First Autonomous Vehicle maker Admits the Current Path is Impossible

Michael DeKort
4 min readMar 5, 2020


Let’s go right for the quotes from the CEO of FiveAI (now Five) Stan Bolan

“A year and a bit ago we thought we would probably build the entire thing and take it to market as a whole system,” said co-founder and CEO Stan Boland in an interview. “But we gradually realized just how deep and complex that would be. It was probably through 2019 that we realized that the right thing to do is to focus in on the key pieces.”

“What’s happened in the last couple of years is that there has been an appreciation across the industry of just how wide and deep the challenges are for bringing self-driving to market,” Boland said. “Many pieces of the jigsaw have to be assembled…. The B2C model needs billions [of investment], but others are finding their niche as great providers of technology needed to deliver the systems properly.”

As a ballpark figure, Boland believes that to get to a self-driving, Level 5 reality, we’ll need to see “hundreds of billions” of dollars of investment. But so far, collectively, self-driving startups have raised a mere $15 billion, according to figures from Crunchbase — significant money, but nowhere near the amounts that will be needed, and one argument for why only a very few, backed by huge automotive giants, will ever make it.

Folks this is hundreds of billions of dollars PER COMPANY. Exactly what I have been saying for years. So this is where I disagree with Stan Bolan. No one has that staying power. AND Bolan leaves out two major issues. Time and injuries/deaths. No one has the time, or lifetimes to spend the money even if they had it. AND no one survives the thousands of injuries and deaths required to experience accident threads over and over to learn them. (Nor will you convince safety drivers to commit suicide. Even Tesla’s sheep will figure this out eventually.) The Bolan not getting the safety issue part means all FiveAI did was take two of the three parts that will cause them to go into bankruptcy. Not the third.

The solution is to move most of this to simulation. But not gaming tech since it cannot produce anything close to a legitimate physics based digital twin. You need DoD simulation technology. More on this below.

Proposal for Successfully Creating an Autonomous Ground or Air Vehicle


Simulation can create a Complete Digital Twin of the Real World if DoD/Aerospace Technology is used

Autonomous Vehicles Need to Have Accidents to Develop this Technology

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

Why are Autonomous Vehicle makers using Deep Learning over Dynamic Sense and Avoid with Dynamic Collision Avoidance? Seems very inefficient and needlessly dangerous?


The Hype of Geofencing for Autonomous Vehicles

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.

Key Industry Participation

- Lead — SAE On-Road Autonomous Driving SAE Model and Simulation Task

- Member SAE ORAD Verification and Validation Task Force

- Member DIN/SAE International Alliance for Mobility Testing & Standardization (IAMTS) Sensor Simulation Specs

- Stakeholder for UL4600 — Creating AV Safety Guidelines

- Member of the IEEE Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Systems Policy Committee (AI&ASPC)

- Presented the IEEE Barus Ethics Award for Post 9/11 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