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Toyota Unintended Acceleration

The Toyota Unintended Acceleration case has seen a lot of discussion, but much of it is, to put it mildly, not terribly well informed.  Last week at the UK’s High Integrity Software conference (look at the slides here http://his-2015.co.uk/slides )  I heard an authoritative speaker.  Prof. Philip Koopman is regularly asked to act as an expert witness on behalf of people claiming against Toyota, and acted as such in the Bookout/Schwarz trial in 2013 when a jury decided that that defects in Toyota’s Electronic Throttle Control System (ETCS) software and safety architecture caused a fatal mishap. 

As Phil is involved in on-going litigation he has to be very careful in what he says, and his talk is carefully prepared.  He has put the slides, and a video, on his website http://betterembsw.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/a-case-study-of-toyota-unintended.html

If you have a few minutes to spare it is well worth a visit (sa is the rest of his site). If nothing else it will cause you to have severe qualms about the way in which the software was developed and the way in which people can interpret the result of investigations. I think it also raises serious questions about using normal court proceedings to get to the root of technical issues.

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