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PYP 060: Sean Kane on Automobile Safety, Runaway Computer Code, and the Promise and Perils of Technology

sean-kaneSean Kane is president of Safety Research and Strategy, and founder of The Safety Institute.

From his early days in the belly of the beast as a claims adjuster for the tire industry, to his work on the front lines with Ralph Nader's Institute for Auto Safety, to his own work making companies pay for their negligence, Sean has seen it all as an insider.

He fights tirelessly (oh, did a bad pun just slip into this blog?) to hold manufacturers and marketers accountable for the damage their products cause.

And lest you peg him an anti-technology crusader, he's also an organic gardner and supporter of the use of appropriate technology to solve societal and agricultural problems.

[powerpress]

In this conversation, we cover:

  • why many manufacturers fear the advent of self-driving cars
  • why many safety issues never get publicized or addressed
  • the unintended consequences of fixing the rollover problem of light trucks and SUVs
  • the millions of sloppy and untested lines of code that run modern automobiles, and how they're taking control away from drivers
  • willful misrepresentation of the “frivolous McDonalds hot coffee” lawsuit to make it much harder to take corporations to court for damages, and why frivolous cases almost never make it to court already
  • the upcoming epidemic of “car hacking”
  • why staying off the cutting edge of technology may be the safest strategy
  • what ordinary citizens can do to help improve vehicle and product safety
  • the complicated Tesla Motors story

Enjoy, comment, and please share!

Links

Safety Research and Strategy

The Safety Institute

Ralph Nader's Center for Auto Safety

Hot Coffee: The documentary that tells the truth about the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit

FarmHack.net: An open-source community for resilient agriculture

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

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You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

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