February 12, 2013, 6:32 pm
Perhaps we should substitute "learns" with "adapts"
The phisical and electronic parts do interact together
The DMF was just a simple, easy to understand reference to how "identical" cars are driven / serviced differently, - ie the (theoretical) taxi driver wearing out 3 DMFs - so the "identical" cars are not identical
The car cannot tell if Fred or Freda is driving, but can tell, how hard/ how much throttle/ how many revs/ speed/ gearchanges Fred/ Freda is using, if Fred/ Freda runs low on fuel and the "low fuel" light comes on, the ECU will adopt a "fuel saving" strategy
to stretch the MPG to the next refill
If Fred drives hard, "redlines" the engine through the gears, full throttle when overtaking etc, the ECU will [s]learn [/s]
adapt to this, by adjusting the engines parameters to suit, at least to give the correct air/ fuel mixture and protect the motor from detonation with Freds hard driving, i would like to think the ECU tries to get the best performance out of the engine by fine- tuning the parameters, at the expence of economy
Freda, on the other hand, does the shool run, and drives mostly at 30mph, short-shifts, and hardly uses any throttle, the ECU "reads" this, and [s]learns[/s] adapts to this too, to give the correct fuel/ air ratio, and potentially the best fuel economy
It is a matter of perception how basic or sophisticated any system is, compared to plugs/ points and a distributer, a modern car is VERY sophisticated, we take computers, smart phones etc for granted, something that looks simple on the outside, may be extremely sophisticated "under the hood"
In the 90s/00s, there was an advert that claimed the BMW 5-series had more computing power than NASA had to put a man on the moon.
Comparing cars to tvs -
When i leave the room, my (big Sony LCD ) TV switches itself off to save power, then almost instantly switches itself on when i come in again, the first few times, this was a surprise, and i thought it was "cool" - now i dont even notice, it has Freeview HD, and i connected a 2-terabyte hard-drive directly to it to record (without any external devices). A few years ago this would have been unheard of, but the TV is already obsolete (no 3D) so the tv is either a stunning high tech massive flat screen premium brand High-Definition device, or an (6-month) old piece of junk with no 3D, depending on my/your perspective
It seems simple to me, but my mum has a similar TV and i often have to show her how to record, watch a DVD etc, in actual fact, its complicated/ sophisticated, -
So are the gubbins of modern cars, thats why they often leave mechanics/ main dealers/ technicians/ fuel injection specialists/ auto elecricians and even people on forums "scratching their heads"