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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm not trying to be a naysayer here, or bring up any more negative thoughts or anything, but I was just wondering about this...

Are all features of the car controlled by the ECU? The drive-by-wire throttle, "alphabet soup" braking systems, and all the various engine management things are obviously being controlled by some sort of computer...not too sure on the steering, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if it had some interaction with one too. So, is it the ECU that is controlling all these things, or do "vital" systems like the ones I've listed have their own separate processors? Or perhaps both (ie double redundancy)?

You see, considering all the wierd things happening with the other electronics (I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the haunted windows and door locks, etc), I'm not sure I want that ECU controlling things like the engine, steering, or braking. So, am I just way off base here, or is this a valid concern? (And could the pulling left problem maybe have anything to do with this)?

PigLick
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok, so I take it these were pretty stupid questions? hehe
As you can probably tell, I'm not much of a "car buff," but these seemed like pretty valid questions/comments to me. Completely unfounded though, since no one has reported anything having to do with this in any post I've seen, maybe that's why its getting no replies. Oh well

PigLick
 

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Surprised no one else answered...

I can't believe I'm the only one around here who knows these things.

There are actually rather few ECUs in the MINI. The engine (including the drive-by-wire throttle control) is one, and there are two hardware variants, one each for petrol and diesel. The steering is controlled separately, but obviously it's not fully drive-by-wire. That's on its own control unit. All of the braking is controlled by a single ECU, again, and there are two hardware variants for that. The immobiliser system is independent from the engine ECU.

To be honest, it's not the electronic systems you need to be worried about. It's their fitment and placing in the car. All of the drive-critical electronics are in the engine bay, and are fitted in sealed enclosures. With very, very few exceptions the hardware is not known to fail, and the critical software is proven correct. The problems come when non-sealed, non-drive-critical enclosures are placed in wet areas, like the right-hand lower A-post where the body controller is fitted.

It's kind of an open secret that BMW pinched a load of the ESA's rocket scientists to work on the next generation drive-by-wire systems. I wouldn't worry about the critical ECUs if I were you :)
 
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