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Bull Session

The Volkswagen Software Scandal

October 1, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week, on The Digital Life, we chat about the Volkswagen scandal and the increasingly important role that software plays in controlling our physical world.

Last week, Volkswagen, the biggest automaker in the world, got caught cheating on its diesel engine emissions tests. The automaker installed software, a “defeat device” in its cars to make them appear cleaner while they were being tested. As a result, the company faces $18B in fines in the US alone.

While this is probably not the first time software has been used to circumvent regulation, the VW scandal is so high profile that it feels like a game changer. In this, the digital and physical worlds are colliding in ways we haven’t seen before. What is the responsibility for software in the real world? And what is the responsibility of design and user experience?

Bosch warned Volkswagen about illegal software use
Volkswagen: The scandal explained
Volkswagen scandal…in two minutes