March 27, 2013

The embedded software in an engine control unit malfunctioned at the beginning of a Formula One race, leading to a bad start for Mark Webber, who drives for the Red Bull team. McLaren, the party responsible for the software used in the engine, recently apologized for the problem, The Associated Press reported.

The mishap took place at the Australian Grand Prix, when a garage data system that runs as part of the engine software stopped functioning properly. This led to poor performance during the formation lap of the event and led to Webber losing a few places before the system could be reset, the report said.

According to the news source, an official apology from McLaren noted that the software had worked properly during a run in Melbourne, but malfunctioned during the formation lap because of an unexpected glitch. 

These kinds of software problems can lead to major safety issues. In the case of this race, a crash could have occurred when Webber's car performed in an unexpected way. For the average consumer, a flaw in the embedded software used in engines could lead to an accident. Software testing is key in settings where the solution handles safety-critical functions.

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Automotive Software News