholycow » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 pm

I think the feature is there to satisfy the marketing department who wants to sell manuals to people who are afraid of manuals. I don't think most experienced manual drivers lack an effective hill launch strategy.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:57 pm

theholycow wrote:I think the feature is there to satisfy the marketing department who wants to sell manuals to people who are afraid of manuals. I don't think most experienced manual drivers lack an effective hill launch strategy.


I believe that the marketing department alone cannot lead this charge. The bean counters have to be in the mix. They are the ones who look at hard data of demand and profitability. Looking at hard data must mean that there is some proof there, which makes this feature one of the above: desirable, convenient or needed.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby theholycow » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:19 pm

How much do you think that feature costs? The bean counters don't get involved when it's just a couple lines of extra code.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby Shadow » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:26 pm

AHTOXA wrote:So, are we really different from most manual drivers in terms of applying hill start methods such as handbrake and brief clutch hold? They make sense to me, why wouldn't most manual drivers employ this?

I am making my assumptions based on the idea that where there is a feature, there is a convenience, need, or appeal. I see neither, really. It matters little to me.


You have to keep in mind that the pool of manual transmission drivers has been shrinking, just like the pool of cars available with manual transmissions. Anything they can offer that is perceived as a driver's aid can only be a positive thing. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that rolling back on a hill is probably the number one cause of concern for inexperienced drivers of manual transmission cars.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:29 pm

theholycow wrote:How much do you think that feature costs? The bean counters don't get involved when it's just a couple lines of extra code.

Perhaps relays, actuators. I don't think it's only software.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby theholycow » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:31 pm

I assumed that it uses the same relays and actuators as all other automatic brake applying features such as traction control and stability control.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:34 pm

Shadow wrote:
AHTOXA wrote:So, are we really different from most manual drivers in terms of applying hill start methods such as handbrake and brief clutch hold? They make sense to me, why wouldn't most manual drivers employ this?

I am making my assumptions based on the idea that where there is a feature, there is a convenience, need, or appeal. I see neither, really. It matters little to me.


You have to keep in mind that the pool of manual transmission drivers has been shrinking, just like the pool of cars available with manual transmissions. Anything they can offer that is perceived as a driver's aid can only be a positive thing. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that rolling back on a hill is probably the number one cause of concern for inexperienced drivers of manual transmission cars.


I do see your point. Perhaps, considering the added expense (which may be small) for the feature, it's worth it to have a technological advantage over the next guy simply for the sake of claim, regardless of the small market size. This concept plays into the non-manual market due to technological perception of overall product.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:37 pm

theholycow wrote:I assumed that it uses the same relays and actuators as all other automatic brake applying features such as traction control and stability control.


I'm off my focus today. That is true - didn't think this through.

I wonder if abs sensors can be used to sense when the car is in motion when brakes are off yet throttle isn't applied and whether that sensor makes a distinction between forward and reverse.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby Shadow » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:43 pm

AHTOXA wrote:
Shadow wrote:
AHTOXA wrote:So, are we really different from most manual drivers in terms of applying hill start methods such as handbrake and brief clutch hold? They make sense to me, why wouldn't most manual drivers employ this?

I am making my assumptions based on the idea that where there is a feature, there is a convenience, need, or appeal. I see neither, really. It matters little to me.


You have to keep in mind that the pool of manual transmission drivers has been shrinking, just like the pool of cars available with manual transmissions. Anything they can offer that is perceived as a driver's aid can only be a positive thing. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that rolling back on a hill is probably the number one cause of concern for inexperienced drivers of manual transmission cars.


I do see your point. Perhaps, considering the added expense (which may be small) for the feature, it's worth it to have a technological advantage over the next guy simply for the sake of claim, regardless of the small market size. This concept plays into the non-manual market due to technological perception of overall product.


Yeah, I see it as a good thing. My new Audi has hill holder too, but it is 100% controlled by the driver. If you don't want to use it, you don't have to use it. For people who want/need it, I'm sure it's a great aid. Although it is my opinion that everyone should know how to start off on a steep hill without the use of any driver aids (including the e-brake!).

This reminds me of the automatic rev matching feature on the 370Z. At first I was disappointed when I heard about it....then I learned that you can turn it off/on. If there wasn't a way to turn it off, I'd hate to have it because it would take some of the enjoyment out of driving a manual trans.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby Rope-Pusher » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:26 am

I keep a stopwatch on board so I can time my own sparks when I want to REALLY feel involved in the process. Just sayin'....I'd still respect mosta you guys if you let the confuser time your sparks. I understand it's not for everyone.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby theholycow » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:07 am

I replaced my camshaft with linkages and hooked them up to a piano keyboard in my center console.
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby tankinbeans » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:58 pm

Shadow wrote:I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that rolling back on a hill is probably the number one cause of concern for inexperienced drivers of manual transmission cars.


This is one thing that kept me away from them for a long time. I tried learning in my friend's Mustang GT, all mufflers deleted, straight pipes, at 3 in the morning (he worked really goofy hours and this was the only time I could get him to show me for awhile) in a QUIET neighborhood. I'd try to get the thing moving and kill it, then I'd have to restart and try again with the accompanying loud burble. I got so nervous I just gave him the keys and asked if we could just go to a flat spot so I could get better at that.

Hills are still hit and miss for me. I don't use the e-brake, but my car still shutters. My timing is still off a little. What freaks me out are the mega-steep hills where you can pick up a lot of momentum fairly quickly, in the wrong direction, and a tool who wants to kiss your bumper.

All that being said, haven't these been in all manual Subarus since at least the 80s?

I will have to say that I drove my friend's, same one who had the Mustang, new Jetta and it had HSA. It was the strangest thing ever. His car also has a vibrating clutch (not sure what that's all about - but that's another topic).
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Re: It's a Miracle!

Postby Shadow » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:12 pm

tankinbeans wrote:

All that being said, haven't these been in all manual Subarus since at least the 80s?



I don't know when the very first hill holder feature debuted, but I'm pretty sure it was a looooong time ago. I believe you're correct that Subaru had hill holders in several models during the 80s.
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