Skip to Content
Computing

Boeing says it is updating the software on its 737 Max planes

March 28, 2019

It’s the company’s most significant attempt to fix issues that may have led to two recent catastrophic crashes.

What’s happened: It will now be easier for pilots to override anti-stall software and make the system less likely to be set off by incorrect data. Boeing will also give pilots extra training on the software, dubbed MCAS, which automatically points the plane's nose down to stop it stalling. The company hopes to allay global fears, and get its planes back up in the air. However, a rushed design process is allegedly part of the reason why the flaws crept in in the first place.

Questions remain: Before the 737 Max planes can resume flying, the upgrade must be approved by regulators, whose role has itself come in for scrutiny. Specifically, the US Federal Aviation Authority is accused of “doing safety on the cheap,” as Senator Richard Blumenthal put it.

What’s next: Lawmakers in the US are planning to grill the FAA and others over how the plane reached production with a potentially dangerous automated anti-stalling system in the first place.

This story first appeared in our daily newsletter The Download. Sign up here to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

Deep Dive

Computing

A chip design that changes everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Computer chip designs are expensive and hard to license. That’s all about to change thanks to the popular open standard known as RISC-V.

Modern data architectures fuel innovation

More diverse data estates require a new strategy—and the infrastructure to support it.

Chinese chips will keep powering your everyday life

The war over advanced semiconductor technology continues, but China will likely take a more important role in manufacturing legacy chips for common devices.

The computer scientist who hunts for costly bugs in crypto code

Programming errors on the blockchain can mean $100 million lost in the blink of an eye. Ronghui Gu and his company CertiK are trying to help.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.