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Toyota’s Engineering Process and the General Public

March 7th, 2010 03:37 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Doofus writes “The Washington Post has published in today’s paper an article titled ‘Why it’s so hard for Toyota to find out what’s wrong‘ by Frank Ahrens on the Toyota situation and the difficulties of adequately conveying to Senators and Representatives — most of whom are non-technical — the debugging process. Ahrens interviews Giorgio Rizzoni, an ‘expert in failure analysis’ at Ohio State, who describes the iterations of testing that NHTSA will likely inflict on the Toyota sample cars they have purchased, and then moves into the realm of software and systems verification: ‘He explained that each vehicle contains “layers of computer code that may be added from one model year to next” that control nearly every system, from acceleration to braking to stability. Rizzoni said this software is rigorously tested, but he added: “It is well-known in our community that there is no scientific, firm way of actually completely verifying and validating software.”‘ Ahrens ends the piece with a quote from a 2009 LA Times interview with former UCLA psychology professor Richard Schmidt about how user reports are often unreliable: ‘When the driver says they have their foot on the brake, they are just plain wrong. The human motor system is not perfect, and it doesn’t always do what it is told.’”
Toyota is currently planning an event to challenge evidence presented by professor David W. Gilbert that called into question Toyota’s electronic throttle system.

Source: Toyota’s Engineering Process and the General Public

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