I have a good friend whose wife was involved in an accident while driving a Lexus. The accelerator stuck with velocity increasing second by second. She was on I-75 just north of Atlanta. Certainly one of the busiest interstate systems in our country. Fortunately, she knew what to do. She pulled onto the shoulder and turned off the ignition. She did impact a guard rail which deployed the driver's side air bag. The car was basically totaled. Toyota settled quickly with no questions asked. I agree Charles that the time is long past for more digilence relative to programming software AND more vigorous "proofing" of prior to launching new automotive products. Complexity will only increase as more and more features are added to automobiles and electronic systems will handle those complexities. Thank you for keeping us informed. Excellent post.
Any piece of industrial equipment has protective hardware around all of the software, Generally in the form of an "Emergency Stop" circuit. The same philosophy might now be necessary in vehicles, due to the amout of software involved. An engine kill switch probably serves the purpose.
Proper training is involved too. The kill switch does no good if one panics and doesn't think to use it. (there is normally an ignition switch, which probably could have been used to stop most runaway Toyotas).
Well put, Parris. I agree that it's long past the time when blaming floormats and drivers is productive. I think a mandatory BTO (Brake-Throttle Override) function would be a great first step in addressing the risks of unintended acceleration. Personally, I'm going to look into implementing an engine kill switch on our newer family vehicle.
Excellent article. Meanwhile, Recall King Toyota and its friends in government and mainstream media are looking sillier by the minute as they continue to blabber about floor mats, sticky gas pedals, and driver error, refusing to acknowledge compelling evidence of electronic issues. Michael Barr's peers are to be commended for spreading the word about his findings.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wearables are changing the way we see ourselves. With onboard sensors that have access to our bodies, we are starting to know our physical selves like never before, quantifying our activity, our heart rate, breathing, and even our muscle effort.
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.