‘Worst commercial software’
But this objective is being threatened by an advocacy group The Dawn Project, founded by Dan O’Dowd, the CEO of Green Hills Software, who recently launched a highly critical campaign against Tesla and the FSD.
In a commercial broadcast on TV stations across the country, the Dawn Project claims through O’Dowd’s voice that FSD is “the worst commercial software I’ve ever seen.”
“On the public road, 100,000 Tesla drivers already use Full Self-Driving. I’m Dan O’Dowd. I am a safety engineer. And Tesla Full Self-Driving is the worst commercial software I’ve ever seen – tell Congress to shut it down.”
“Our new safety test of @ElonMusk’s fully self-driving Teslas found that they will mow down children indiscriminately,” O’Dowd also claimed in a tweet.
His advocacy group is therefore calling on regulators and Congress to shut down FSD until Musk and Tesla demonstrate that their cars equipped with the system will not mow down children. Indeed, the video taken by the group shows Tesla cars mowing down a child’s mannequin in a closed-off test track.
The campaign has received massive backlash from Tesla and Musk fans who have used social media to defend the company and its technology. Some Tesla customers have even made videos showing them in their Tesla with FSD on. Once the vehicle is in motion, it is seen dodging a child, often the child of the car owner. YouTube has removed these videos for violating its content policy, CNBC reported.
Aware that O’Dowd’s campaign is wreaking havoc given its social media interactions, Tesla has just counterattacked by launching a shutdown letter to The Dawn Project in which the electric vehicle manufacturer says the campaign is misinformation and that the so-called tests conducted by O’Dowd are a misrepresentation of its technology. That’s why Tesla O’Dowd is asking, among other things, to withdraw the TV ad, issue a public retraction, disclose the funding sources for this campaign, or risk being sued.
“It has come to our attention that you, personally, and The Dawn Project have discredited Tesla’s commercial interests and disseminated defamatory information to the public about the capabilities of Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) (Beta) technology” Tesla wrote in his letter of termination.
The WashingPost was the first to report on Tesla’s threat to sue The Dawn Project.
This campaign comes at a bad time for Tesla as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating FSD after numerous crashes. The California DMV has accused Tesla of false advertising regarding its driver assistance systems.
“Master Scammer Musk threatens to sue me over a TV ad,” O’Dowd said on Twitter. “Turns out Mr. Freedom of Speech absolutist is just another crybaby hiding behind his lawyer’s skirt. I think I hurt his witty feet. Now the coward takes out @elonmusk and sends pawns to his fight to feed.”
In a tweet posted on August 25, Musk called O’Dowd “crazy.”
O’Dowd is CEO of Green Hills Software, a company that helps industry groups improve the security of their technologies by flushing out bugs and other security flaws. Auto customers include Tesla rivals Ford
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