Dan O’Dowd, a California entrepreneur and fierce critic of Tesla, funded a campaign during the Super Bowl to attack the autopilot’s Autopilot. He claims to fight for “ making autonomous driving technologies safer for humanity ».
Dan O’Dowd, Elon Musk’s worst enemy?
On the occasion of the 2024 Super Bowl, Dan O’Dowd, the founder of Dawn Project, released two advertisements calling on consumers to boycott Tesla. He claims that people who buy an electric car from the American brand “ put money in Elon Musk’s pocket, and finance his dangerous autonomous driving experiments “. He speaks of a “ great risk » for drivers and pedestrians.
In a press release published on Sunday February 11, 2024, Dan O’Dowd explains that “ Tesla has repeatedly failed to remedy its faulty Autopilot “. He has already tried to pressure Tesla and Elon Musk so that the billionaire withdraws his “ dangerous technologies on our roads “. But he believes that the only thing that can work, “ is to deprive the company of [son] argent ».
Elon Musk threatens his competitors with bankruptcy
This is the second year in a row that Dan O’Dowd has criticized Tesla during the Super Bowl. A survey carried out by the Washington Post in the fall of 2023 had precisely highlighted the potential failures of the system. A few weeks later, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) decided to recall more than 2 million Tesla models.
The Dawn Project calls to boycott Tesla
One of the commercials aired shows a Tesla crushing child-sized mannequins. Images which also led Tesla to send a letter of formal notice to the Dawn Project. In parallel, O’Dowd and Fondé Green Hills Software, a company that makes operating systems for cars and airplanes. Musk’s supporters accuse Dan O’Dowd of wanting to protect his company’s interests.
For its part, Tesla maintains that its software is intended for use by “ a fully attentive driver » and states that he is “ morally indefensible not to make these systems available to more consumers “. Dan O’Dowd is convinced that “ people would ban them if they knew the truth, if they really understood what Elon is doing with Autopilot ».
In another advert broadcast, we relive an accident in which a 50-year-old father was killed in 2019 when his Tesla passed under the trailer of a truck. Or this moment when a Tesla ran a stop sign and traffic lights on a Florida road. Just before plowing into a parked vehicle and throwing a young couple into the air, killing one of them and leaving the other seriously injured.
Autopilot at the center of the debate
In the spots, we hear a voice saying: “ Tesla abdicates responsibility for Autopilot-related accidents by highlighting a note buried in the owner’s manual that says Autopilot is only safe on highways “. These ads will also air in several US states. In California, Delaware, Michigan and Washington State.
Tesla: Elon Musk seems very worried about Chinese manufacturers
It must be recognized that Tesla is struggling to deploy a “ TRUE » autonomous driving system. FSD v12 (Full-Self-Driving) has been available in beta for a few days. It’s a bit of the last hope for the brand. Even if Tesla is doing quite well after the successes of 2023, the company is faced with stagnation in its turnover and concern about Wall Street in the face of Elon Musk’s numerous deviations.
The Tesla boss recently requested a larger stake in Tesla. His will ? “ Making the company a leader in AI and robotics “. In fact, he wanted to take 25% of the company’s capital and even threatened to “ develop technologies outside of Tesla » if he didn’t achieve his goals. If some investors are starting to get annoyed, others still support the billionaire tooth and nail.
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