Waymo Engineer Issues Most Infuriating Car-related Tweet We've Ever Read

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The internet is a black hole filled with an endless stream of stupid thoughts and bad ideas. While it’s usually best to ignore it, every so often something breaks through the obnoxious drone of social media that is so egregious, you couldn’t possibly turn a blind eye if you wanted to.

We are obligated to present to you a recent tweet from Vahid Kazemi, a software engineer for Google’s self-driving arm Waymo, and describe how it made us feel.

Kazemi begins his digital announcement stating that he’s driving in Los Angeles. While that isn’t a crime in itself, it is a humblebrag to all the jerks currently occupying flyover states that offer a better standard of living for less money but none of the prestige.

How do I know that? Because I do this all the time, specifically to make myself feel superior to others. Do I actually feel any better when I tell friends in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that I’m currently “enjoying a New York slice?” Not really. But the impulse is too strong to resist when the card is right there for you to play.

Moving on, we come to the infuriating meat of Vahid’s tweet. Here he tells everyone with access to a computer that, over the last two days, he has almost murdered five strangers. He’s also repeatedly lost control of the rental vehicle he has been issued. As someone who drives rentals fairly often, I’ve not had this problem — which means Kazemi is either joking or one of the world’s worst drivers.

However, even if this is just a big goof on his part, there is usually some truth in comedy. I do believe Vahid probably almost killed someone while behind the wheel of a borrowed automobile and I also believe his first impulse was to tweet about it jokingly on a public forum. Which is absolutely hilarious, by the way.

His defense was that the rental didn’t have have the same autonomous features his own car has. We already know that relying on driving aids eventually make you a shittier driver. However, the smugness that comes along with it is a new development. That’s easily the most obnoxious portion of this tweet. Kazemi makes a not-so-subtle case for mandating autonomous vehicles using his own ineptitude as an argument.

I can’t breakdance and I would probably hurt myself pretty badly if I tried. In fact, there’s an video from 2008 of that exact thing happening. But I’m not going to make a blanket statement that indicts breakdancing as evil just because it isn’t a skill I possess. Of course, I don’t work for a company that will make more money once nobody is allowed to breakdance anymore.

Alright, this breakdancing analogy is flying off the rails. The point is that Kazemi said something dumb and contentious without even realizing it. I think that’s what makes this autonomous revolution kind of scary. There’s this sense that it isn’t being controlled by people who love cars. I’m sure the Waymo engineer in question is a fine person, but he said something that outed himself as non-enthusiast bent on ending driving, and that’s rather troubling. It confirms what we’ve all suspected and gives us a face to vent our frustrations upon.

As a result, Vahid ended up being teased over his statement and the zingers kept on coming — even after he deleted the original tweet and posted a backpedaling response (which he also deleted).

[Images via Twitter]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Markogts Markogts on Dec 06, 2017

    "There’s this sense that it isn’t being controlled by people who love cars." I think this goes straight to the 2017 understatement contest.

  • AtoB AtoB on Dec 10, 2017

    "Do I actually feel any better when I tell friends in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that I’m currently “enjoying a New York slice?” I prefer Detroit square myself.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys i was only here for torchinsky
  • Tane94 Workhorse probably will be added to the heap of failed EV companies.
  • Freddie Instead of taking the day off, how about an article on the connection between Black Americans and the auto industry and car culture? Having done zero research, two topics pop into my head: Chrysler designer/executive Ralph Gilles, and the famous (infamous?) "Green Book".
  • Tane94 Either Elio Motors or Aptera Motors.
  • Billccm I think we will see history repeat itself. The French acquired AMC in the 1980s, discovered they couldn't make easy money, sold AMC off to Chrysler. Jeep is all that remained. This time the French acquired FCA, and they are discovering no easy profits. Assume an Asian manufacturer will acquire what remains of Chrysler, but this time Jeep and RAM are the only survivors.
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