Blame the developer: volkswagen scandal #dieselgate

volkswagen

All entrance starting with “Blame the developer” are design to remove this myth, always compaining about the software. But the truth is that is more of the cases, the problem is in the design phase, because the software is well developed!

It is surprising how software problems have very great impact, and today we analyze what happened with the #DieselGate.volkswagen

The problem

It turns out that the Volkswagen car company used software that was scheduled to have a behavior when the car is in the test, and quite another when in normal conditions. Because the problem is only affecting diesel cars, in Twitter you can follow the hashtag #dieselgate. Thanks to the programmed algorithm, emissions in the benchmarks met with the legislation, and they didn’t when they were in their normal mode.

Volkswagen, you got caught

The scandal jumped because US authorities conducted an investigation in 2014 how emissions were improving from cars at the time, and detected an incidence of two specific models: the 2012 Jetta and Passat in 2013, so proceeded to perform specific evidence demonstrating the reality of emissions of these models did not match what was advertised, and after that, the scandal jumped to the news!

Indeed, sooner or later the trap was hunted, and the consecuence is a series of chain reactions: important drop in stock exchange market to all car groups worldwide (they have lost 30% of its value in a few days), American CEO accept the cheating, replacement for Volkswagen CEO, save money for the fines, lost money (and time) to call all rigged to let them go through the car workshop, …..

Volkswagen brand image has been seriously damaged, as a planned deception and many of their customers should feel betrayed (also their investors), and recover from a blow of this caliber will take years.

You can fall down very quickly, but to get up is not so easy!

Do NOT blame the developer

My personal opinion is not to blame the software developer because I think he-she has executed its job well, because the algorithm was design to do some actions and behaviors when a certain circumstances exist, and others quite different when if doesn’t. It is as simple as using an if … then … expression, available in all programming languages:


if (estoy_en_modo_pruebas):

  haz_trampas()

else:

  modo_normal()

From this post I want to claim that the Volkswagen problem is not related to software, but the person who requested these requirements, and given the scandal, it is clear that the software developer did it correctly!

Desde esta entrada quiero reivindicar que el problema de volkswagen no es de software, sino de la persona o personas que solicitaron dichos requisitos al software, y a la vista del escándalo, queda claro que el informático lo hizo correctamente!

The emission cheat was perfectly planned!

Digging deeper into the reasons for using this cheat, there only can be economic reasons, because as I read in other news, the cost of preparing the car to reduce emissions in one case or another varies by filters to be use, and filters cost money (of course!).

Environmental limits and economic problems

Environmental agencies are also damaged of their work, because in my opinion they should also try and test things in their actual behavior, not only in test mode. In fact, an alternative study was that gave the alarm that something was wrong!

The second victim by this problem, at least in Spain, is the Public Administration, as many of these cars had reduced emissions by low environmental taxes, which has now shown that it was not so low.

There is much to reflect this global scandal, where everyone lies …. for money. Money can not buy happiness, despite appearances! We will see in the coming weeks how the automobile sector recovers, and of course, the public reaction to this deception.

Why should I take care of the planet and my emissions if one of the strongest sectors of the economy publicized cheating on me with some issues that are not real?

At moral level, the question is: Is worth all for the money? I think the industry will pay the price will be quite high, and more than a brand like Volkswagen, and being german (german thoroughness that is compromised and worldwide).

Have a great day!