bwilson4web
Posts: 758
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Unintended acceleration into building

Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:46 am

Not sure where to put this:

Source: https://insideevs.com/news/364540/video ... -building/

"A driver plowed into the Kaimuki Times this morning, leaving behind a large dent in the store. Luckily, no one was injured."

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

alohart
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:32 am

Second such event involving an i3 in Honolulu during the past couple of weeks. Since buying our i3 in Honolulu almost 5 years ago, these are the first such incidents involving an i3 in Honolulu that I know about. Something weird going on :?
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

Fisher99
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:13 pm

Most cases like this are simply the driver thinking that their foot is on the brake but instead it is on the accelerator pedal.

However, I think that in the case of the i3 it could also be that the driver selected "D" when thinking they were selecting "R". The i3 drive selector is backwards from most other automatic transmission gear selectors. In the i3 you push forward to select "D" and backward to select "R", while in most other cars (my wife's BMW 535i for example) you press forward to select "R" and pull backward to select "D". While I actually think that the i3 drive selection process makes the most sense, I think that BMW made a BIG mistake going against the common "PRNDL" selector layout that has been used forever and is firmly ingrained into all of our minds (and reflexes). I know that the other day I had my i3 parked outside in the driveway and came scarily close to driving into the garage door when I jumped in, pressed forward on the drive selector, and started to drive off. Fortunately I hit the brakes before I hit the door, but it scared the crap out of me. And I think this is actually made worse by the fact that the i3 doesn't "creep" like a standard gasoline car does when you pop it into gear. You don't have any movement feedback of which direction the car is going to go until you actually press on the accelerator, and then it can be too late.

vreihen
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:21 pm

alohart wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:32 am
Second such event involving an i3 in Honolulu during the past couple of weeks. Since buying our i3 in Honolulu almost 5 years ago, these are the first such incidents involving an i3 in Honolulu that I know about. Something weird going on :?
1) Relieved to hear that the accident wasn't your car!

2) Are those car-rental apps like Turo (airbnb for cars) popular on the islands? Just wondering if these accidents could have been tourists in borrowed/rented cars that they didn't know how to drive?

3) Does your local news have any other pictures that show whether the airbags deployed or how much damage the car suffered?????
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

alohart
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:28 am

Fisher99 wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:13 pm
While I actually think that the i3 drive selection process makes the most sense, I think that BMW made a BIG mistake going against the common "PRNDL" selector layout that has been used forever and is firmly ingrained into all of our minds (and reflexes).
The automatic transmission gear selector layout certainly isn't ingrained in all of our minds and reflexes. Even having driven in the U.S. for 60 years, I have never owned an automatic transmission vehicle, so our i3's gear selector layout is very intuitive to me. Many European drivers have likely never owned automatic transmission vehicles as well.

Backing out of our tight apartment parking space next to a wall such that no passenger can enter while parked, I have to stop after backing out to allow my wife to enter the passenger side. I have occasionally forgotten to shift from R to D after backing out while waiting for my wife to enter. Always driving in Eco Pro, the power pedal is less sensitive than in Comfort, so pressing the power pedal expecting to drive forward hasn't caused any collisions. However, I can understand how pressing the power pedal in Comfort in D when expecting to be in R could cause a collision.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

alohart
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:50 am

vreihen wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:21 pm
1) Relieved to hear that the accident wasn't your car!
Me, too, since our i3 is in storage for 3.5 months while we're in Europe.
vreihen wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:21 pm
2) Are those car-rental apps like Turo (airbnb for cars) popular on the islands? Just wondering if these accidents could have been tourists in borrowed/rented cars that they didn't know how to drive?
Turo is used in Hawaii, but currently, no i3's are listed on Turo in Honolulu, only Tesla cars.
vreihen wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:21 pm
3) Does your local news have any other pictures that show whether the airbags deployed or how much damage the car suffered?????
I watched a video that showed the owner removing things from inside the car. There were no deployed airbags visible which sort of surprised me considering how much damage was done to the building. I suppose airbags don't deploy during a very low-speed collision where injury to the driver could be greater from an airbag deploying.

The video did not show the i3 in the most recent i3-building collision being pulled out of the building like a video in the first collision. In that case, no damage was visible after that i3 drove through the glass front of a store. I'm sure there were plenty of paint scratches. Colliding with a solid wall likely caused more damage.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4943
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:27 pm

The airbags are triggered by g-forces...if there's much crushing of the building, and at low speeds, that threshold probably wouldn't be crossed. The i3 chassis is also designed to progressive break, but I would expect those forces would be enough to trigger the air bags as the chassis is stiffer than human body parts.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

Fisher99
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:46 pm

alohart wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:28 am
The automatic transmission gear selector layout certainly isn't ingrained in all of our minds and reflexes. Even having driven in the U.S. for 60 years, I have never owned an automatic transmission vehicle, so our i3's gear selector layout is very intuitive to me. Many European drivers have likely never owned automatic transmission vehicles as well.
[snip]
I get that stick shifts are probably more prevalent in Europe than in the USA, but I'm still guessing that more premium brand cars (Mercedes, Audi, BMW) are sold with automatics than sticks, even in Europe. And I believe that they use the same PRNDL layout as in the USA. Or actually, more recently PRNDL is giving way to a momentary "toggle" shifter, but still with reverse at the top (push forward) and drive at the bottom (pull back). The i3 is simply backwards from pretty much anything else on the market.

I have 2 BMWs sitting in my garage and their drive selectors are backwards from each other. That seems problematic to me and even more problematic to my wife. Even if I do think that the i3's drive selector operation makes more sense, it is simply problematic in a multi-automatic-vehicle household. And as I mentioned earlier, when you combine this with the fact that the i3 doesn't "creep" when you select a gear (thus giving you a sense of which direction the car will go when you press the accelerator), it's kind of surprising to me that there aren't more unintended i3 parking lot mishaps than there are. Or maybe there are, and we just don't hear about them unless they actually go through the wall of a building... :o

But I also understand that for you, since you have never owned a conventional automatic vehicle, that the i3 drive selector layout is a non-issue.

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:56 am

I wonder if it is related to the regenerative braking. If you turn sharply, or hit a bump, the regen braking will disengage to protect the drive train, which can cause the car to leap forward when the driver isn't expecting it. Combine that with someone who is a 'one-foot' driver, using their right foot for both accelerator pedal and brake pedal, and the sudden unexpected jump forward could cause a panic foot down on the accelerator instead of the brake. There is a nice dip in the road approaching a stop sign near my house. Invariably as I approach, the car hits the dip, the regenerative braking disengages, and the car does a little rabbit leap toward the stop-line. Being a two-foot driver, taught to drive by an uncle who raced rally cars, never an issue.
Last edited by MKH on Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

Fisher99
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Unintended acceleration into building

Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:53 am

Interesting! I've never experienced a situation where regenerative braking disengages. Didn't even know it did that!

Return to “General / Main i3 Owners Forum”