“Still, Friedman says, “It’s important for government to have a clear role in pushing automakers to provide consumers with clarity on what their cars can and can’t do, and to not allow car companies to at a whim change the functionality of a vehicle, especially if safety is involved.”
More questions arise, Friedman says, when it comes to how companies communicate changes to a car’s capabilities.
“Maybe they notify the owner, but what about the owner’s spouse, or child, or friend who borrows the car?” Friedman asks. “Or what if it’s a company car? It creates some uncertainty.”
Like phones, modern cars have increasingly become mobile computers. But as Friedman notes, when your phone crashes, it usually has less disastrous consequences than does your car crashing.
Friedman says, “I do worry that some companies are being a little too cavalier when it comes to trying to apply the Silicon Valley software model to 2 tons of glass, metal and plastic that can cruise down the road at 70 miles an hour.”
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