MAY
3
2005

Perfection Reached. Nothing More to See Here Kids. Move Along!

Our beloved news source Slashdot is reporting that Microsoft is about to help Ford to build cars that don't crash. The linked article on livescience reveals: "Eventually, Gates said, there could be a car that wouldn't let itself crash." Now, the obvious go to joke would be: "Right, this is the consequent development after they shipped the operating system that never crashes. Oh wait...". I would put it differently: "Thank god I don't own a Ford anymore..."

Comments

According to statistics it's safer to travel with a plane than with a car. Reading that story and having heard that Linux is used in the new Airbus A380 makes me confident that it will stay so. :-)


By at Tue, 05/03/2005 - 21:58

As a pilot and a programmer I don't want to have anything to do with any vehicle -- aircraft or car -- that is controlled directly by software.

I find it interesting that the new wave of suborbital passenger rocket companies share my views on this subject. Both Scaled Composites (who build the X-prize winning SpaceShipOne) and XCOR (the only other company to currently hold a suborbital launch license) provide their pilots with highly-sophisticated computerized flight guidance systems that give advice to the pilot as to how the flight is going and what he should do to ensure an optimal flight, but leave the pilot with full manual operation of the controls. If everything is going according to plan then computers are usually OK, but it is very very dificult if not totally impossible to anticipate all the emergency situations or mechanical failures that they might have to cope with. People are much much better at that.


By Bruce Hoult at Wed, 05/04/2005 - 02:09