Is it possible that automation caused the D.C. metro crash that killed 9 people?
In this technologically-dependant world, absolutely. Reports from D.C. suggest that the automation system was the problem.
Many of the District’s rush-hour trains operate automatically, and this subway train, which was on its computerized journey, failed to recognize the stationary train waiting ahead. The first train crashed into the second. Reports indicate a red, emergency brake button was pressed. So, why then did the train not stop? This is what experts are still working out.
Perhaps the failed attempt to stop the moving train had to do with the speed at which the train was moving. During rush hour, DC Metro train speeds are increased to between 55 and 59 miles per hour. In addition, there are fewer stops in the area where the crash occurred, just miles from the border of D.C. and Maryland.
Reporters are still waiting for officials to pinpoint the problem but it seems that the technology may have been the cause of this tragedy.