If Waymo is really L4, why are they hiding data from Chandler residents and the rest of us?

Michael DeKort
3 min readApr 1, 2021

The article — https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/waymo-arizona-abrupt-stops-angry-residents-are-still-a-problem-11541896

Several key paragraphs here

“Yet the company hasn’t been totally transparent with metro Phoenix residents, refusing to turn over data showing how many times the vehicles’ autonomous function has failed while driving around Chandler, Tempe, and other Valley areas. The latest police reports help to explain why the company has struggled in its deployment of a fully driverless fleet. Although its vehicles can operate in driverless mode, nearly all still have backup drivers behind the wheel when they’re on the road.”

“Waymo has served select passengers with its Waymo One program in Chandler and parts of metro Phoenix since late 2018, sometimes utilizing vehicles with no backup drivers. The secretive company, owned by Alphabet, the parent of Google, won’t say how much of its fleet is running without backup drivers at any given time, but previous reports have estimated it’s no more than 10 percent.”

In addition to refusing to provide disengagement data and using backup drivers 90% of the time, the article discussed the recent “safety data” Waymo put out regarding the system’s performance in accidents that occurred in the area in the past. While some of that is good news, much of it is suspect. The reporter catches some of it. There is much more in my article here:

Be Wary of Waymo’s New Safety Record and Brad Templeton’s Declaration the System is Superhuman and should be Deployed Today

· https://imispgh.medium.com/be-wary-of-waymos-new-safety-record-and-brad-templeton-s-declaration-the-system-is-superhuman-and-ea59f5739567

If Waymo is legitimately L4 why wouldn’t it be eager to provide the full data set and prove it? Seems like that would be a great differentiator?

More on how to do this right in my articles here

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

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

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

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

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

- Founder SAE On-Road Autonomous Driving Simulation Task Force

- Member SAE ORAD Verification and Validation Task Force

- 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