Coffeehouse Thread

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Titanic 2

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  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    @vesuvius: Additionally the default reaction of any transport company in the face of a crash is to blame the driver/pilot/captain until evidence is provided to prove otherwise. Even the British MOD use this tactic when there's a crash in civilian airspace.

    Herbie

    Yes, and then there was that hideous business with the Chinook crash in Scotland. The MOD tried to blame the pilots to cover up the fact they'd ignored warnings over the aircraft's safety and they were too cheap to transport the country's top military personnel on separate flights.

    Now that was real cowardice.

    Still, this chap left his ship with passengers still on board, and refused to go back until the coastguard ordered him to man up. If it wasn't his fault, he's going to have a hard job proving it now.

     

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    I'm sorry, I find it hard to believe that a ship like this that cost $570M would not have a navigation system that would absolutely prevent human mistakes like this. And that the ship does not log its actual course for the owning company to ensure the crew doesn't pull stunts like this. And does not send up clear warnings when it is approaching an obstacle that can damage it.

    My stupid car that costs 0.005% that of this ship can tell me when I'm going to hit something while backing up, warn me when there is a car in my blind spot while changing lanes on the freeway, warns me when there is approaching cross traffic 3 cars away while backing out of a parking space.

    Yet a $570M ship can't tell when it is going to hit a rock under the water.

    Baffled...

  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    @BitFlipper:

    Of course it did, he would have gotten several warnings about being in shallow water.  The officers wouldn't have shut off those alarms, the captain would have had to do it. 

    And of course the cruise line tracks the position of their ships, they even display it publically on their web site along with a live webcam feed.

  • User profile image
    Richard.Hein

    @CreamFilling512:

    The captain claims a) that the sonar doesn't check the sides of the ship and the ship drifted sideways into the rocks, so that's why it didn't give off any warnings, and b) he consulted the navigation charts.  However, supposed experts say in response, a) he can't blame ship equipment for a clear divergence from the plotted course into b) waters clearly marked on navigation charts as being full of rocks.  They showed the map on one interview I saw (can't find the link), and it's clearly rocky in that area - any idiot should know better.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    @Richard.Hein:

    Understood, but I think my point is that why is it so easy to override/ignore warnings on a ship like that in the first place? No-one designing that ship had the foresight that humans do make mistakes and hence they should have made it almost impossible to drive the ship into the rocks?

    Fort instance, I can imagine a system where the ship goes into some form of limited "auto-pilot" mode if it detects imminent danger, and that mode can only be overridden when explicitly put into an emergency mode that will be signaled to the home base as an extreme condition. This way they would prevent cases where the captain simply wants to "show off" and drives a $570M ship into the rocks in the process.

  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    @Richard.Hein:

    Well he would have been warned about the shallow water for sure.  But he didn't care, if he was going to follow the navigation system he wouldn't have been 4 miles off course.  These cruise lines program the course into the ship, it's fully automated.  The ship just automatically follows the course that's programmed in, this dude willfully overrode everything so he could show off.

    Yeah there's no way he could have navigated safely that close to shore without a pilot, and they were going way too fast to cause such a violent collision to carve out a 150 foot hole in the hull and embed rocks in there.  He's totally screwed.

    According to a published account by a cook onboard, a full half hour after the incident, Schettino was still asking for his dinner and drinks and reportedly demanded to know where his female companion's dessert was.

    The captain of the crippled Costa Concordia cruise ship, Francesco Schettino,   has reportedly said the reason he was in a lifeboat while thousands of   panic-stricken passengers and crew were trying to evacuate was because he   "tripped" and fell into the rescue craft.

    You can't make this up!

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    , BitFlipper wrote

    For instance, I can imagine a system where the ship goes into some form of limited "auto-pilot" mode if it detects imminent danger

    What you're referring to is similar to Airbus's flight envelope protection: the fly-by-wire computer won't let the pilots execute manoeuvres it thinks are dangerous. By comparison, Boeing always lets the pilot have the last word, even on its fly-by-wire planes.

    There are arguments for both sides. There are plenty of incidents of pilot error causing a crash, and plenty of incidents of computer failure causing a crash. For the latter, I remember an incident with a Qantas A330 that went into a nosedive because a faulty air data computer caused the flight envelope protection system to think the plane was stalling. Here, the protection actually caused the problem.

    Operating a large ship like that is very complex, because unlike an aircraft it must operate in close quarters sometimes (like in harbours), and they have a lot of inertia. If the ship was going too fast, it's entirely possible that by the time the sonar would've picked up the obstacles it was too late to reverse anyway.

    And having automatic systems preventing you from overriding the pre-programmed course is not a good idea, because there can be perfectly good reasons to deviate (like weather, for example).

  • User profile image
    Cream​Filling512

    This site tracks the ship's position, but looks like it's busted for some reason: Tongue Out http://webcams.costa.it/FleetMonitor/WebCam.aspx?ShipCode=CO

  • User profile image
    Richard.Hein

    , Sven Groot wrote

    *snip*

    If the ship was going too fast, it's entirely possible that by the time the sonar would've picked up the obstacles it was too late to reverse anyway.

    That's exactly what the captain claims ... that they went too far, accidentally, and by the time they initiated the turn, it was too late.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , BitFlipper wrote

    My stupid car that costs 0.005% that of this ship can tell me when I'm going to hit something while backing up, warn me when there is a car in my blind spot while changing lanes on the freeway, warns me when there is approaching cross traffic 3 cars away while backing out of a parking space.

    Yet a $570M ship can't tell when it is going to hit a rock under the water.

    After your car has warned you that you are about to hit something, does it automatically apply the brakes?

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , CreamFilling512 wrote

    @Richard.Hein:

    Yeah there's no way he could have navigated safely that close to shore without a pilot, and they were going way too fast to cause such a violent collision to carve out a 150 foot hole in the hull and embed rocks in there.  He's totally screwed.

    *snip**snip*

    You can't make this up!

    You're right. If someone put this in a script, the producers would say, 'Too farcical. No one'll buy it.'

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    After your car has warned you that you are about to hit something, does it automatically apply the brakes?

    We all know it doesn't, but you are clearly missing the point. Since the ship costs $569,9970,000 more than my car, you'd think they would have been able to spring for a system that can protect the ship in the case where it is about to be destroyed. You know, something that rivals my cheap car's nav system?

    At the very least, they should have a nav system that gives out very clear warnings when the ship diverges from the pre-programmed route, and in that case, the captain has to make an official report as to why the ship had to diverge. This way, in cases of emergency, the ship can still be diverged easily, but it would discourage joyrides onto the beach.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    I take it ships don't have any way of logging the course they actually took as opposed to the one they were supposed to take?

    I'd imagine they do, at the very least something like some sort of black box recorder as on planes. It's probably quite telling though if nobody ever reviewed any of the past "logs" when he was alledgely showing off and indentified this as an issue. It's all too similar to the way a lot of corporate entities will log all the accesses to their computer systems but don't necessarily put much emphasis on reviewing that data until it's all just a bit too late.

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    After your car has warned you that you are about to hit something, does it automatically apply the brakes?

    Some of the newer models actually do. I'm not sure if there are any which will override the drivers final decision, but that's probably not a great idea anyway.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    , AndyC wrote

    Some of the newer models actually do. I'm not sure if there are any which will override the drivers final decision, but that's probably not a great idea anyway.

    I believe the way they currently work is that while the car in in cruise control, it is using some sensor to detect the distance to the car in front. It uses that distance to keep pace with traffic within certain limits. If they slam on the brakes, then your car does the same. Certainly the car will react faster than a human anyway, so in that case an override is moot. Since it's built as part of the cruise control, it can quickly be overridden by tapping the brakes.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voz4dosVGSM

    Volvo already up until a certain speed. My Prius will also apply the brakes but only when a collision is unavoidable. Neither of them have anything to do with cruise control.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    We all know it doesn't, but you are clearly missing the point. Since the ship costs $569,9970,000 more than my car, you'd think they would have been able to spring for a system that can protect the ship in the case where it is about to be destroyed. You know, something that rivals my cheap car's nav system?

    You may well be sacrificing the crew and the passengers to save the ship. What if the captain had decided to sail into shallow waters to give folk a better chance of making it to land? What if he has to take some other extreme action that would normally be considered dangerous? 

    In the case of your car, it may be okay to apply the brakes automatically (though I'd be surprised if the car still prevented you from accelerating). In the case of a half a billion tonne cruise liner carrying four thousand people, the final decision is best left with the captain – just not this particular captain. Sad

     

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    , ZippyV wrote

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voz4dosVGSM

    Volvo already up until a certain speed. My Prius will also apply the brakes but only when a collision is unavoidable. Neither of them have anything to do with cruise control.

     

    Yup, safety systems are one thing, taking away the ability to override them is a different thing entirely.

    I'd amazed if any car prevented you from accelerating, even if it had automatically applied the brakes.

  • User profile image
    Richard.Hein

    , Ray7 wrote

    *snip*

    I'd amazed if any car prevented you from accelerating, even if it had automatically applied the brakes.

    <nitpick>I'd be amazed too, especially since braking implies acceleration, unless the brakes are broken!</nitpick> Wink

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