TRANSPORTATION: PUBLIC URBAN AND PASSENGER: NTSB to Look at Possible Computer Role in D.C. Crash
TRANSPORTATION: PUBLIC URBAN AND PASSENGER:
NTSB to Look at Possible Computer Role in D.C. Crash
NTSB to look at possible computer role in D.C. crash
D.C. Metrorail computers programmed to prevent rear-end train accidents
By Patrick Thibodeau
June 23, 2009 05:59 PM ET
Computerworld - National Transportation Safety Board officials today said
that the agency's investigators will examine whether computer systems,
sensors or cell phones played a role in yesterday's Washington, D.C.,
Metrorail crash that killed nine people.
Experts note that there are also several other possible causes of the
crash of one Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) train
into another in a rear-end collision of such force that one train
literally climbed on top of the other. They could include track problems,
mechanical failures and human error.
But the WMATA computer systems are likely to get significant attention
from investigators because they were designed to prevent such rear-end
accidents. The computer systems are constantly making decisions on train
speed based on data from track-bed sensors that monitor train movements.
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