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Crashed Computer Traps Thai Politician, 14 May 2003

This curious story of a "fail safe" device nearly killed an entire family in their own car. This story is one "everyone knows" but can't quite remember the details of the car, country, which minister or when it happened so it has become an "urban myth". It is in fact quite true and whilst the original web pages in the Bangkok Post are no longer there the Daily Aardvark still has the pages in place.





The Original Daily Aardvark Report


Thailand's Finance Minister Suchart Jaovisidha had to be rescued today from inside his expensive BMW limousine after the onboard computer crashed,leaving the vehicle immobilized.


Once the computer failed, neither the door locks, power windows nor air conditioning systems would function, leaving the Minister and his driver trapped inside the rapidly heating vehicle.


Despite the pair's best efforts, it took a full ten minutes before they were able to summon the attention of a nearby guard who freed the two men by smashing one of the vehicle's windows with a sledgehammer.

A report published in the *Bangkok Post* indicates that the vehicle was Mr Jaovisidha's own BMW 520 which was being used while his state-supplied Mercedes, was being repaired.


BMW's more up-market 7-series range uses a computer system called i-drive which has Microsoft's WindowsCE at its core.   http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2002/Mar02/03-04BMWpr.asp

Did Mr Jaovisidha narrowly miss being killed by the blue windscreen of death?





Despite the article making suggestions that it was because Windows CE (or WinCE) was used is a bit erroneous as it was not determined (publicly) if the problem was Windows or the application software. I can't see BMW saying either way. If any one does know let us know!