This is an interesting article about the recent train crash. The article claims that the incident could have been avoided if the train had had a piece of equipment called Positive train control, or PTC. This device monitors the speed and location of trains to help prevent accidents and predict problems. This particular train would have never exceeded it’s speed limit, if it had the PTC.
In this case, it sounds like the device was not installed because it is very expensive. But that begs the question, what price do you put on an accident like this. How much would you pay to prevent something like this from occurring. When it comes to automated systems that are designed for safety, I have always been very impressed. Yes, it’s possible that they can fail, but humans fail even more. And when these systems do fail, it’s often because of human error. I think these systems should be taken more seriously, and the money should be raised to get all trains equipped with devices that can potentially prevent disasters like this one. I look forward to a day when all transportation is automated! How about you?