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Toyota ran-aways - Hardware, Software or just bad drivers?
Posted on: Friday, March 5, 2010
Huh! Great question...
Let's see what happens with those ran-away Toyota cars:
- Car starts accelerating out of control, brakes do not work (??) - how could that happened?
Without looking into car design it's pretty obvious that brakes are not controlled by the pedal but rather by on-board computer and possibly by the ABS module.
Otherwise, no matter what's the engine is doing and even if a gas pedal is stuck - pressing the brake pedal to the floor will kill any engine and will stop the car. This is a brake failure through the on-board computer system.
So, the media and everybody else were feeding the wrong information to the public - it is not the gas pedal failure or brakes failure - it's a Failure by Toyota Design. And please, forget about the floor mats problem!
Reminds me of NASA's lowest bidder tender for suppliers and a Microsoft strategy: It's all nice and shiny, it supports plug-and-play, everybody has it but it could kill you in a process.
ABS by design must act in the event of the wheel lock-up releasing the brake for that particular wheel and act on the input of the accelerometers and other sensors to keep the car from sliding and spinning out of control.
Those sensors could be a speed sensor, engine RPM sensor, front and rear loads on suspension, temperature sensors, moisture sensors and others.
What ABS system should do is to apply brakes when brake pedal is depressed. It must act on the brake pedal input first and all others second!
I personally suspect that software that controls the ABS is taking too much of an input and either gets overwhelmed be the input and fails to act or it misses the main input - brake pedal activation. Action on other than brake pedal activation sensors must be secondary and not primary.
There is no car in the world that I am aware of could overpower the brakes, no matter how powerful its engine is!
I would imagine the code is written poorly by Toyota or the hired software company and software takes primary input from the gas pedal and not acting on the brake pedal input.
We're not even discussing that gas pedal input is written wrong, it's that Toyota's software is missing the primary objectives.
Toyota may say that software code is a proprietary information (does it remind you someone?, a Microsoft comes to mind). I'd say this information should be made public since it killed people already and probably will kill again!
I'd say Toyota owners should expect a on-board computer Software Service Pack 1 (TSP1). Its better be coming soon!
To prove a point - here is an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on uTube:
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