What makes race car pilots better drivers than you and me? Apparently their reaction time is not shorter than that of average drivers. Instead, it is their ability to better anticipate the behavior of other chauffeurs, bicyclists and pedestrians which makes them stand apart .
Some computer scientists and software engineers write about the history of their fields. Others analyze and document the philosophy of their own discipline. In this latter regard, I am happy to announce the publication of Edward A. Lee's book on the philosophy of engineering:
Researchers have the responsibility of making clear the limits of their understanding about technology, including the software that is soon to be deployed in self-driving cars. Just like most people do not want conventional cars with drunken drivers in the vicinity of their beloved ones, I shall give arguments (which complement my previous arguments: here and follow-up here) to eschew self-driving cars as well.
As a safety engineer at Altreonic, specializing in formal verification and hazard & risk analysis, I am currently contributing to the design and implementation of a Software-Controlled Light Electric Vehicle, called Kurt (named after Kurt Goedel). Besides having a driver sit on the Kurt and steer it, the Kurt vehicle can also be sent steering requests over a wireless channel by a remote-control device. Hospitals, factories and cities in Flanders can — and hopefully will — benefit from several Kurt vehicles.