Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system (FSD) has been in a lot of hot water ever since it was announced. Alongside the so-called “Autopilot” feature, these two are seen by a growing number of interested parties as not only deceivingly named bits of technology but actually dangerous applications that could put people’s lives at stake. Therefore, some are seeing fit to fight them on any level, and one of the latest episodes in this “fight” is currently unraveling, with the help of the New York Times.
That’s because recently, the NYT ran a full-page ad that had some very interesting claims regarding the Tesla FSD software. To be more specific, the Dawn Project advocacy group ran an ad saying that the Tesla FSD software is dangerous, uses us as real-life dummies and it is “the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company”. This is an important claim, because, at the bottom of the page, the Dawn Project is offering $10,000 to anyone who can “name another commercial product from a Fortune 500 company that has a critical malfunction every 8 minutes.” How come? It’s all in the ad.
As you can see in this tweet, featuring a photo of the whole thing, the Dawn Project makes some acid comments regarding Elon Musk’s software. According to them, after analyzing several “YouTube videos”, they came to the conclusion that if the Tesla FSD software was in charge of every car on the road, millions would die every day. Furthermore, FSD malfunctions every 8 minutes and commits a Critical Driving Error, as defined by the California DMV evaluation system and, therefore, humans are “thousands of times” better at driving than the Tesla system.
Now, before you rush to any conclusions, some mentions have to be made. First of all, the Dawn Project was founded by Dan O’Dowd and he is also running Green Hills Software, a company that’s developing autonomous driving systems as well. O’Dowd might be made out to some sort of avid attention seeker, because he’s coming out with such outlandish claims, especially since his company and Elon’s are direct rivals.
However, what many people don’t know is that the Tesla FSD was developed using Green Hills Software technology in the beginning. Sure, Elon Musk was quick to dismiss the claims on Twitter and called GHS software as a “pile of trash” but what does that make FSD then, considering it was initially developed on the same platform? At the end of the day, this is probably just a clever way of attracting a lot of attention to GHS, which is offering driving assistance tech to various car makers in the industry but the discussion around their claims will stir up a lot of heated debates online.