Skip to comments.Apple's Wozniak: Toyota may have software trouble
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 ...
I’m afraid I have to agree with The Woz. The ‘sticky pedals’ thing is nonsense.
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.
When this happens on a Prius, does it speed up rapidly from 40 to 43mph?
I have said that from the beginning and Im a dumb chit
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.
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.
That might explain why Toyota didn’t appear to be concerned (according to Woz).
My thoughts too ... a Prius? Speeding up? He should be so lucky...
“That might explain why Toyota didnt 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.
I think Wozniac ought to stick to marketing overpriced consumer electronics.
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!
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.
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.
How would Woz know which pedal his foot was on? He hasn’t seen his feet in years.
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.
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
Therac is exactly what I was thinking.
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