Demos That Crash, Literally

from the whoops dept

I've done plenty of live demos in my life, and it's always a bit scary as you hope that everything goes right. You practice and you practice and you practice, but you never know what might come up at the last minute -- especially if you've been unable to practice at the actual demo site. It's always good to have a backup plan (or three), but sometimes things just go wrong. When the thing that goes wrong is the very feature you're trying to demo, though, it looks especially bad. While we're all used to hearing stories about computer and software crashes during demonstrations, Digg points us to a story about how Mercedes wanted to show off their new radar-based braking system that's supposed to help avoid car accidents. They brought in a bunch of TV cameras and reporters, only to create a three car pileup. The problem? The radar was confused by the steel walls of the demo site. Yup. Should have practiced at the site earlier. Preferably in a way that wouldn't smash up three relatively expensive vehicles.

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  1. identicon
    thecaptain, 17 Nov 2005 @ 5:40am

    Re: i feel sorry for them

    Well said.

    I am very leery of any technology that attempts to replace human intervention, as stupid and inadequate as it could be at times.

    Just this quote:

    "The system "works perfectly in all other circumstances", according to Mercedes. For now, though, it may be worth keeping your foot near the brake pedal."

    Chills me to my very bones, because if they failed to take into account the test site, what else did they miss?

    Software is NEVER bug free...software shouldn't replace human intervention, only enhance it.

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