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Apple's Wozniak: Toyota may have software trouble
AFP ^ | 02/02/10

Posted on 02/03/2010 6:23:27 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster

Apple's Wozniak: Toyota may have software trouble

Tue Feb 2, 10:22 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak suggested Tuesday in media interviews that Toyota's troubles with a defective accelerator pedal may have to do with software, after his Prius sped up while in cruise-control.

"Since my foot never touches the pedal," Wozniak told ABC News, the problem "cannot be a sticky accelerator pedal.... There might be some bad software in there."

He said the problem in his Prius might be related to the random acceleration issue that has forced Toyota into a massive recall of eight million vehicles worldwide and a halt to US sales and production of eight affected models.

The Prius, a best-selling hybrid, is not one of the vehicles under recall.

Wozniak, who founded Apple Computer -- now Apple Inc -- with Steve Jobs in the 1970s, said he tried unsuccessfully to get Toyota's and US authorities' attention after his 2010 Prius acceleration problems cropped up while he was in cruise control months ago.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: acceleration; automakers; software; toyota; wozniak
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1 posted on 02/03/2010 6:23:28 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I’m afraid I have to agree with The Woz. The ‘sticky pedals’ thing is nonsense.


2 posted on 02/03/2010 6:24:38 AM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (The worst is behind us. Unfortunately it is really well endowed.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
When I heard about this the first time, and after hearing how the fix is only supposed to take about a 1/2 hour, I really wondered if there was a bug in the software, or if it truly was mechanical.

I think the fix is replacing a faulty sensor, relay, or the 'puter itself, not the pedal assembly. It may take a Toyota mechanic to spill the beans.

3 posted on 02/03/2010 6:26:21 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (The townhalls were going great until the oPods showed up.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

When this happens on a Prius, does it speed up rapidly from 40 to 43mph?


4 posted on 02/03/2010 6:26:48 AM PST by DJ Frisat (How's that change workin' out for ya, Obama voters?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I have said that from the beginning and Im a dumb chit


5 posted on 02/03/2010 6:27:19 AM PST by al baby (Hi Mom sarc ;))
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To: perfect_rovian_storm

Woz seemed to make it clear on CNN last night that this is a differenet issue.

He was talking about the Active Cruise (radar following) on the Prius, not the pedal issue common to the other vehicles. He said he didn’t regard this issue as life threatening, but it’s worry me enough not to use the feature.


6 posted on 02/03/2010 6:33:15 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: SJSAMPLE

Some Toyotas have a laser controlled device in their cruise control that will automatically decelerate if overtaking a slower moving vehicle, then automatically accelerate when you change to a clear lane. I have such a vehicle and the first time it happened to me I was startled.

I didn’t start a software company but I do understand my own vehicle.


7 posted on 02/03/2010 6:34:49 AM PST by billhilly
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To: DJ Frisat

LOL.
“Life Threatening”


8 posted on 02/03/2010 6:35:52 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: billhilly

That might explain why Toyota didn’t appear to be concerned (according to Woz).


9 posted on 02/03/2010 6:37:05 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
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To: DJ Frisat
When this happens on a Prius, does it speed up rapidly from 40 to 43mph?

My thoughts too ... a Prius? Speeding up? He should be so lucky...

10 posted on 02/03/2010 6:39:23 AM PST by Lurking in Kansas (Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down their level, then beat you with experience.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

“That might explain why Toyota didn’t appear to be concerned (according to Woz).”

That device is actually a safety device. It is not uncommon for people using cruise control to rear end traffic at high speed when distracted.


11 posted on 02/03/2010 6:41:31 AM PST by billhilly
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

12 posted on 02/03/2010 6:42:40 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I think Wozniac ought to stick to marketing overpriced consumer electronics.


13 posted on 02/03/2010 6:43:31 AM PST by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
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To: EricT.

This has got the smell of OBAMA written all over it....seems his govmint motors are doing so well....watch out Honda,
your next.....pew ! Obama, you stink!


14 posted on 02/03/2010 6:59:35 AM PST by Bullfrogg (American by birth, Irish by heritage, and hellraiser by choice)
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To: perfect_rovian_storm

A software problem is a likely culprit since many of the high profile cases that I have heard about don’t fit the “sticky accelerator” story. The cars speed up without warning, and the brakes don’t override the accelerator.


15 posted on 02/03/2010 7:14:10 AM PST by yawningotter
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I never, not once, thought it was a mechanical issue. Still don’t.

Toyota is covering up something here, and it will come out, eventually, to their detriment. Ask Chevy (side saddle tanks) and Ford (exploding Pintos) and Audi (Calif. models gas pedal surge)

They should have been upfront from the get go, now it will live in infamy on the internet.

As an aside, Hyundai has moved into number 4 in Asian autos (52k sales in Jan.), with only 10k cars separating them and Nissan, and now has a Top Ten car, in the Santa Fe. Their Daily Sales Rate is up to 22.8% (Nissan up 16.1%), and in terms of overall increases, they are up 12.9% vs Toyota at -15.8%-2nd highest (%) in Asian sales, with Suburu besting them at 28%-which means Suburu sold a mere 2800 more this year.

We know Ford has finally woke up and is paying attention, and maybe GM as well, but Toyota had best read the writing on the wall, lest they be the GM of tomorrow.


16 posted on 02/03/2010 7:15:01 AM PST by papasmurf (sudo apt-get install U-S-Constitution)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

How would Woz know which pedal his foot was on? He hasn’t seen his feet in years.


17 posted on 02/03/2010 7:16:12 AM PST by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Do a search for the Therac radiation machine and you’ll see why swapping out hardware controls and safety mechanisms for software can lead to disaster.


18 posted on 02/03/2010 7:23:59 AM PST by MichiganConservative (I wouldn't hate the government if it didn't exist. (Evil + Stupid) === Government)
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To: perfect_rovian_storm
Yep

If I were a Betting Man I'd offer to wager that what is happening is: the Toy is getting a bad reading from one of its sensors. The computer program is written assuming that the input from the sensor is valid. This is a mistake that green programmers tend to make -- and then they fail to supply the needed validity checking and error recovery code

This could be the cruise control system -- or the idle control motor that is yanking the throttle open but with these things going to full power, as reports seem to indicate -- I'd bet they have a bad sensor reading that is not questioned by the computer program. The obvious thing to do-- if you think you are getting a bad sensor reading --- release the cruise control

Personally though I suspect the idle control motor more -- as this happened to one Toy while the driver was trying to back out of his driveway. He probably didn't have the cruise on -- but that doesn't mean a computer glitch wouldn't affect things though

19 posted on 02/03/2010 7:24:03 AM PST by Mike Acker
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To: MichiganConservative

Therac is exactly what I was thinking.


20 posted on 02/03/2010 7:29:01 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: Lurking in Kansas

You do know that Al Gore’s son was arrested for doing 100 mph in a Prius?


21 posted on 02/03/2010 7:29:04 AM PST by sportutegrl (VETO PROOF MAJORITY)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Figures he’d own a Prion.


22 posted on 02/03/2010 7:36:46 AM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I had an engine accelerate out of control once. I had taken my Ford Windstar through the car wash. It was the coldest day of the year. About 5 minutes later, the car started accelerating out of control. I braked at first, then put it in neutral and turned off the engine.

Luckily, I was on a straight road with no traffic. I let the van sit for a few minutes. I figured somehow the computer box got wet and caused a problem. Sitting there would let the heat of the engine melt whatever had frozen up.

That worked. Started it up, drove off. Never had a problem since. But it is scary and could be a very dangerous situation. Plan ahead, know what to do, if it happens to you. These type of emergency situations should be covered in driver's education and maybe through driving license renewals.

23 posted on 02/03/2010 7:52:04 AM PST by Jabba the Nutt (Are they insane, stupid or just evil?)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

As soon as the press releases from Toyota said there was no electrical problem I was doubly sure it wasn’t just a minor pedal problem.

These cars use a “fly-by-wire” system where there is no direct mechanical link cable between the pedal and the throttle body.

Something is getting hosed between the actual pedal the throttle body and computer control.

They’re trying to cover it up like the Toyota vans that required the engine to be pulled to replace the spark plugs, so they made the service interval 60K miles for a tune up. Plugs didn’t last 60K back then.

Or the Nissan vans that caught on fire because the fuel delivery system to the engine kept breaking. Nissan refused to service the vans, made excuses like no parts, and offered sweetheart deals like $3000 over the value of the van to sell another Nissan.

How many old Toyota or Nissan vans are on the road? Zero, haven’t seen one in mucho many years.


24 posted on 02/03/2010 8:07:47 AM PST by Eagles2003
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Woz is probably correct. The Toyota accelerator pedal is a continuously pressable button that sends a signal to the automobile control unit (computer) that in turn controls a throttle actuator.

This is totally unlike the mechanical linkages that have been used since the automobile was invented. It’s highly probable there’s a software problem.

The MSM has failed to mention Toyota is including a software change with the recall that causes the control computer to ignore signals from the accelerator pedal whenever the brake pedal is depressed. This doesn’t really fix any underlying software cause of self-initiated acceleration, but does end it when the brake pedal is pressed.

BTW, Woz is one of the most underrated geniuses and inventors of the 20th century, having single-handedly invented both the single-board computer and its BIOS.


25 posted on 02/03/2010 8:52:15 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Made from The Right Stuff)
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To: DJ Frisat
When this happens on a Prius, does it speed up rapidly from 40 to 43mph?

Going downhill it does, yes.


26 posted on 02/03/2010 8:54:21 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (The liberals are asking us to give Obama more time. Is 25 to life enough?)
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To: Eagles2003

Fly by wire? Why would they use such an expensive, over-engineered (and therefore fraught with potential problems) method to accelerate a vehicle?


27 posted on 02/03/2010 8:55:19 AM PST by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
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To: sportutegrl
You do know that Al Gore’s son was arrested for doing 100 mph in a Prius?

Yeah, going downhill, with a three mile run, and a 30 MPH tail wind.

28 posted on 02/03/2010 8:59:40 AM PST by Lurking in Kansas (Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down their level, then beat you with experience.)
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To: DJ Frisat
"When this happens on a Prius, does it speed up rapidly from 40 to 43mph?"

Blue Prius

29 posted on 02/03/2010 9:04:25 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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To: EricT.
I think Wozniac ought to stick to marketing overpriced consumer electronics.

They (he and Jobs) have done awfully well doing that... and the APPL shareholders thank them for it...


30 posted on 02/03/2010 9:08:28 AM PST by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: EricT.
Why would they use such an expensive, over-engineered (and therefore fraught with potential problems) method to accelerate a vehicle?

With a combination electric/gas drivetrain we are a long way past just pushing open a butterfly valve with a mechanical linkage.

31 posted on 02/03/2010 9:11:42 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: TigerLikesRooster; SouthTexas; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave
Put on your Tin Foil Hats. I heard someone on the radio say the problem could be related to interference from High Voltage Power lines...
32 posted on 02/03/2010 9:11:56 AM PST by tubebender (Thanks to all the Patriots who support Free Republic financially...)
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To: antiRepublicrat

I can see it on a Prius hybrid, but the original post makes it sound like all Toyota vehicles use this method.


33 posted on 02/03/2010 9:15:20 AM PST by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
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To: Wyatt's Torch

That was pretty much the point I was making.


34 posted on 02/03/2010 9:16:12 AM PST by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
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To: EricT.

I just checked with a shop and he said some vehicles still use mechanical throttle linkage but all Toyotas use Fly by Wire...


35 posted on 02/03/2010 9:26:19 AM PST by tubebender (Thanks to all the Patriots who support Free Republic financially...)
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To: tubebender

Woz says it’s scary when he’s zooming along and his Prius super-accelerates to 97 mph..

Software glitch? Power lines?

Bring back push button transmissions


36 posted on 02/03/2010 9:28:35 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Chuck DeVore - CA Senator. Believe.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Figures that a hardware guy would blame software. ;^)


37 posted on 02/03/2010 9:42:32 AM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord ((I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper))
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To: EricT.

See post #25 from catnipman. There is no mechanical linkage, asking for trouble.


38 posted on 02/03/2010 9:43:18 AM PST by Eagles2003
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I find it hard to believe Toyota designed a sticking gas pedal. A software glitch sounds quite reasonable and I are a software engineer.
39 posted on 02/03/2010 9:45:15 AM PST by McGruff (Love ya Sarah but I will support and contribute to JD Hayworth.)
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To: DJ Frisat
“When this happens on a Prius, does it speed up rapidly from 40 to 43mph?”

Yes over a mile.
The those steep downhill mountain roads make a hybrid dangerous to drive.

40 posted on 02/03/2010 9:46:00 AM PST by HereInTheHeartland (The End of an Error - 01/20/2013)
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To: NormsRevenge
Bring back push button transmissions

Last i saw one of those it was on a 1966 Plymouth Valiant (i had an on the column stick shift on my 64 Valiant).

That slant six was a great engine.

41 posted on 02/03/2010 9:51:26 AM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord ((I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper))
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To: NormsRevenge

Don’t you mean bring back the Model A with the “Gas Feed” on the steering column...


42 posted on 02/03/2010 9:56:22 AM PST by tubebender (Thanks to all the Patriots who support Free Republic financially...)
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To: catnipman

Woz invented the KIM-1? The man did well, but he wasn’t the first with either an SBC or a BIOS.


43 posted on 02/03/2010 9:59:09 AM PST by bvw
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To: tubebender; TigerLikesRooster; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave

Have already seen the beginnings of the class action lawsuits down here.

Bunch of no-driving idiots. OK, that said, I did have an old LTD that drove off in reverse, by itself, one night.

The cure: turn it off when you get out, problem solved.


44 posted on 02/03/2010 9:59:46 AM PST by SouthTexas (Exterminate the rats!)
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To: SouthTexas

And you’re still driving a Ford after that experience?


45 posted on 02/03/2010 10:04:22 AM PST by tubebender (Thanks to all the Patriots who support Free Republic financially...)
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To: MichiganConservative
Do a search for the Therac radiation machine and you’ll see why swapping out hardware controls and safety mechanisms for software can lead to disaster.

It's a valuable case study for software engineering. But I would have phrased your sentence differently.

The change from hardware to software safety interlocks didn't directly CAUSE the disasters, but removed the controls that would have PREVENTED the disasters.

The actual software bugs that caused the injuries and deaths were present in the hardware-interlocked machine too.

46 posted on 02/03/2010 10:18:41 AM PST by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: SouthTexas

I just saw a lawyer commercial five minutes ago addressing this.


47 posted on 02/03/2010 10:21:37 AM PST by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Waste and fraud are synonymous with gov't spending)
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To: tubebender

It “T” boned a car stopped at a redlight, didn’t put me in danger. :)

The lady was miffed until she realized no one was driving, then she thought it was hysterical. Her husband, not so much, especially when she told the cop “you can’t give him a ticket, he didn’t do anything!”


48 posted on 02/03/2010 10:39:54 AM PST by SouthTexas (Exterminate the rats!)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin

The sharks are beginning to circle...


49 posted on 02/03/2010 10:41:13 AM PST by SouthTexas (Exterminate the rats!)
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To: billhilly

“Some Toyotas have a laser controlled device in their cruise control that will automatically decelerate if overtaking a slower moving vehicle, then automatically accelerate when you change to a clear lane. I have such a vehicle and the first time it happened to me I was startled.”

The laser light assembly probably could be rendered inoperable or erratic by driving through a mud puddle, don’t you suppose?


50 posted on 02/03/2010 10:42:17 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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