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Would you like to be able to choose the settings of your vehicle yourself?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lets start with automatic braking feature. I almost had an accident because of it. I changed lanes when the car in front of me started to brake. When I was in the right lane my Clarity hits the brakes like a maniac. The car behind me almost kissed my bumper. This was due to latency of the radar system that thought I am still in the second lane. I had 50 meters clear space in front of me. Maybe for an old lady with no reaction this is a good way to avoid an accident, but in case if you know how to drive, you should be able to change the setting to "alarm only". Also, imagine your car hits all brakes on a slippery surface! An accident is guaranteed. I can not consider this option as a safety thing.
Now about the mirrors. It was raining and we had high humidity. My side mirrors got covered with mist and I could see nothing through them. No way to have mirror heaters because it was 25°C.
What about the winter? They will be on at all times I guess? Nice economy. Super math.
The seat heaters. Yes, the driver seat heater comes on automatically at freezing temperatures and this is so annoying. I do not use seat heaters (getting too hot for me) and every time I have to shut it down. So stupid! Similar to not having possibility to activate the mirror heaters during the rain at positive temperatures.
The Honda designers decided for us that we all will need the seat heater in cold and do not need clear mirrors at warm days, even if it is raining and the mirrors become useless. Why should someone in Japan decide when I will need certain features? And there is no way to set them up differently! Oh, sorry, but we can choose among different skins for our display and direct the sequence of little icons on our dashboard. Soo important!!! We are becoming useless dummies...
I just hope that one of the great engineers at Honda will read this post and make a software update so we can choose setting that are good for us, the drivers! I am agitated, because the Clarity is a great car and small things like this like a spoon of tar in a pale of honey. I might not go for another Clarity in the future.
When I buy my next car I must pay attention what can be set up in that new car. Then I can refuse buying it and demonstrate my protest with my wallet.
 

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In the Clarity it's not just the safety features. There's a complete lack of owner documentation covering engine and fuel maintenance, specific information on the maintenance minder (times and mileages for each item), etc. The Clarity reflects the extremely paternalistic culture found in Japan.
 
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Lets start with automatic braking feature. I almost had an accident because of it.
This has happened to me more than once but much more frequently is the alert when I know my path is clear or will be clear when I get there, like when the car in front is turning or changing lanes. It also alerts me when I can clearly see my trajectory is completely clear but the radar is assuming a wider berth is required than what I know to be safe passage. I would like to be able to permanently disable it but no, I have to remember to press and hold the damn button every time I start the car, which I am too lazy to do...
 

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It definitely takes some getting used to. If you know the quirks, you have to assume they'll happen, when you've set up the conditions to trigger them.

When using ACC, in multi-lane twisties, I know the RADAR can lose sight of the leading car in my lane, and might be triggered by a vehicle in an adjacent lane, instead. (It's a tradeoff function of the width of the RADAR beam.) It's why I now turn off ACC in twisties, as a matter of habit. On a long-straight freeway, ACC is wonderful!

Driver automation features definitely are not a panacea.
 

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Clarity's "Honda Sense" driver assist features are poorly done and I disable as many of them as possible including "Road Departure Mitigation" (RDM) and "Collision Mitigation Braking System" (CBMS). See pages 398 and 442 in the owners manual to disable them. RDM has a warning only mode but it is so annoying that I leave that off too. CBMS has to be disabled every time you start. Excuse me while I vomit.

The side mirrors will defrost/defog when the driver turns on the rear window defogger, regardless of air temperature. This is a manual driver on/off selection as it should be.
 

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"CBMS has to be disabled every time you start. " - for me that is the most annoying, and dangerous!
 

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Clarity's "Honda Sense" driver assist features are poorly done and I disable as many of them as possible including "Road Departure Mitigation" (RDM) and "Collision Mitigation Braking System" (CBMS). See pages 398 and 442 in the owners manual to disable them. RDM has a warning only mode but it is so annoying that I leave that off too. CBMS has to be disabled every time you start. Excuse me while I vomit.

The side mirrors will defrost/defog when the driver turns on the rear window defogger, regardless of air temperature. This is a manual driver on/off selection as it should be.
With safety features I think it's a bit more complicated, because while we focus on the misfires, these features can and do save lives or prevent injury. An extreme example is airbags, several dozen people have been killed when airbags went off when they weren't supposed to. But it is estimated that 50,000 lives have been saved by airbags. So the government is not going to allow it to be a user selectable option, other than in some cases for passengers if there is a greater risk like for small children. I understand the argument that these things should be an individual choice, I'm just saying that's why it's the way it is. I remember twenty-five years ago or so the new motorcycle helmet law in California was controversial, many motorcyclists felt they could see better without a helmet and thus were safer, but statistics said otherwise and the law remains.

I don't know what the statistics are on collision mitigation systems, but it's quite possible that they prevent more accidents than they might inadvertently cause.

Of course no one thinks they are an unsafe driver, or that they need "nanny" protection. But again what if statistics say otherwise? So how to handle this, maybe if someone passes a defensive driving course then they are given an unlock code that allows them to disable certain safety features? I certainly don't foresee that happening, thus the implementation and control of these features is probably going to continue to be based on statistics as to their overall effectiveness.
 

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"CBMS has to be disabled every time you start. " - for me that is the most annoying, and dangerous!
I understand the sentiment, but from a safety viewpoint the car can be driven by anyone, and they are avoiding a situation where one driver turns off a safety feature, and the next driver is not aware that it has been shut off. I realize that in the day to day world that we live in that makes no sense because we own our cars and we are the only ones driving it, but the car has no way to know that. In our mind it's a hypothetical situation that will never happen in real life, but that may not be true in every situation. Rental cars for example. In theory they can have alternate programming for rental cars, but that is not going to be considered a reliable solution. So as sort of a compromise they allow the driver to turn certain things off, but only for that driving session. You feel that makes it more dangerous because you might forget to turn it off each time, which I understand. But as mentioned in my previous post, they are going to be looking at statistics not personal opinions, whether we like that or not that's the way it is.
 

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Of course no one thinks they are an unsafe driver, or that they need "nanny" protection. But again what if statistics say otherwise? So how to handle this, maybe if someone passes a defensive driving course then they are given an unlock code that allows them to disable certain safety features? I certainly don't foresee that happening, thus the implementation and control of these features is probably going to continue to be based on statistics as to their overall effectiveness.
I know I am a better driver than most on the roads and witness poor judgement, lack of ability to judge distances correctly and accurately and slow or poor reactions every day. I've also had several Race Driver training courses and race door-to-door on the track. The CBMS just isn't accurate enough for my skills or liking and has activated braking to the point that ABS kicks in more than once creating a more dangerous situation for the cars behind me than it calculated I was in before. just sayin'...
 

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I know I am a better driver than most on the roads and witness poor judgement, lack of ability to judge distances correctly and accurately and slow or poor reactions every day. I've also had several Race Driver training courses and race door-to-door on the track. The CBMS just isn't accurate enough for my skills or liking and has activated braking to the point that ABS kicks in more than once creating a more dangerous situation for the cars behind me than it calculated I was in before. just sayin'...
Don't doubt that at all. But as you said most drivers have poor judgement, skills, reactions, and let's not even start with distracted driving. Safety features likely make the overall population safer, and the rest of us get to live with the features even if we can demonstrate that we can outperform the safety feature, because the car has no way of knowing who is driving.

There is an alternate theory that people become more complacent because of safety features. Probably a lot of truth to that. But if they already are poor drivers then I guess adding some additional complacency probably isn't that much worse, compared to the accidents that the features keep them out of. And also that type of driver is less likely to turn off the features every time they drive because it's too much trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will disagree about the CMBS and airbag comparison. The airbags today work mostly well, though on my Mazda B3000 they didn't deploy when I was airborne and flipped about 5 times losing 2 wheels and totalling the vehicle. The CBMS is far from good. In order to set the breakes the driver (or in case of CMBS the computer) must take in consideration many conditions that the present system is unable to accomplish. It is too slow on recognition of the change, so can not be trusted. Statistics are not always correct, but we can not win that battle.
My point is that there are certain things that should be available to driver preference settings before they become so well thought through that will be included in the MUST HAVE heading.
Yes, most of the drivers shouldn't be on the road and yes, most of the drivers think they are good drivers. One of my coworkers was driving at 100 km/h speed (the top speed of the limited access freeway, when the right two lanes were free. He also was sure that he is a good driver. I am not talking about how good the driver is, I am talking about the systems that are not performing well enough and must be selectable.
 

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I will disagree about the CMBS and airbag comparison. The airbags today work mostly well, though on my Mazda B3000 they didn't deploy when I was airborne and flipped about 5 times losing 2 wheels and totalling the vehicle. The CBMS is far from good. In order to set the breakes the driver (or in case of CMBS the computer) must take in consideration many conditions that the present system is unable to accomplish. It is too slow on recognition of the change, so can not be trusted. Statistics are not always correct, but we can not win that battle.
My point is that there are certain things that should be available to driver preference settings before they become so well thought through that will be included in the MUST HAVE heading.
Yes, most of the drivers shouldn't be on the road and yes, most of the drivers think they are good drivers. One of my coworkers was driving at 100 km/h speed (the top speed of the limited access freeway, when the right two lanes were free. He also was sure that he is a good driver. I am not talking about how good the driver is, I am talking about the systems that are not performing well enough and must be selectable.
Sorry I may not have been clear enough in my wording, that is what I meant when I said that airbags are an extreme example. I was not comparing the safety of airbags to collision avoidance, I was only pointing to the conceptual similarity that both are features that have killed people (I presume that at least some people have been killed because of mistakes made by collision avoidance), and yet both features have the potential to save more lives than they risk. Certainly airbags to an overwhelming extent.

Collision avoidance is much newer and certainly not as refined as airbags which have been in widespread use for over three decades. But at some point a decision has to be made whether the number of lives saved outweighs the risk. The next decision is whether that number is clear enough to allow the feature to be built into cars. Then the next decision is whether that number is large enough to make the feature mandatory for car makers, or whether to allow car makers to decide whether or not to include the feature in their cars. The next decision is whether that number is overwhelming enough that drivers should not be allowed to disengage it, examples are airbags and ABS. In the case of CMBS it has been decided to let the driver disengage it if they choose. They just don't allow the car to retain the disengaged setting for the reason that I mentioned which has to do with the fact that different drivers often share a vehicle.

I agree that CMBS should remain driver selectable until it is more refined and the ratio of accidents prevented vs. accidents caused becomes overwhelming like it is with airbags and ABS.
 

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I agree that CMBS should remain driver selectable until it is more refined and the ratio of accidents prevented vs. accidents caused becomes overwhelming like it is with airbags and ABS.
(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry I may not have been clear enough in my wording, that is what I meant when I said that airbags are an extreme example. I was not comparing the safety of airbags to collision avoidance, I was only pointing to the conceptual similarity that both are features that have killed people (I presume that at least some people have been killed because of mistakes made by collision avoidance), and yet both features have the potential to save more lives than they risk. Certainly airbags to an overwhelming extent.

Collision avoidance is much newer and certainly not as refined as airbags which have been in widespread use for over three decades. But at some point a decision has to be made whether the number of lives saved outweighs the risk. The next decision is whether that number is clear enough to allow the feature to be built into cars. Then the next decision is whether that number is large enough to make the feature mandatory for car makers, or whether to allow car makers to decide whether or not to include the feature in their cars. The next decision is whether that number is overwhelming enough that drivers should not be allowed to disengage it, examples are airbags and ABS. In the case of CMBS it has been decided to let the driver disengage it if they choose. They just don't allow the car to retain the disengaged setting for the reason that I mentioned which has to do with the fact that different drivers often share a vehicle.

I agree that CMBS should remain driver selectable until it is more refined and the ratio of accidents prevented vs. accidents caused becomes overwhelming like it is with airbags and ABS.
Agree 100 %! Adn wish that I would be able to have the seat heater disabled when I start my car. Now it comes on as soon as there is freezing temperature outside. If I forget to check it, I will boil after 10 minutes of drive.
 

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Agree 100 %! Adn wish that I would be able to have the seat heater disabled when I start my car. Now it comes on as soon as there is freezing temperature outside. If I forget to check it, I will boil after 10 minutes of drive.
Automatic seat heating only occurs in Econ mode. You can disable it by switching to Normal or Sport mode. But that leads to another complaint, which is that they have bundled some features into the different modes, so to get certain features you have to use that driving mode, when it may not be your preference.

The main difference between Econ, Normal and Sport modes is the pedal mapping. Econ is best if you want to avoid accidentally starting the engine, because you have to press the pedal almost all the way to the floor to get full power from the electric motor, then there is a detent or what some people call a click, which is a point of resistance and if you press past that the engine turns on. This makes it much easier even without looking at the instrument panel to know if you are close to turning on the engine.

In Normal mode the pedal is mapped so that it takes less pedal movement than Econ to get full electric power. But that also means that you can easily go too far and activate ICE, because you will reach that point prior to reaching the detent. The only way to avoid activating ICE in Normal mode is to watch the instrument panel as you are accelerating and avoid going into the gray area on the power meter.

Sport mode is mapped even more aggressively, it takes very little pedal movement to get full power. This gives the illusion of having more power, but it's really the same amount of power but with less pedal movement. Because of this it is even easier in Sport mode to accidentally activate ICE by pressing the pedal too far.

Sport mode has a unique feature though, the Clarity version of one-pedal driving. Not quite as powerful as in full electric cars, but it does allow you to select four chevrons of regen using the paddle, and then the rest of the time that the car is on regen will stay at four chevrons, allowing you to control both acceleration and deceleration with just the accelerator pedal, at least up to the maximum level of regen provided by four chevrons. This allows you to not have to be constantly fiddling with the paddles, you can control the amount of regen using the accelerator pedal. In Econ and Normal modes, if you select four chevrons of regen it only lasts while you are slowing down, then it resets to one chevron. Then you have to select four chevrons again using the paddles the next time that you slow time.

The problem is that if you like the one-pedal driving method, you have to select Sport mode, when that may not be your preferred driving mode. Also Sport mode only remains engaged for the current driving session. The next time you start the car after being in Sport mode it reverts to Normal mode. I think that is probably again due to concern about different drivers, I guess they think that if it remained in Sport mode a different driver will be startled when they press the accelerator pedal and the car leaps forward, maybe causing an accident. But this also means that if you just want one pedal driving you have to select Sport mode every time you start the car. Seems like they could have put that in the options and not have it tied to Sport mode, so that you could also use one-pedal driving in Econ and Normal modes.
 

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Sport mode has a unique feature though, the Clarity version of one-pedal driving.
I did not know this! Thanks.

Related to regen mode, does anyone know if the brake lights come on when regenerative braking is active like it does in the Tesla?
(I haven't figured out a way to drive and follow myself at the same time)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Automatic seat heating only occurs in Econ mode. You can disable it by switching to Normal or Sport mode. But that leads to another complaint, which is that they have bundled some features into the different modes, so to get certain features you have to use that driving mode, when it may not be your preference.

The main difference between Econ, Normal and Sport modes is the pedal mapping. Econ is best if you want to avoid accidentally starting the engine, because you have to press the pedal almost all the way to the floor to get full power from the electric motor, then there is a detent or what some people call a click, which is a point of resistance and if you press past that the engine turns on. This makes it much easier even without looking at the instrument panel to know if you are close to turning on the engine.

In Normal mode the pedal is mapped so that it takes less pedal movement than Econ to get full electric power. But that also means that you can easily go too far and activate ICE, because you will reach that point prior to reaching the detent. The only way to avoid activating ICE in Normal mode is to watch the instrument panel as you are accelerating and avoid going into the gray area on the power meter.

Sport mode is mapped even more aggressively, it takes very little pedal movement to get full power. This gives the illusion of having more power, but it's really the same amount of power but with less pedal movement. Because of this it is even easier in Sport mode to accidentally activate ICE by pressing the pedal too far.

Sport mode has a unique feature though, the Clarity version of one-pedal driving. Not quite as powerful as in full electric cars, but it does allow you to select four chevrons of regen using the paddle, and then the rest of the time that the car is on regen will stay at four chevrons, allowing you to control both acceleration and deceleration with just the accelerator pedal, at least up to the maximum level of regen provided by four chevrons. This allows you to not have to be constantly fiddling with the paddles, you can control the amount of regen using the accelerator pedal. In Econ and Normal modes, if you select four chevrons of regen it only lasts while you are slowing down, then it resets to one chevron. Then you have to select four chevrons again using the paddles the next time that you slow time.

The problem is that if you like the one-pedal driving method, you have to select Sport mode, when that may not be your preferred driving mode. Also Sport mode only remains engaged for the current driving session. The next time you start the car after being in Sport mode it reverts to Normal mode. I think that is probably again due to concern about different drivers, I guess they think that if it remained in Sport mode a different driver will be startled when they press the accelerator pedal and the car leaps forward, maybe causing an accident. But this also means that if you just want one pedal driving you have to select Sport mode every time you start the car. Seems like they could have put that in the options and not have it tied to Sport mode, so that you could also use one-pedal driving in Econ and Normal modes.
Exactly my point. I have noticed all that. And also I have noticed that when the ICU kicks in, it will stay there no matter how you drive. The only way I was able to stop it is to stop the car, turn off ignition, open the driver door, close it and put the ignition back on. This is just ridiculous.
 

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Exactly my point. I have noticed all that. And also I have noticed that when the ICU kicks in, it will stay there no matter how you drive. The only way I was able to stop it is to stop the car, turn off ignition, open the driver door, close it and put the ignition back on. This is just ridiculous.
When the engine starts for any reason, it will run at idle until it is warmed up then it will shut off. I read somewhere that this is actually an EPA requirement because of the catalytic converter, the catalytic converter needs to fully warm up to burn off any unburnt fuel. If the engine shuts off before warming up then unburnt fuel can be left in the converter which is apparently not good for its lifespan.

Although annoying, Clarity uses very little gas during these warmups since it is usually just idling. Owners understandable get upset because they have plenty of EV miles and maybe a short distance to drive and are upset that the car has now switched to gas mode. But in reality it is still using EV miles during the warmup so nothing really changes as far as battery usage, again it's just a situation where a small amount of gas will be used for a few minutes of warmup.

In most cases activating ICE can be avoided by not pressing the accelerator pedal too far, which in Econ mode is quite easy. In Normal and Sport modes it is a bit harder to avoid if not thinking about it and pressing the pedal a bit farther than is really needed, but with some practice it doesn't happen very often. And when ICE does turn on the best thing is to just keep driving and it should shut off by itself after a few minutes, although in cold weather it might take a little longer.

People who drove the Chevy Volt previously really don't like this because when driving the Volt in EV mode you can press the pedal to the floor without activating ICE. They want Clarity to work the same way. But that's a decision made by the car maker whether to limit power in EV mode. In other words the Volt would have had a bit more power in EV mode if it activated ICE during hard acceleration, but apparently Chevrolet (and Volt owners) feel that there is plenty of acceleration with just the battery. Honda on the other hand apparently was concerned that some prospective Clarity owners on test drives (where many people floor it at least once during the test drive) would find the car lacking power. This would also affect 0-60 times for Clarity, which are not great as it is. So they decided that when you put the pedal to the metal that ICE will activate to add more power. But that means you then have to endure a few minutes of engine warmup.
 

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I did not know this! Thanks.

Related to regen mode, does anyone know if the brake lights come on when regenerative braking is active like it does in the Tesla?
(I haven't figured out a way to drive and follow myself at the same time)
Drive down an alley at night, and look for brightening red light reflections on the walls.
 

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I know I am a better driver than most on the roads and witness poor judgement, lack of ability to judge distances correctly and accurately and slow or poor reactions every day. I've also had several Race Driver training courses and race door-to-door on the track. The CBMS just isn't accurate enough for my skills or liking and has activated braking to the point that ABS kicks in more than once creating a more dangerous situation for the cars behind me than it calculated I was in before. just sayin'...
I understand and agree with you for the most part. But I also know that it’s possible to drive the car, for the most part, in a way that will only activate the CBMS in a true emergency.
 
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