Cars have a kill switch
Car developers can benefit from decades of kill switch evolution here. For example, you don't have to go KTM's wrong track. At KTM, the starter cranks the engine in some vehicle generations, even when the kill switch is off. That was certainly well-intentioned, but in practice it caused great confusion. Because what KTM forgot is the natural law that children cannot walk past a motorcycle without feeling the urge to mess around with the kill switch, and by "children" I mean all men. If the ignition is really ON when the lock is ON, the lantern parker usually looks at his cat like Mr. Schrödinger did back then. Garage parkers, on the other hand, have desperately dismantled their motorcycle, in the habit of keeping the ignition on safely just because that's how they turned it on.
Let's look at the spearhead of the kill switch development, so to Ducati and BMW. Both mechanically combine the hard-switching effect of the kill switch with the button for the electric starter motor in such a way that the latter cannot be operated without the ignition switched on. Passing children no longer cause confusion. At Ducati, the design goes in the direction of the airplane, with a kill switch that, when turned OFF, covers the starter button. BMW uses a toggle switch with three positions: ON, OFF and a button for the starter motor, which can only be reached via the ON position. Both designs have their specific advantages and disadvantages, but such a design would be an excellent starting point for the car.
Mr. Maybach's downhill pedal
Of course, a button like that on a motorcycle must be mounted directly on the handlebar within reach of the thumb. The combination with the start button has also proven itself. At the beginning, retrofit solutions could convert the software start / stop button to a mechano-electric current on / off, for example using lifting kinematics like a ballpoint pen. When fully pressed down, a button below closes the power for the starter, the lower detent position is ON, the upper position is OFF. Or use the sports button so that it doesn't remain completely pointless. For older cars, you could think of a "downhill pedal", as it was a luxury in the Maybach at the time, but older cars have a hard ignition switch on the ignition lock and consequently don't need something like that.
We speculated extensively as to what the only button in Google's car should actually do. I think he should be a kill switch. If the automagic car gets scary, you can turn it off hard there. The switch should of course have to pay the traffic obstruction, otherwise I can't imagine a more substantial button there. What kind of trust that would create in the technology! Ultimately, there are few achievements of our machine culture that exceed the scope of the kill switch. Only one machine can have a kill switch. With their software circuits, humans or animals always have the right to object to the dictator. This will be the next big step in culture: kill switches for living things would be great. But here I am speaking purely from a dictator's point of view. (cgl)Read comments (64) Go to homepage
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