The 36 year old was on a dual carriageway on his way to a hypermarket when the car's speed first jammed at 60mph. Each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there.He used his call phone to call the police, who cleared the route ahead of him. He kept going until his car ran out of gas. He's suing the manufacturer, Renault.
As more an more of the car's major systems become computer controlled, we can expect to see more and more of this. The computer software had some sort of glitch, but that's the nature of computer software. There will be some rate of bugs per thousand lines of code. The number will vary based on how much money the developer is willing to devote to quality; NASA was famous for a very low rate of software defects (you can't easily upgrade an OS that's orbiting Jupiter), but it didn't come cheap. Most companies don't devote anywhere near this much money to reducing bug counts.
So how much did Renault devote? Given that this is a pretty new field, and that manufacturers are rushing to add "cool" features like in-car WiFi and remote diagnostics and self-driving capability (ugh), confidence is not high that QA testing is high on their priority list.
Worse, it's likely that the engine shutoff is computer controlled, and so you might not even be able to turn the car off when it goes all Christine on you.
No thank you. I think that my next car will be one of these.
It wasn't designed by incompetents. Can't say that about today's "drive by wire" Detroit Coffins.