Trucking Coders, Coding Truckers - Part 25: Complete Exoneration
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The National Transportation Safety Board released its report one month after the I-84 self-driving truck accident.
During this month, the NeMo company received three messages from the NTSB asking very technical questions about their software.
The day before the release of the report, Nestor got a phone call from one of the inspectors he had met in Idaho. He was told that the report will indicate that the software had worked as expected given the inputs from the sensors.
The main reason for the accident was the malfunction of the left camera. It turned out that all five cameras on the truck were not what they were supposed to be. The truck had been registered with NAAVCA-certified cameras from a Californian company. But the installed cameras were Chinese knock-off that declared they were the qualified ones.
Shortly before the accident, a problem occurred with the left camera and the video sent to the computer was becoming late progressively. At the time of the accident, the video was almost 3 minutes late, so the software could not realize that a car was passing the truck.
Secondary reasons were that the driver was sleeping and that the car was speeding.
The company that sold the truck was fined. NAAVCA canceled the certifications of all the trucks that it has sold. Soon after that, the company was bankrupt.
Although the NeMo software was in no way responsible for the accident, Nestor decided to make updates to avoid similar problems. Whenever a driver was required to be awake in the cabin, the system would check that it was effectively the case. If it detected from the cabin cameras that the driver was sleeping, an alarm would ring and the truck would slow down automatically until a complete stop.
They also upgraded the software drivers for the sensors to make it more difficult for knock-off devices to be used instead of the qualified ones.
Copyright © Vincent Celier, License CC BY-SA
To be continued
Part 1: An Eventless Trip
Part 2: Nestor, Son of Immigrants
Part 3: Moana, a "demi-tinto" from Punaauia
Part 4: Nestor and Moana Meet Online
Part 5: First Dates
Part 6: First Trip Together
Part 7: Coder Becomes Trucker
Part 8: Trucker Becomes Coder
Part 9: Small Truck and Solar Panels
Part 10: The NeMo Trucking Software Company
Part 11: Getting Help
Part 12: A Different Kind of Company
Part 13: Nestor and Moana Get Married
Part 14: Newlyweds in Tahiti
Part 15: From Level 3 to Level 4
Part 16: Authorized Testing of the Software
Part 17: First Contracts
Part 18: Ready for Certification
Part 19: The Certification Process
Part 20: Very Busy after Certification
Part 21: The Company is Growing
Part 22: Toward European Certification
Part 23: The Accident
Part 24: Preliminary Investigation