NHTSA Opens Probe on Tesla’s “Autopilot” Crashes with Parked Emergency Vehicles

Michael DeKort
3 min readAug 16, 2021

The article — US opens formal probe into Tesla Autopilot system — https://seekingalpha.com/pr/18436888-us-agency-opens-formal-probe-tesla-autopilot-system

NHTSA says it has identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit vehicles at scenes where first responders have used flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards. The agency announced the action Monday in a posting on its website. (Note-One of the 8 police cars was shoved into an ambulance. Pure luck no one was killed in any of the crashes.)

While this is a positive development, NHTSA, and to a slightly lesser degree the NTSB, has been an enabler of Tesla’s “Autopilot” and “Full Self Driving” debacle. As the article mentions it has had several other “Investigations” open for a very long time. How long does it take to use common sense? Or setting that aside, grab a Tesla, a test track and some of these vehicles. It would take a day to confirm the sensor system is a nightmare. (Not counting the whole development approach is untenable from a cost, time, safety and technical POV.) Unfortunately, it appears NHTSA like the industry will need a small child or family killed before they do something significant.

The NTSB frets over human Guinea pigs then chastises and punts to the even more reckless NHTSA

· https://imispgh.medium.com/the-ntsb-frets-over-human-guinea-pigs-then-chastises-and-punts-to-the-even-more-reckless-nhtsa-f406046ddd3

More detail here. Including how to do this right.

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

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

Judge rules Tesla “autopilot” false advertising lawsuit can proceed- And to consider an injunction to stop “Autopilot” and “FSD”

· https://imispgh.medium.com/judge-rules-tesla-autopilot-false-advertising-lawsuit-can-proceed-cfd51e85aa5b

Elon’s Olympic level backpedaling on “Autopilot” future in earnings call-Is he worried about discovery and a potential injunction in the CA false advertising case?

· https://imispgh.medium.com/elons-olympic-level-backpedaling-on-autopilot-future-in-earnings-call-is-he-worried-about-e84346d5dbb8

Tesla’s “rapid improvement with pure vision” “autopilot” update is another grossly negligent dud

· https://imispgh.medium.com/teslas-rapid-improvement-with-pure-vision-autopilot-update-is-another-grossly-negligent-dud-10e83ceb8fb3

Tesla “Autopilot” killed a teenager in 2019 — Do we really need it to be a young child or family?

· https://imispgh.medium.com/tesla-autopilot-killed-a-teenager-in-2019-do-we-really-need-it-to-be-a-young-child-or-family-39d684f998c9

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

· https://imispgh.medium.com/elon-admits-autopilot-development-was-harder-than-expected-but-he-nor-anyone-else-actually-gets-d44120af2f65

The NTSB frets over human Guinea pigs then chastises and punts to the even more reckless NHTSA

· https://imispgh.medium.com/the-ntsb-frets-over-human-guinea-pigs-then-chastises-and-punts-to-the-even-more-reckless-nhtsa-f406046ddd3

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 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

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

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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