Mercedes says its Drive Pilot L3 system has legal responsibility for driving until it disengages-There are issues with that and the mode being viable at all

Michael DeKort
2 min readMar 23, 2022


Reference article — Mercedes To Accept Liability When Autonomous Drive Pilot Is Engaged

Mercedes is the first to announce they not the human driver, are responsible for the vehicle’s autonomous performance. However, that is only up to disengagement. And that is likely a big problem. The concern lies around providing the driver enough time to regain situational awareness. In the UK they deemed the time for the ODD and top speed used here to be 10 seconds. (At 40mph that is 580ft. Or about two football field.) That time may be plenty. However, that assumes a 580ft gap to all other objects or potential hazards. What if something pops up much closer? Or, how does it handle bouncing back and forth, in and out of the mode? This all leads to the other issue. When is the mode going to engage if a 580ft gap is needed at all times? And the system is already limited by time of day and weather? I guess folks in Montana and the like can use it?

Note-The 10 seconds is a UK requirement

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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, a software project manager on an Aegis Weapon System baseline, and on C4ISR for DoD/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-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