The Dawn Project takes out full-page NY Times ad claiming millions would die every day if Tesla’s FSD was in every car [Update]

An organization known as ‘The Dawn Project’, which purports to be a world leader in “creating software that never fails and can’t be hacked,” is taking aim at Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD).

In a full-page ad in the NY Times published on Sunday, January 16, 2022, The Dawn Project says the public shouldn’t be “crash test dummies for thousands of Tesla cars” with FSD, calling it “the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company.”

The hyperbole doesn’t stop there. The project’s founder, Dan O’Dowd, continues to say they have analyzed “many hours” of YouTube videos, and arrived at the following conclusions:

  • If Full Self-Driving was fully self-driving every car, millions would die every day
  • About every 8 minutes, Full Self-Driving malfunctions and commits a Critical Driving Error, as defined by the California DMV Driving Performance Evaluation
  • About every 36 minutes, Tesla Full Self-Driving commits an unforced error that if not corrected by a human would likely cause a collision
  • Unassisted, Full Self-Driving can’t reliably drive for one day without crashing, but human driver drive many years between crashes
  • Humans are thousands of times better at driving than Tesla Full Self-Driving

O’Dowd is so committed to the project that he is offering a $10,000 reward “to the first person who can name another commercial product from a Fortune 500 company that has a critical malfunction every 8 minutes.”

On the surface the whole thing looks like a desperate attempt to be seen as relevant through a series of lies, half-truths, and deceptions, but perhaps the biggest deception is from the founder himself, Dan O’Dowd.

According to O’Dowd’s LinkedIn profile, not only is he the founder of The Dawn Project, but also the current CEO of Green Hills Software.

A quick review of the company’s website reveals they provide software that helps “automotive companies achieve the safety and security necessary for production-level ADAS [Advanced Driver Assist Systems] and automated driving systems.”

The company most recently worked with BMW and their new iX all-electric sports utility vehicle according to a news release on January 5, 2022 published on their website.

Why is someone who provides software to competing automakers so keen on taking down Tesla’s Full Self-Driving?

UPDATE: Elon Musk has chimed in, calling Green Hills Software “a pile of trash.”

You can see the full-page NY Times ad below, as well as two “verification documents” they created to support the claims they make above.



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