Autonomous Vehicle Industry’s Self-Inflicted and Avoidable Collapse — Ongoing Update

Michael DeKort
6 min readApr 3, 2021


I predicted this four years ago

The industry will crash due to the futility and recklessness of relying on public shadow and safety driving to develop and test autonomous vehicles.

How many signs do you folks need?

Most of these companies are effectively bankrupt now. And have been from the start.

Every AV maker could be combined, and it wouldn’t save them. The development approach is that wrong

This is completely avoidable (See my articles below)

Signs — Updated 7–5–2022

· Drive.AI — bankrupt — bought by Apple

· Apple — recently slowed their effort

· Audi stopped their L3 work

· Ford delayed again to 2022

· Waymo loses 85% of their valuation-and is funded for under $3B — under 3 years of funding

· Starsky Robotics goes bankrupt

· Five.AI CEO admitted it would cost hundreds of billions of $ to get to L4

· Gill Pratt from Toyota says that just because we can’t do this now it doesn’t mean we never will

· Tesla slipped AP/FSD again

· Cruise cut drivers and their CFO resigned — and now they say they cut more engineers than they said the first time

· is silent?

· Zoox is for sale for 1/3 original valuation

· Continental is cutting L3 funding

· Oxbotica looking for a sale

· BMW stops AV partnership with Mercedes

· Volvo now teams with Waymo in addition to Uber ATG — Hedge? Waymo buying or partnering with Uber ATG?

· Waymo and Aurora are now switching to trucks — this to make things simpler (won’t help)

· VW funds Argo and gives them Audi AID

· May Mobility is collapsing

· GM has so little confidence in it’s own staff and Cruise they tried to buy Zoox

· Press questioning Aurora’s ability to stay solvent

· Uber teams up with Yandex (Russia) — What about ATG? (See below)

· Consumer Reports performs simple tests of Tesla’s AP/FSD and it fails miserably (With still no cross country drive, promised two years go, or L5, And the cars keep slamming in to stationary/crossing objects like police cars, firetrucks, trailers, tow trucks, passenger cars, street sweepers and barriers. Killing 7 people.)

· Uber ATG merging with Aurora and Aurora did not pick up the ATG lead or the R&D group (What happened to Yandex?)

· Motional teams with Lyft

· Tesla kills 7th person due to “autopilot” and fatally flawed sensor detection system that fails to detect stationary or crossing objects properly

· Nuro bought Ike

· Cruise looking to buy Voyage

· Argo announces a possible IPO/SPAC — sign of desperation before the world figures out the king is naked

· John Krafcik resigns from Waymo right when their “L4” capabilities are being challenged

· Lyft sells itself to Toyota

· Tesla admits in government filing it will never reach L4

· GM now says it will take ten years — That = never

· Waymo exodus —

· Oxbotica CEO leaves (this is after they looked for a buyer and didn’t find one.)

· Daimler and Bosch end driverless partnership

· Argo CEO tells VW CEO in a live YouTube event — “The world underestimates how complex (fully autonomous driving) is, it’s a multi-generational problem, our kids will be working on it, probably will never really be done.” —

· Olli (Local Motors) goes out of business —

· The EU submits draft legislation for a comprehensive “driver’s test” no one saying they are driverless now can come close to passing — The EU proposes a driverless driver’s test that is pretty good — Waymo, Cruise, Gatik etc would fail it —

· CJ Moore the former head of Tesla’s “Autopilot, leave the same roll at Apple’s Project Titan to lead software for LiDAR maker Luminar

· Cruise caught with 60+ “driverless” vehicles being remote controlled

· Argo AI lays of 150 people AND stops development work in DC

· Nuro lays off staff and stops operations in Arizona and focuses on teleoperation NOT autonomy

· Andrej Karpathy, Autopilot and AI lead for Tesla quits

· Perceptive Automata goes out of business

· Momenta’s autonomous group goes under

· “Gill Pratt, chief scientist, Toyota Motor Corp. and CEO, Toyota Research Institute, noted, “No one really knows” when fully automated vehicles will reach production.” —

· Aurora shopping itself to Apple or Microsoft —

· TuSimple being sued for fraud — •

· Cruise multitude of issues in past two months — Says it’s “driverless” despite a crash that forces them to stop unprotected lefts and 60 cars freeze due to a lost network connection. And they have a whistleblower —

· Argo goes out of business

· George Hots leave

· VW fired CARIAD

· Simulation company Applied Intuition bought Embark — What looks like a possible good sign is actually a bad one since Applied has the wrong sim tech and has no intention on fixing it.

· TuSimple is trying to sell its US organization

· Sensible 4 is going bankrupt

As I have said over and over and over — We need to literally flip the development and testing paradigm!!!!!!!!! (And now we need to add the use of gaming technology-based simulation systems.)

The solution is to use DoD/aerospace simulation technology, informed and validated by the real-world, to replace 99.9% of the public shadow and safety driving. (And not gaming based simulation. There are far too many architectural and sensor model engineering issues.).

More here

Nostradamus? SAE Autonomous Vehicle Magazine declares I am “Prescient”


The Autonomous Vehicle Industry can be Saved by doing the Opposite of what is being done now


How the failed Iranian hostage rescue in 1980 can save the Autonomous Vehicle industry


SAE Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Magazine — Simulation’s Next Generation (featuring Dactle)


Using the Real World is better than Proper Simulation for AV Development — NONSENSE

The Hype of Geofencing for Autonomous Vehicles

My name is Michael DeKort — I am Navy veteran (ASW C4ISR) and a former system engineer, engineering, and program manager for Lockheed Martin. I worked in aircraft simulation, the software engineering manager for all of NORAD, a software project manager on an Aegis Weapon System baseline, and a C4ISR systems engineer for DoD/DHS and the US State Department (counterterrorism). And a Senior Advisory Technical Project Manager for FTI to the Army AI Task Force at CMU NREC (National Robotics Engineering Center)

Autonomous Industry Participation — Air and Ground

- Founder SAE On-Road Autonomous Driving Simulation Task Force

- Member SAE ORAD Verification and Validation Task Force

- Member UNECE WP.29 SG2 Virtual Testing

- Stakeholder USDOT VOICES (Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety)

- Member SAE G-35, Modeling, Simulation, Training for Emerging AV Tech

- Member SAE G-34 / EUROCAE WG-114 Artificial Intelligence in Aviation

- Member Teleoperation Consortium

- Member CIVATAglobal — Civic Air Transport Association

- Stakeholder for UL4600 — Creating AV Safety Guidelines

- Member of the IEEE Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Systems Policy Committee

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Engineering magazine editor calling me “prescient” regarding my position on Tesla and the overall driverless vehicle industry’s untenable development and testing approach — (Page 2)

Presented the IEEE Barus Ethics Award for Post 9/11 DoD/DHS Whistleblowing Efforts



Michael DeKort

Non-Tribal Truth Seeker-IEEE Barus Ethics Award/9–11 Whistleblower-Aerospace/DoD Systems Engineer/Member SAE Autonomy and eVTOL development V&V & Simulation