Today I am flying to San Francisco for an interview. On the flight, I ran across an article in the WSJ on a background memo that has surfaced from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The memo—among other things—suggests that the reaction to last year’s response to accidents involving Toyota vehicles was “overblown.”
I am sorry—is there anyone left who doesn’t think the response was overblown? After all, we are talking not one, not two, and not three—but fully four Congressional hearings devoted to getting to the bottom of things. (Which they never did.)
Reading the article further though, it seems this isn’t fully accepted by all. Congressman Jay Rockefeller used the leaking of this memo as an opportunity to helpfully remind us “Safety must come first.”
Of course, politicians love this kind of issue. It is easy to argue about war, taxes and other weighty issues, but who can argue safety is not a good thing?
Oh, if only good intentions led directly to good outcomes life would be so much simpler.
But good intentions most definitely do not lead directly to good outcomes. And because safety is important, Edmunds is going to try something different: A conference to really look at the issue of automotive safety. With experts from within—and outside -- the auto industry.
I will have more on this soon, but to give you a small taste, tomorrow I am interviewing Don Norman. (Don is a noted author and expert on the overlaps between humans and technology. You can check him out on Amazon here.)
The idea of the conference is to avoid slogans and over-simplifications; to dig deep, look at safety from a fresh perspective; to hopefully learn some things and most importantly to emerge with fresh ideas.
We are holding the event in Washington to make it easy for legislators and other policy shapers to attend, and will publish insights and video footage of the experts online for everyone to view.
Stay tuned for more soon…