Self-Driving Cars

Past, present, and future of self-driving cars.

Sociotechnical Systems :: from Brian Cantwell Smith and Michael Jackson to Nancy Leveson


24 January 2020

The concerns raised by Brian Cantwell Smith in his classic 1985 paper "The Limits of Correctness" and the arguments advanced by Michael Jackson (e.g., in this booklet and on his website), are now re-amplified by Nancy Leveson in her CACM column, entitled: "Are You Sure Your Software Will Not Kill Anyone?".


Cars that really do crash, autonomously


8 November 2019

I've tried to (mostly) let go of my worries pertaining to self-driving cars, a topic which I initially called self-crashing cars more than three years ago, and which made me examine some of Wittgenstein's thoughts for the first time. I wasn't an expert on Wittgenstein back then and I'm still not (really) one today either.


Reading Assignments at Siegen University


30 November 2017


Dear Media Students,

Thank you for attending my class today. Please prepare the following two assignments for 14 December 2017. You will be asked to actively participate.



Read James Somers's `The Coming Software Apocalypse,' which appeared in The Atlantic on 26 September 2017.


`Plato and the Nerd,' Part 1


3 September 2017

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:

Plato and the Nerd: The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology (MIT Press, 2017)


Is your drone Turing complete?


28 June 2017

What if this ransomware business, which is going on again on a global scale today, is used in connection with moving things, as opposed to "merely" stationary computers?

Don't know about you but I'm thinking about drones, self-driving cars, and smart phones that blow up (e.g. due to ill-designed batteries).



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