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The tragic crashes of two Boeing 737 Max 8, one in Indonesia on October 28, 2018 and the other in Ethiopia on March 10, 2019, are highlighting the risks and uncertainties introduced by software in automated systems. The investigations are proceeding despite Ethiopia’s decision not to cooperate with the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Reports of US pilots encountering control problems with the Max 8’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a preliminary report on the fatal March 28, 2018 ‘self-driving’ vehicle accident. The preliminary findings support our own assessment of the incident. It included additional details on the vehicle and its autonomous driving technology: “Uber had equipped the test vehicle with a developmental self-driving system. The system consisted of forward- and side-facing cameras, radars, LIDAR, navigation sensors, and a
Automation is becoming more capable, reliable and less expensive to deploy. Autonomous and semi-autonomous systems are doing things that were science fiction a few generations ago. These include: intricate surgeries, flying airplanes, driving cars, cooking hamburgers, cleaning homes and running industrial operations. Smart systems analyze economic performance, stock markets, legal strategies and the data at the heart of theoretical physics. Technologists and economists have l
The harrowing video of a pedestrian getting struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle shocked the nation. Tragically, the victim later died at a local hospital. Car video captured the distracted driver who failed to intervene in time to prevent the tragedy. He was widely blamed for the accident. We had studied other cases where human operators failed to intervene in time to prevent catastrophe. Initial impressions in those instances were frequently disproved by the investigati
According to the Guardian, 39-year-old Bhavesh Patel was captured on camera sitting in the driver’s seat of his Tesla s60 as it travelled along the M1 motorway. The self-driving car did not cause an accident and arrived at its destination as expected. Mr. Patel admitted his actions in court. He received an 18-month suspension, had to attend a ten-day driving program and pay £1,800 in court costs. PC Kirk Caldicutt, a traffic policeman, described Patel’s behavior as “grossly i
One of the barriers to understanding emerging technologies is language. Innovative technologies introduce new words that initially are poorly understood. These include technical terms, contractions and acronyms that quickly join the techno-lexicon. The results can be confusing, imprecise language that undermine learning and shared understanding. That’s the case with the expanding vocabulary of autonomous technologies like self-driving vehicles. This document is intended t