Well, I thought the commentary timely because my 2010 car just DIED and had to be trailed back to the dealer. Traffic on the web for people who have similar problems with this make/model range from hardware to software being the culprit. In fact, in CA here's a pointer to legal action being taken to address the software side of it:
The issue ought not to be whether embedded electronics are perfectly safe, or safe beyond a reasonable doubt even, but whether they are safer than humans. Spacecraft control software couldn't achieve that "one in a billion" threshold, but that doesn't make it riskier than manual reentry.
The value that we have to take from this article is not that computer should not be used in automobile. Rather the computer engineers have to be more careful, make rigorous tests and ensure reliability before delivering it to the customers. There has to be a better process in computer-based development to ensure the same level of quality and safety, that you would get otherwise.
If computers and electronics can control spacecrafts, and pacemakers, why not cars? When internal combustion engines first came into the scene, it had a few issues. Then we did not decide not to abandon motor car and go back to horsebacks. Instead we figured out how to make it work. That's all what we have to do.
Great post on the embedded systems, and the technology becoming a little too invasive and unreliable.
I also find it a bit alarming how this new technology is supposed to learn my driving intent and then make adjustments to data stored about my driving.
It would be great to get your take on some of the technology I've posted on my blog about these "driver assist" systems:
Also, since you're with Honeywell can you explain whether Garrett is using any of this "driver intent" on the variable vane turbo systems, and if so where's the line drawn on being too "advanced"
The classic joke goes: if cars followed the same technology curve as computers, today you'd be able to buy a Rolls Royce for 200 dollars, it would get 200 miles per gallon, and would blow up every two months.
Suddenly that joke isn't funny anymore. This is a great commentary: while it can make sense to add auxiliary electronics to enhance performance and emmissions, the mechanical systems must always be in control.