The strange tale of halting scooters

Lime halts scooter service in Switzerland after possible software glitch throws users off mid-ride: Tech Crunch

I did not see this coming, but when I think about it, why wouldn’t this happen?

Backing up a little, these are not ordinary scooters available to the general public in shops like Decathlon and the like. They are custom modified devices that include various components like GPS, data connections, and anti-theft locks. This is all controlled by software and is remotely configurable/updatable.

Assuming that either a rogue update or a badly configured update had been pushed, the reboot process could cause these unintended consequences.

On a scooter rolling at around 25 Km/h the potential for injuries is obvious. Taking this further, look at the possible consequences of an EV travelling at 110 Km/h in the middle of a busy highway. I’m sure you can see that the potential for harm is an order magnitude larger.

This, and other safety concernes are difficult design considerations all EV manufacturers must wrestle with. I’d like to get in to some discussion about real-time operating systems too, but I think I’ll leave that for another day.

17 January 2019, F.W.I