A Tech Harbinger from the Toyota Hearing

James E. Lentz, president and chief operating officer, Toyota Motor Sales, USA,Inc., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 23, 2010, before the House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing on Toyota. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
This article was written by Larry Dignan of ZDNet.

I listened to a Congressional hearing over the Toyota recall and thought I stumbled into a discussion about tech hurdles like change management, patch day and other wonky topics.

Let's rev our engines for patch days for your cars. Are smarter cars really worth the hassle?

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings on the Toyota recalls boiled down to one big question: How do we fix technologically advanced cars on the fly?

House Energy and Commerce committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) set the tone at the beginning of Tuesday's hearings. He kicked off the hearings by saying "cars have become moving computers. The increased reliance on new electronics brings new risks and they need to be examined."

And examine they did. Like most Congressional hearings, there was a good bit of showboating. Experts were probed for conflict of interests. Victims of Toyota glitches were brought to the fore. And Toyota execs were generally kicked around.

You can read the rest of this story at ZDNet.com.

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By Larry Dignan