NHTSA Recuses Missy Cummings from Tesla efforts — This goes beyond the legitimate Conflict of Interest

Reference article — NHTSA Safety Advisor Dr. Mary “Missy” Cummings ordered to recuse herself from any matters relating to Tesla — https://driveteslacanada.ca/news/nhtsa-safety-advisor-dr-mary-missy-cummings-ordered-to-recuse-herself-from-any-matters-relating-to-tesla/

My issues and significant disappointment with Missy Cumming are documented in my article below. I would like to add to it a bit though.

We now know Missy was paid $400,000 by Veoneer. Missy Cummings has little experience that warrants this. She was paid this exorbitant sum mostly for PR purposes. Given her position and efforts around safety in the industry and being a professor of robotics, she should have no paid involvement with any industry players at all. And if she advises anyone, that advise should be made public. This is the conflict NHTSA likely knew about and ignored. Those folks should be under investigation now as well. Veoneer should have also stayed a mile away from this. Tesla had a right to complain here given LiDAR is a competitive technology. Meaning Tesla, (and Wayve in the UK) are camera sensor only companies. While most, including myself think this is an incompetent and dangerous position and LiDAR, as well as imaging radar should be added, Missy set up an avoidable conflict. As did NHTSA. Regarding Tesla’s cited conflict regarding Missy’s public condemnation of Tesla. That was her right as a citizen and given her advocation, part of her job. But again, she wasted that with the conflict.

Beyond this is focus by Missy and the industry on Tesla. It is wildly disingenuous, hypocritical, and dangerous. Yes, Tesla is the most egregious for several reasons I go into below. And I agree with Missy’s criticism. But it is not the only reckless offender. Every one of Tesla’s competitors uses the same basic untenable development and test approach, inferior gaming simulation technology and unnecessary human Guinea pigs. They will harm and fatally injure less people, but thousands, nonetheless. And never get near L4 either. Missy is squandering her stature, position, and experience, especially in having used the simulation technology that would turn all of this around. Unfortunately, she chose to ignore broadening her education role into understanding the difference between gaming sim tech and aerospace/DoD/FAA sim tech and go for the echo chamber ego feed and cash instead. And yes, I discussed this with her directly. She refused to have the conversation. (More on this and the right way to do this below.) And not only that, Missy also doesn’t participate in any SAE air or ground autonomous system testing or safety groups. (Nor do most AV makers.) Why is that? Particularly given their charter is to assist the industry and governments in creating standards and legislation.

Regarding the LiDAR push in the industry. As I stated. LiDAR should be added. But so should imaging radar, even more so actually. Radar overcomes LiDAR’s lighting and weather issues. And imaging radar can perform macro classification. LiDAR is not widely used for object classification right now. Nor object location. Or creating tracks. And when it is the update rate is 10hz or lass, which is way too slow. However, LiDAR’s forte is localization. As such it, imaging radar and cameras should comprise a proper AV public domain sensor system.

More detail here. Including how to do this right.

NHTSA brings Missy Cummings on board — That will likely mean very little in the end

· https://imispgh.medium.com/nhtsa-brings-missy-cummings-on-board-that-will-likely-mean-very-little-in-the-end-50434702d950

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

NHTSA should impose an immediate “Autopilot” moratorium and report initial investigation findings in 30 days

· https://imispgh.medium.com/nhtsa-should-impose-an-immediate-autopilot-moratorium-and-report-initial-investigation-findings-de5b6da4d704

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

How the failed Iranian hostage rescue in 1980 can save the Autonomous Vehicle industry

· https://imispgh.medium.com/how-the-failed-iranian-hostage-rescue-in-1980-can-save-the-autonomous-vehicle-industry-be76238dea36

USDOT introduces VOICES Proof of Concept for Autonomous Vehicle Industry-A Paradigm Shift?

· https://imispgh.medium.com/usdot-introduces-voices-proof-of-concept-for-autonomous-vehicle-industry-a-paradigm-shift-87a12aa1bc3a

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-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) https://assets.techbriefs.com/EML/2021/digital_editions/ave/AVE-202109.pdf

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