2016 - July
Automated Car Woes---Whoa There!
by Peter G. Neumann
With all the growing interest in automated cars and driverless cars and recent accidents involving them, we thought we would turn to Risks founder Peter G. Neumann for perspective. Neumann has been moderating the ACM Risks Forum (risks.org) since 1985, and has accumulated a vast trove of experience in the ways that automated systems can not only provoke but enable mishaps. Here he offers an inventory of how automotive automation systems can fail and concludes that the greatest threats to safety come from human tendencies such as being distracted at the moment the system needs an intervention, or having their skills as operators grow rusty over time because the automation is pretty good most of the time.