Elon Musk is on the news almost everyday now and not all of it seems to be good attention. He is facing issues from the Tesla end this time. There has been a full-page advertisement in the New York Times that warns about Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving presents a life-threatening danger to child pedestrians.’
The cost of the ad was around $150,000 and it was given by a software maker The Dawn Project. It claims to highlight safety testing conducted by the firm in October. A video of testing shows that the Tesla system does not recognize the smaller mannequins and runs them over.
The testing involved a man driving in a Tesla on a back road and running over child-size mannequins in his path.
The latest version of the system Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta 10.69.2.2 was used. The vehicle collided with a 29-inch mannequin at speeds as low as 15 miles per hour and it ran over a four-foot-tall one at 20 miles per hour. A similar test was done in August which did not quite meet the bar either.
Dan O’Dowd, the billionaire behind The Dawn Project, narrates the August video and calls for Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta software to be banned from the road, saying Tesla’s software is ‘the worst commercial software I’ve ever seen.’
The responding letter accused O’Dowd of ‘disseminating defamatory information to the public regarding the capabilities of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving.’
The Dawn Project has now stated:
‘Our survey shows that 93 percent of registered voters agree that a Full Self-Driving car that would run down a child in the road must be banned from our roads immediately,’ O’Dowd shared regarding the October findings.
‘Why didn’t the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recall this product months ago, in accordance with the will of the people?’
The founder continues to rhetorically ask ‘how many children need to die before NHTSA or the DMV will implement the will of the people?’
The issue, according to The Dawn Project, is that the system does not pick up on the 29-inch mannequins, which can be deadly in the real world.
‘By now Elon Musk, the Tesla engineers, and the Board of Directors of Tesla all know that their product will mow down a child walking in a crosswalk,’ O’Dowd shared in the advertisement.
‘Yet they continue to recklessly sell and distribute a product that they know is defective and deadly.
‘They continue to direct the resources of the world’s richest man to churn out new features and conveniences for their Full Self-Driving product, but not to fixing its deadly defects.’