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      08-14-2014, 03:55 AM   #1
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Arrow German first responders testing rescue techniques on BMW i carbon fiber cell

Munich, Germany
BMW Welt


BMW AG recently permitted the German fire department to test accident rescue techniques on the new i-cars at the BMW Welt. Carbon fiber is stronger than steel, but it presents its own unique set of problems for first responders as can be seen on this i3. One of the problems is the toxic carbon fiber dust emitted when cutting body panels apart. This is why occupants and first responders must wear masks when cutting the lightweight panels apart. It is also important to know where (and where not to) cut! I thought these images were quite interesting. It really shows how safe a lightweight car can be.


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ADAC i3 crash test...
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      08-14-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
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English PDF of the BMW I3 Rescue manual as can be seen in the picture from the article attached below.

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File Type: pdf I01 Rescue.pdf (10.66 MB, 299 views)
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      08-14-2014, 07:17 AM   #3
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The more I see the i3, the more it grows on me. Very cool that these guys are getting trained on the cars so early
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      08-14-2014, 10:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twix
The more I see the i3, the more it grows on me. Very cool that these guys are getting trained on the cars so early
Same here! :-)
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      08-14-2014, 10:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twix
The more I see the i3, the more it grows on me. Very cool that these guys are getting trained on the cars so early
True, but no way I am driving a car with motorcycle tires.
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      08-14-2014, 10:24 AM   #6
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What a brave new world. I doubt first responders have the time to be analyzing how new lightweight cars are built. The best approach is to use a hydraulic tool like the jaws of life to rip the door off. Dust masks as a precaution, of course.
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      08-14-2014, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
What a brave new world. I doubt first responders have the time to be analyzing how new lightweight cars are built. The best approach is to use a hydraulic tool like the jaws of life to rip the door off. Dust masks as a precaution, of course.
They are using a hydraulic tool like the jaws of life here. The problems posed by carbon fiber are:

1) The tools used for cutting steel don't work the same on carbon fiber. Steel sheers cleanly with relatively loose bypass gaps in the cutting surfaces. Carbon fiber shreds, and those shreds can still prevent victim extraction. Imagine trying to cut cloth with a loose pair of scissors. That's what can happen with CF.

2) The diagrams shown in the photos appear to illustrate the electrical systems of the EV. You don't want to go cutting in to a high voltage/amperage cable with those cutting tools. Most older "jaws of life" units weren't designed with EV in mind, so they don't have good insulation for the operator.

3) Molded carbon fiber parts are capable of rigidity that is orders of magnitude greater than steel. Put simply, the hydraulic tools simply may not be strong enough to force entry if incorrectly applied.

So yes, first responders are taking the time to understand how their tools are affected by new automobile designs. It is their job to do so.
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      08-14-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
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I have had members of a dive rescue team vocalize the added complexity and danger of a submerged electric/hybrid electric vehicle too. Add that to the long list of reasons I choose traditional energy sources for my vehicles.
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      08-14-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christof30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twix
The more I see the i3, the more it grows on me. Very cool that these guys are getting trained on the cars so early
Same here! :-)
Me 3. I want one for my family hauling.
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      08-14-2014, 01:25 PM   #10
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cool post Dackelone
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      08-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #11
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bradleyland & E90Fleet Thanks for your comments. I also added a video, I think you will find interesting!

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      08-14-2014, 05:29 PM   #12
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I'm a paramedic and firefigther and this post is very useful for me. thanks !
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      08-14-2014, 08:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland View Post
They are using a hydraulic tool like the jaws of life here. The problems posed by carbon fiber are:

So yes, first responders are taking the time to understand how their tools are affected by new automobile designs. It is their job to do so.
It appears this has the potential to add an order of magnitude of difficulty to extracting people from badly damaged cars.
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      08-14-2014, 11:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red-sauerkraut View Post
True, but no way I am driving a car with motorcycle tires.
Realize that the i3's tire contact patch is the same as a smaller diameter, much wider tire...IOW, it has a decent contact patch and resulting grip.
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      08-15-2014, 07:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland View Post
They are using a hydraulic tool like the jaws of life here. The problems posed by carbon fiber are:

So yes, first responders are taking the time to understand how their tools are affected by new automobile designs. It is their job to do so.
It appears this has the potential to add an order of magnitude of difficulty to extracting people from badly damaged cars.
+1. A bit alarming that they need special training for this car. How long until every local, volunteer fire department has this training... Seems like a big risk to me.
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      08-15-2014, 08:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
It appears this has the potential to add an order of magnitude of difficulty to extracting people from badly damaged cars.
That has been true ever since car safety became a priority in the 80s. Every time they make cars safer, they become harder to extract victims from. The up side is that occupants are safer to begin with. Optimizing for occupant extraction is solving the problem from the wrong end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
+1. A bit alarming that they need special training for this car. How long until every local, volunteer fire department has this training... Seems like a big risk to me.
But what is the alternative? Not make cars safer? Not reduce CO2 emissions? Everyone's job changes as technology advances. Is it alarming that office workers now need to know how to use a computer? This is their job. The whole "volunteer fire department" thing is an edge case. The vast majority of people live in regions with paid emergency services. On the whole, you are safer because of these technologies.
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      08-15-2014, 04:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
+1. A bit alarming that they need special training for this car. How long until every local, volunteer fire department has this training... Seems like a big risk to me.

I remember a time, when local fire department's did not know to NOT use water hose when an air-cooled VW Beetle was on fire. The water fed the fire and would make the alloy(magnesium) engine case explode(!) - when water was added to the fire. Know they know better.

With every technology, there is always a lag, before the tech becomes common knowledge for first responders. I'm sure in today's world that lag is at a minimum.
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      08-15-2014, 05:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
It appears this has the potential to add an order of magnitude of difficulty to extracting people from badly damaged cars.
That has been true ever since car safety became a priority in the 80s. Every time they make cars safer, they become harder to extract victims from. The up side is that occupants are safer to begin with. Optimizing for occupant extraction is solving the problem from the wrong end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
+1. A bit alarming that they need special training for this car. How long until every local, volunteer fire department has this training... Seems like a big risk to me.
But what is the alternative? Not make cars safer? Not reduce CO2 emissions? Everyone's job changes as technology advances. Is it alarming that office workers now need to know how to use a computer? This is their job. The whole "volunteer fire department" thing is an edge case. The vast majority of people live in regions with paid emergency services. On the whole, you are safer because of these technologies.
Ignoring the dramatic nature of your response (computers, really?), I don't think you are correct assuming the majority of the world resides in larger cities with paid emergency services. Quite the opposite, I would imagine. I live in the suburbs of New York City where my real estate taxes are quite high. Our emergency services are plentiful, and they are volunteers.

My point was not that cars should never change, never said nor implied such a thing. My point was simply that I have no desire to be in one of these cars until the responders have been properly trained, to the extent that one can safely assume anywhere they are, they'll be in good hands in the event of an accident. I say this is alarming because it is, and it's something I hadn't considered before reading this thread. If you want to compare it to use of computers in an office, I would ask you, how many people have been trapped inside of a burning computer with firemen that didn't know how to get them out? Sorry, guess I didn't ignore the absurd comparison after all.
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      08-16-2014, 09:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
Ignoring the dramatic nature of your response (computers, really?)
I think you might have confused hyperbole and drama. Drama is creating tension, leaving the reader wanting for a resolution. Hyperbole is a rhetorical device wherein the writer exaggerates to make a point. I'm guilty on the hyperbole part, but there's no drama in my statement. If you find my hyperbole distasteful, feel free to ignore it and simply argue against my premise:

As technology moves ahead, it requires adaptation. This adaptation is necessary in order for progress to exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
I don't think you are correct assuming the majority of the world resides in larger cities with paid emergency services. Quite the opposite, I would imagine. I live in the suburbs of New York City where my real estate taxes are quite high. Our emergency services are plentiful, and they are volunteers.
That's a fair point. Using paid vs volunteer probably isn't the best vector for comparison. I know that the majority of the population (over 80%) lives in urban centers, but I have no idea what percentage of the population is served by paid vs volunteer fire departments. The mistake we're both making though, is in assuming that volunteer fire departments are categorically less competent or well equipped. I am certain that many volunteer fire departments would take issue with that. Do some Google searching for volunteer fire departments. Their rigs are every bit as sophisticated as the ones at our paid department, and there is no shortage of press coverage espousing their heroic performance.

Note: I just did a quick search, and it looks like 94% of volunteer firefighters serve communities with less than 25,000 residents (as of Dec 30, 2011). Taken with the fact that 80% of the US population lives in "urban" areas, I'd say your intuition was incorrect in this circumstance. Your anecdotal circumstance is a statistical outlier.

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/e...#ixzz3AZ2vALhx

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
My point was not that cars should never change, never said nor implied such a thing. My point was simply that I have no desire to be in one of these cars until the responders have been properly trained, to the extent that one can safely assume anywhere they are, they'll be in good hands in the event of an accident. I say this is alarming because it is, and it's something I hadn't considered before reading this thread. If you want to compare it to use of computers in an office, I would ask you, how many people have been trapped inside of a burning computer with firemen that didn't know how to get them out? Sorry, guess I didn't ignore the absurd comparison after all.
I'll happily discard the computer hyperbole so we can move along with the conversation. Consider it a moot point (I even restated my premise more plainly above).

Let's accept your premise: that you won't buy one until you're sure that all (or at least the ones in your area) first responders are prepared to extract you from one after an accident. What are the outcomes of that kind of decision making? What if everyone adopts that viewpoint? It seems fairly obvious to me: no one would buy cars that present new challenges to safe, expedient extraction.

Rather than drag far-fetch analogies in to the debate, we can simply look at the history of the automobile. Here's a short list of technologies that had Chicken Littles up in arms over safe occupant extraction, yet have improved occupant safety and are prevalent in today's cars:

Air bags - Yep, the Chicken Littles all said that air bags were unsafe for first responders because, were the airbags not deployed during the accident, they could deploy during extrication, causing injury to occupants and first responders.

Ultra high-strength steel (UHSS) - UHSS is all the rage in car safety today, but it poses many of the same challenges as CF components do. Hydraulic extrication tools that are designed for standard stamped steel don't perform reliably with UHSS.

Internal combustion engine - Don't freak out here; this is not hyperbole. At one point in history, cars were powered by steam. The makers of steam powered cars tried to use FUD campaigns to scare buyers away from gasoline powered cars. Turns out, the gasoline is safer than a boiler, because gasoline is less likely to ignite during an accident than a boiler is to rupture and burn all the occupants with steam.

Keep in mind that not too long ago (within my lifetime, certainly), fire fighters pried open cars with long steel rods and wedges with hammers. The "Jaws of Life" were a revolution in vehicle extrication. There is no shortage of enthusiasm for life-saving in the US. I have tremendous confidence that first responders will rise to this new challenge quickly.

Getting back to the rebuttal of your reasoning. Auto manufacturers only build what their research and intuition tells them consumers will buy. I speak out against viewpoints like yours, because I think it's vital to the advance of technology.

I have little hope of changing your mind. You have too much invested in this argument, but I do hope that someone reading this thread and considering an I3 won't make a snap judgement about the safety of these new technologies on the basis of what I believe is short-sighted thinking.
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      08-16-2014, 09:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyland
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
Ignoring the dramatic nature of your response (computers, really?)
I think you might have confused hyperbole and drama. Drama is creating tension, leaving the reader wanting for a resolution. Hyperbole is a rhetorical device wherein the writer exaggerates to make a point. I'm guilty on the hyperbole part, but there's no drama in my statement. If you find my hyperbole distasteful, feel free to ignore it and simply argue against my premise:

As technology moves ahead, it requires adaptation. This adaptation is necessary in order for progress to exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
I don't think you are correct assuming the majority of the world resides in larger cities with paid emergency services. Quite the opposite, I would imagine. I live in the suburbs of New York City where my real estate taxes are quite high. Our emergency services are plentiful, and they are volunteers.
That's a fair point. Using paid vs volunteer probably isn't the best vector for comparison. I know that the majority of the population (over 80%) lives in urban centers, but I have no idea what percentage of the population is served by paid vs volunteer fire departments. The mistake we're both making though, is in assuming that volunteer fire departments are categorically less competent or well equipped. I am certain that many volunteer fire departments would take issue with that. Do some Google searching for volunteer fire departments. Their rigs are every bit as sophisticated as the ones at our paid department, and there is no shortage of press coverage espousing their heroic performance.

Note: I just did a quick search, and it looks like 94% of volunteer firefighters serve communities with less than 25,000 residents (as of Dec 30, 2011). Taken with the fact that 80% of the US population lives in "urban" areas, I'd say your intuition was incorrect in this circumstance. Your anecdotal circumstance is a statistical outlier.

http://<a href="http://<a href="http...hx</a></a></a>

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
My point was not that cars should never change, never said nor implied such a thing. My point was simply that I have no desire to be in one of these cars until the responders have been properly trained, to the extent that one can safely assume anywhere they are, they'll be in good hands in the event of an accident. I say this is alarming because it is, and it's something I hadn't considered before reading this thread. If you want to compare it to use of computers in an office, I would ask you, how many people have been trapped inside of a burning computer with firemen that didn't know how to get them out? Sorry, guess I didn't ignore the absurd comparison after all.
I'll happily discard the computer hyperbole so we can move along with the conversation. Consider it a moot point (I even restated my premise more plainly above).

Let's accept your premise: that you won't buy one until you're sure that all (or at least the ones in your area) first responders are prepared to extract you from one after an accident. What are the outcomes of that kind of decision making? What if everyone adopts that viewpoint? It seems fairly obvious to me: no one would buy cars that present new challenges to safe, expedient extraction.

Rather than drag far-fetch analogies in to the debate, we can simply look at the history of the automobile. Here's a short list of technologies that had Chicken Littles up in arms over safe occupant extraction, yet have improved occupant safety and are prevalent in today's cars:

Air bags - Yep, the Chicken Littles all said that air bags were unsafe for first responders because, were the airbags not deployed during the accident, they could deploy during extrication, causing injury to occupants and first responders.

Ultra high-strength steel (UHSS) - UHSS is all the rage in car safety today, but it poses many of the same challenges as CF components do. Hydraulic extrication tools that are designed for standard stamped steel don't perform reliably with UHSS.

Internal combustion engine - Don't freak out here; this is not hyperbole. At one point in history, cars were powered by steam. The makers of steam powered cars tried to use FUD campaigns to scare buyers away from gasoline powered cars. Turns out, the gasoline is safer than a boiler, because gasoline is less likely to ignite during an accident than a boiler is to rupture and burn all the occupants with steam.

Keep in mind that not too long ago (within my lifetime, certainly), fire fighters pried open cars with long steel rods and wedges with hammers. The "Jaws of Life" were a revolution in vehicle extrication. There is no shortage of enthusiasm for life-saving in the US. I have tremendous confidence that first responders will rise to this new challenge quickly.

Getting back to the rebuttal of your reasoning. Auto manufacturers only build what their research and intuition tells them consumers will buy. I speak out against viewpoints like yours, because I think it's vital to the advance of technology.

I have little hope of changing your mind. You have too much invested in this argument, but I do hope that someone reading this thread and considering an I3 won't make a snap judgement about the safety of these new technologies on the basis of what I believe is short-sighted thinking.
When I wake up from the nap you just triggered, I'll respond.

I said it was cause for concern, didn't say the sky was falling, certainly didn't say no one should buy one, certainly didn't say I had no faith in the self-less volunteers (several of whom are my friends and some even family). Nor did I say they were incompetent, I simply asked when we should expect them to be updated on new techniques required for new car designs like these.

Sorry to have put your panties in a bunch for a simple observation shared by several others before and after my post, it's worth thinking about. You'll just have to excuse me if a safety concern gives me slight pause before becoming one of the first to try the new technology. I have nothing invested in this argument. I only shared a concern voiced by others with 3 short sentences that you decided to use as your soap box. But do keep thumbing through your thesaurus and trying to impress people. I'll keep reading when I need something to help me sleep.
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      08-17-2014, 01:45 PM   #21
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Wow, maybe I need more smiley faces in my post. I try to use clear language; I'm not trying to agitate anyone. Sorry I came across so agitated.
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      08-25-2014, 06:21 AM   #22
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I've always wanted to destroy a nice car
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2014 335i M-Sport / ZCW / ZDA / ZPP / ZTP / 2PE / 441 / 2TB / 5AC / 688 / 2NH / DHP / 2VF
2014 650i M-Sport Convertible / 7MH / 337 / ZDB (DAP) / ZEC / Adaptive Full LED Headlights / B&O
2012 328i Sport Line / ZPS / 2TB / ZPP / ZTP / ZPK / 5DP / 522 / 6NL / 465 / 6NR (LEMON)
2011 335d M-Sport / ZMP / ZPP / 337 / 609 / 615 / 620 / 688 / 6AA / 6AB / 6FL / 6UH / 6VC / 7XAM (CLIFF)
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