Somebody remind me again how this “self-drive car” thing is supposed to help us, save lives, end Glueball Wormening and bring Peace To Mankind, etc. etc. etc.? Especially when we have crap like this happening to these “A.I.” systems?
The investigation into a fatal plane crash in Ethiopia has zeroed in on suspicion that a faulty sensor triggered an automated anti-stall system, sending the plane into a dive.
The Federal Aviation Administration received black box flight data from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on Thursday, indicating that the MCAS anti-stall system was activated shortly before the crash.
The same system was implicated in the crash of another Boeing 737 Max in October in Indonesia, Lion Air Flight 610.
The MCAS is designed to push the nose of the plane down when sensors indicate that the ‘angle of attack’ is too steep, and the plane in in danger of stalling – but investigators are now probing whether a faulty sensor activated the system during a normal climb, sources say.
This, and especially after we hear that a.) the “safety” feature (i.e. pilot override) was available as an (expensive) option on the system, and b.) the pilots of said doomed airliners appear not to have had, shall we say, adequate training on the system.
Don’t even get me started on cock-ups like the faulty reservation systems, which have been in place since at least the 1970s, are one of the simplest programs in existence, and they still fall over occasionally. (Adding features which screw paying customers over*, however, doesn’t seem to have been a problem at all.)
Color me skeptical on all this stuff. Hell, I don’t even care for automatic gearboxes, let alone “self-drive” systems. “Faulty sensor”, my pale African-American ass.
*British Airways, among others, has a cute little sub-routine when you book two or more tickets at a time that automatically ensures that none of your booked seats are next to each other. So guess what? You have to go back into the system and pay extra for that “privilege” of sitting next to your wife or kids. That automatic program, I’ll wager, works perfectly every time.