Did a Robot Just Try to Kill Tiger Woods?

Catchy title, no? But seriously, cars (from the old word carriage) also are called automobiles because they automate mobility, kind of like robots that move people.

I’m calling a car a robot because that’s really what it is.

In the recent case of Tiger Woods, his robot sent him at high speed off the road.

First allow me to set the context on the automobile in question. It has a particular problem that in October 2012 wasn’t discussed enough, and thus was flagged by automobile critics:

Hyundai has been having problems pop up here, and there, and the related news coverage at best has been extremely minimum. […] These incidents have been happening more often than none all over Korea to hapless drivers who don’t know anything about being prepared on handling an out of control car. After the second video I became very interested and wanted to know more about the Hyundai acceleration issue.

An out of control Hyundai? Accelerating suddenly without warning? That sounds familiar.

Second, let’s define sudden Unintended Acceleration (UA) by referencing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explanation:

Unintended, unexpected, high power accelerations from a… low initial speed accompanied by an apparent loss of braking effectiveness.

Third, there was a well documented case of Toyota covering up its SUA, exposed by a whistleblower (Besty Benjaminson, as cited by Chase law) who also exposed the NHTSA as rather shallow in its investigations.

Through the Senator’s whistleblower program, I gave hundreds of documents to his Judiciary Committee staffers. I sorted the documents to show that many electronics issues related to UA were known inside Toyota but not even touched upon by NHTSA and NASA in their studies of Toyota electronics and UA. I also organized the documents to show that it seemed the executives were misrepresenting facts in their sworn testimony before three Congressional committees. Senator Grassley was thus concerned about whether NHTSA had done a proper job, especially with the NASA study it had commissioned, and sent a public letter of inquiry to NHTSA administrator David Strickland. NHTSA’s response to Senator Grassley was cleverly worded and noncommittal.

Which now brings us back to the recent news of Tiger Woods in a 2021 [Hyundai] Genesis GV80 experiencing UA.

Woods’ SUV was traveling between 84 and 87 miles per hour just prior to impact, investigators learned. There was no indication that he hit the brakes. It’s possible that he hit the accelerator pedal by accident. “It is speculated and believed that Tiger Woods inadvertently hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal,” LASD Capt. James Powers told reporters.

Old problem new car?

At least he wasn’t driving a Tesla.

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