Robbie Miller, ex-Uber manager now with Pronto.AI, is not a whistleblower nor ethical

I just listened to Autonomous News Shift’s podcast with Robbie Miller the ex-operations manager for Uber who is now a safety executive at Andy Levandowski’s Pronto.AI. Miller raised safety issues inside Uber before leaving and Elaine Herzberg being killed. His warnings didn’t involve stopping the needless practice of safety driving but how many corners were being cut doing it. At no time did he go to any outside authorities or the press about his concerns. Which is what an actual whistleblower would do. And he now uses the same needless and reckless safety driving process at Pronto.AI vs switching 99.9% of their public shadow and safety driving for development and testing over to aerospace/DoD (not gaming) based simulation technology.

What Miller clearly doesn’t understand is that he is not on much higher ground than any other AV maker using safety driving. That process cannot be made safe in complex or time critical scenarios, which includes most accident scenarios, by any monitor and alarm system or training. Worst of all the process, combined with public shadow driving, is untenable. It can never lead to L4 or saving the lives that technology would save because it is so massively inefficient. You can’t drive the trillion miles nor spend the $300B to do so.

The link to the podcast can be found here —

Here is the article —

Some of my notes from the podcast

· Miller states his internal letter was the “best option to get serious issues across”. Yes, he left but went to no outside authorities or the press and had zero problems gaining employment elsewhere. (Which is the point. Had he raised issues publicly he would have been an outcast. So, Elaine Herzberg and Rafaela Vasquez had to suffer instead.)

· He commented that the “Uber accident was pretty tragic”. Pronto.AI is basically doing no different. Relies on safety driving. Which includes thousands of accident scenarios that will have to be run thousands of times each. And require the safety or Kamikaze drivers to not disengage and commit suicide to learn not just avoiding accidents but handling them the best possible.

· Miller said, “basic ethics tell you if you are pitting people at risk like this you have to stop”. His example was driving on a sidewalk. This is the most telling statement. Killing people with a sharp knife is apparently more ethical than a dull one. Again, how is Pronto going to train avoiding and handling accident scenarios.

· His fix is to drive LESS safety driving miles. That will cause less deaths but stop development.

· He stated that other AV makers are crashing more than regular drivers. OF COURSE THEY ARE — you are developing the systems that have to be taught to even be as good as a human and safety driving doesn’t work in complex or time critical scenarios.

· Miller never mentioned simulation once.

· He and the hosts said the process requires millions of miles being driven. No, it’s hundreds of billions or more. RAND said 500B — Toyota a trillion

· They also both state driver monitoring can make handover safe in all scenarios which is not accurate.

More on my POV here

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

Rafaela Vasquez and Elaine Herzberg are both victims in Uber tragedy — There is a better way

First of thousands of accidents involving children test subjects in autonomous vehicle development has occurred

The Hype of Geofencing for Autonomous Vehicles

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Magazine-End Public Shadow Driving

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.

Systems Engineer, Engineering/Program Management -- DoD/Aerospace/IT - Autonomous Systems Air & Ground, FAA Simulation, UAM, V2X, C4ISR, Cybersecurity