Elon admits “autopilot” development was harder than expected, but he, nor anyone else actually gets it yet

Michael DeKort
3 min readJul 3, 2021

The tweet text

Haha, FSD 9 beta is shipping soon, I swear!

Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI. Didn’t expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect.

Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality.

The tweet — https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1411280212470366213?s=20

Don’t fault Elon for needing more incremental epiphanies. While most driverless vehicle makers in the industry understand you need a far better sensor system than Tesla has, starting out with whole continent ODDs vs trucking or simple shuttles is easier, calling something “autopilot” or “full self-driving” is a reckless lie and telling people to keep their hands on the wheel in the manual but doing the exact opposite in videos and news clips every chance you get is negligent, they really don’t get it either. See all these folks think they use the right development approach and simulation technology, it’s just a matter of doing that right. Of course, they are all wrong. The development approach is untenable from a time, cost and safety POV, they will all injure or kill people needlessly and the simulation technology they use isn’t good enough to remedy that. Unfortunately, the use of the bottoms up stumble on things Agile method limits insight and epiphanies. The process forces you to incrementally figure things out vs see the whole thing from a systems engineering and top-down approach and have one much less costly, timely and safer epiphany. Having said this, I don’t actually think it’s ignorance anymore. It’s arrogance, selfishness and ego. Meaning they all get it now. Like Theranos, they are hoping for a miracle that will never come or for Tesla to kill that first child or family so the government steps in and forces them to make the paradigm shift that lack the courage or ethical, moral and professional fortitude to make themselves.

(Look back at my articles on this over 3 years or so. Look at the pattern. Let some commonsense seep in to override the desire to support the echo chamber and “conventional wisdom”. It’s all pretty obvious isn’t it?)

More detail here

Tesla “autopilot” development effort needs to be stopped and people held accountable

· https://medium.com/@imispgh/tesla-autopilot-development-effort-needs-to-be-stopped-and-people-arrested-f280229d2284

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

· https://medium.com/@imispgh/the-autonomous-vehicle-industry-can-be-saved-by-doing-the-opposite-of-what-is-being-done-now-b4e5c6ae9237

Proposal for Successfully Creating an Autonomous Ground or Air Vehicle

· https://medium.com/@imispgh/proposal-for-successfully-creating-an-autonomous-ground-or-air-vehicle-539bb10967b1

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

· https://www.sae.org/news/2020/08/new-gen-av-simulation

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

My name is Michael DeKort — I am a former system engineer, engineering and program manager for Lockheed Martin. I worked in aircraft simulation, the software engineering manager for all of NORAD, the Aegis Weapon System, and on C4ISR for DHS.

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-34 / EUROCAE WG-114 Artificial Intelligence in Aviation

- Member CIVATAglobal — Civic Air Transport Association

- Stakeholder for UL4600 — Creating AV Safety Guidelines

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

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

My company is Dactle

We are building an aerospace/DoD/FAA level D, full L4/5 simulation-based testing and AI system with an end-state scenario matrix to address several of the critical issues in the AV/OEM industry I mentioned in my articles below. This includes replacing 99.9% of public shadow and safety driving. As well as dealing with significant real-time, model fidelity and loading/scaling issues caused by using gaming engines and other architectures. (Issues Unity will confirm. We are now working together. We are also working with UAV companies). If not remedied these issues will lead to false confidence and performance differences between what the Plan believes will happen and what actually happens. If someone would like to see a demo or discuss this further please let me know.



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