Dan O’Dowd, the man behind the Dawn Project and its attacks on Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta has released a new video on the eve of the Super Bowl, calling on the NHTSA to shut down the beta testing program.
O’Dowd, the billionaire founder of Green Hills Software company, launched a Senate campaign in California last year where he attacked Tesla’s Full Self-Driving program. The antagonist’s goal for the multimillion-dollar ad campaign was to ban the technology on US public roads.
The billionaire eventually lost his ban bid, but the attack morphed into another form known as “The Dawn Project,” which he still maintains.
Last year, Tesla sent a cease and desist letter to the Dawn Project over its ad called “The Dangers of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Software.” The ad shows a Tesla Model 3 hitting a child dummy in an in-house test. The test was unscientific and only focused on the worst performances.
O’Dowd is taking his campaign to new heights by releasing a new video on the eve of the Super Bowl. He tried to hype the ad by posting it on Twitter calling it his “Super Bowl ad,” adding that the National Highway Transport Safety Agency (NHTSA) “must turn off FSD until Tesla fixes all safety defects.”
Although O’Dowd has the resources to run an ad during the Super Bowl it is unclear if we will actually see it on air tomorrow. It could be that he is merely trying to hype it as such.
The ad has collected another set of FSD Beta performances, with Tesla cars hitting dummies in a series of very unscientific tests, similar to the videos he released last year. It is also questionable because he doesn’t test other driver-assist software currently available to show how they perform in similar scenarios.
As Tesla has always said, the driver must still always pay attention and be ready to take over control of the vehicle at any moment.
It is also worth noting that O’Dowd’s Green Hills Software has said it is working on its own software for driver assist features. This would mean the company is a competitor to Tesla in that space.
Campaigns like O’Dowd’s have not prevented FSD Beta subscribers from growing 40% in just three weeks in North America. However, the NHTSA stopped Tesla from removing FSD Beta steering wheel warning, which has become a pain in the neck for testers.
Tesla has been the subject of Super Bowl ads before, although it is usually not the one footing the bill.