Driving should be left to drivers, not computers

Jennifer Fink

Imagine a world where everything is mass produced and electronically enabled. The consumer demands products, so the economy gladly provides in something electronic and futuristic. But what happens when all of the, so called wonderful, mass production finally crosses a line?

Will mass chaos ensue? Will people be lost and abandoned in the dark ages?

Well, not quite, but we could end up there, one day.

The Toyota automobile recalls have been making a bit of a stir, to say the least, in recent news.

Three people (on three different occasions mind you) were killed when their Toyota manufactured automobile suddenly accelerated with no means to stop, resulting in a fatal accident on all accounts.

These occurrences were back in 2007 and 2008, yet it has taken Toyota this long amount of time to demand a recall. In fact, the 2005 Toyota Camry has the highest reports of unexpected acceleration of all Toyota’s car models.

But the question is, why?

First, Toyota officials claimed sticky floor-mats were at fault. Yet, the first associated car crash lacked said floor mat. So that option was  out. And what were the floor mats made out of that were so sticky? Super glue?

Second, Toyota officials claimed it was the resultant of a waring of the acceleration pedal mechanisms over time. But this makes no sense.

One victim of a sudden acceleration incident (which did not result in a crash) stated that his vehicle accelerated while not pressing the pedal.

It  seems like Toyota is jumping around the barrel of problems.

In fact, I think the problem falls much deeper down the rabbit hole than Toyota officials would like its consumers to think.

The ETCS-I system used in all newer Toyota models may be at fault.

What the ETCS-I system does is rid the cars  of all mechanical aspects of a traditional motor and turn them into computer linked systems.

This computer interprets signals from the brake and acceleration pedals to make your car drive the way you want it to. At least, you hope it will.

I knew one day machines would take over the world, and Toyota seems like the way to go. It mass produces cars and ships them to consumers all around the world. Talk about your easy target!

Imagine if all of the ETCS-I systems stopped working all at once. We could have mass chaos on our hands.

Computers may seem reliable in the short run, and sure, they are great as laptops and for production line efficiency. But placing them in charge or your life? No thank you. I would rather an old fashion motor car than a high tech one any day. (A special shout out to my
trusty ’92 Ford Explorer is in order) While perusing the Toyota website, I came across their recall page.There were a few videos that made be chuckle.

The ‘Stopping Procedure’ added sparkle and imagination to my day. The fact that Toyota actually placed a video on their website telling you how to stop a runaway car (theirs) was downright lunacy.
 
First off, what intelligent person would continue to drive their car when there is even a slight chance it could rev-up and take you on an unexpected joy ride across town and straight off a cliff? Even if it is a slight occurrence, there is still a chance. And let’s just say I don’t plan on doing any gambling in the near future, not even a roll at the Vegas Hard Rock Craps table.

The reason why Toyota does not want to come out and state the obvious is apparent. Replacing millions of cheap floor mats and pedals is one thing, but a million computer operating systems? Say goodbye to Toyota. They would surely go bust.

My advice would be to lay off the computer-run cars for now, at least until they fine-tune the kinks. Why take the chance? You most likely won’t be the jackpot winner.

 

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