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Showing posts from February, 2010

The Toyota Problem, Interaction and Complexity

I guess everybody has heard about the Toyota car problem. This is a terrible situation for Toyota, of course. At the same it also exposes some interesting interaction issues. Without knowing anything about what has really happened and how much Toyota really knows, I think this is a kind of situation we might see more of in the future.

When artifact complexity increases as a consequence of growing features "need", new problems emerge. The blend of mechanical/physical material with digital material seems to be part of the Toyota problem. A spokesperson said something about "not being able to locate the problem". A modern car is highly complex and is an example of an system where parts "collaborate" in a highly intricate way. So, is the gas pedal issue a mechanical problem or a digital problem. According to an (TV) expert, Toyota is hoping and praying that it is a mechanical issue, since it will be possible to locate and hopefully add or remove some mechani…