Next NHTSA senior safety advisor is vocal Tesla critic Mary “Missy” Cummings [Update]

MissyCummings
Photo by Mark Johnson

Mary Louise Cummings is apparently set to become the next safety advisor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although not official yet, a government official told Reuters yesterday the Duke University engineering and computer science professor has been selected for the job.

While you might not have heard the name Missy Cummings (as she is known on Twitter), the appointment should be a concerning one for all Tesla fans and investors.

A quick browse through her Twitter timelines reveals she is a vocal Tesla critic. She appears to be particularly critical of Tesla’s approach to autonomy and Full Self-Driving, having tweeted about the subject on an almost daily basis showing a clear bias against the EV automaker.

That is unless you’re blocked from seeing her tweets.

UPDATE October 21 2:45PM PST: In an apparent attempt to hide evidence of his misdeeds, Cummings made her Twitter account private. A few hours later and she has now deleted her Twitter account altogether.

cummings deleted

According to multiple Tesla Twitter accounts, Cummings appears to be using a block list. This tactic is typically employed by $TSLAQ, or those who think Tesla is a scam and will eventually go bankrupt.

The lists are shared among the community as a way to filter out anything that might paint Tesla in a positive light.

If you are able to view her tweets, she appears to regularly interact with infamous TSLAQ accounts like TC (@TESLAcharts), having retweeted and responded to the account several times.

If that wasn’t enough to show her bias against Tesla, she also appears to have a very large conflict of interest.

According to a listing of Veoneer Board of Directors, Mary Louise Cummings is a Director and Member of the Audit Committee, a position for which she receives approximately $400,000 in compensation per year in company shares (h/t: @wholemarsblog)

Veoneer Cummings Image via Veoneer

If you are wondering what Veoneer is, they are a company that “develops and manufactures state-of-the-art software, hardware and systems for Advanced-Driving Assistance Systems, Collaborative and Automated Driving,” with a focus on LiDAR.

Would someone on the board of a company that specializes in LiDAR want to slow down Tesla, a company that has repeatedly said LiDAR is not the solution to autonomy?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has already commented on the appointment, holding the same view that Cummings is more than just a little biased against Tesla.

Unsurprisingly, Cummings responded to Musk, welcoming an in-person chat with the CEO. If he accepts, he might want to make sure it is a virtual meeting considering what she has previously said would happen in a sit-down meeting with him.

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca