Safety “Experts” calling for Driverless Safety Standards is a Hypocritical Reckless Joke

Michael DeKort
2 min readMay 17, 2021

Case in point from Phil Koopman’s blog —

At 30kft of course it makes sense to create meaningful minimal and testable safety standards

Where Koopman and the rest, including NHTSA and the NTSB, get it wrong and literally contribute to needless human injury and casualties

· These are PRODUCTION standards not development standards. They have no relevance to “safety driving” or the use of needless human Guinea pigs in or outside the vehicle. They do not resolve that issue, the injuries and deaths that have already occurred and the thousands coming as the AV makers learn and test edge, corner, and crash scenarios.

· L4 will never be reached using current development methods. That means these standards will never apply.

· Avoiding disengagement data under the guise of it being “a score card” is ridiculous. Every standard met that is based on testable criteria provides a score. Additionally, most scenario or use case failures would result in a disengagement.

· NONE of the standards listed result in any minimal list of testable scenarios or use cases. These are all frameworks or guidance that assume the user follows proper engineering due diligence. NONE of the AV makers or OEMs has earned that level of trust.

· “Safety first” — Again this is a negligent joke. There is no such thing as “safety first” when you rely on an untenable development and test method that requires the needless use, harm, and death of human Guinea pigs.

The ONLY actual “experts” I am aware of who get this are the USDOT VOICES team

More details here

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


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


Silicon Valley and Agile are Ruining Engineering


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


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 USDOT VOICES (Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety)

- 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



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