Organization That Said Tesla FSD Failed To Avoid Child Dummy Runs Full Page Ad In NYT


The Dawn Project, an organization that is critical of Tesla’s “full self-driving” (FSD) technology, ran a full-page ad in the New York Times this week decrying the company’s advanced driver assistance technologies.

The ad ran on November 6 and was centered on an open letter to Tesla, penned by its founder, Dan O’Dowd. A controversial figure in his own right, as the ad states, O’Dowd is also the president and CEO of Green Hills Software, which provides equipment to other automakers working on their own driver assistance systems, leading some to accuse him of having conflicted interests.

The letter references a test run by the Dawn Project, that found that a vehicle driving with FSD would “repeatedly run down a moving child-sized mannequin in its path.” It demands, then, that the automaker disable the software in its vehicles immediately, suggesting that the company and its representatives could be culpable of manslaughter.

More: Senate Candidate Attacks Tesla’s Full Self-Driving In Ad Where FSD Doesn’t Appear To Be Engaged

One of the tests that it references, though, came under scrutiny of its own for certain inconsistencies. Some shots shown in a video published this summer showed that the system was not active, though the company did later release footage showing the system was active, albeit at a lower speed.

That led Tesla to write a cease-and-desist letter to the Dawn Project and O’Dowd in August, which apparently did not discourage them from publishing another video of a test allegedly showing a Tesla with FSD on running over a mannequin. The automaker claimed in its letter, though, that “the purported tests misuse and misrepresent the capabilities of Tesla’s technology.”

The automaker has also been accused of misrepresenting its technology, however. The name of the controversial system at the heart of this issue, “Full Self-Driving,” has led to complaints from elected officials and the California DMV, which said that the name could be “untrue or misleading.”

More: Tesla Sends Cease-And-Desist Letter To Group Funded By Billionaire That Ran FSD Child Mannequin Test

Tesla’s advanced driver assistance systems are also under investigation from federal regulators. Its “Autopilot” feature, which is less advanced than FSD, has been linked to a number of fatal accidents and there is no shortage of evidence pointing to the fact that Tesla drivers fundamentally misunderstand the capabilities and limits of the system, an issue that affects all automaker’s driver assistance systems. No other automaker’s system has been linked to as many accidents, though.

In a press release accompanying its full-page ad, the Dawn Project demands that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issue an “emergency recall of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software to ensure that road users and pedestrians are protected from the dangers posed by the mass deployment of this technology on public roads.”


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