Dan O’Dowd, known as one of Tesla’s main detractors, took advantage of the Super Bowl to issue an ad directly accusing the FSD autonomous driving system of the brand’s electric cars. Except that it includes a lot of elements that suggest it’s actually a lie.
Since its arrival in the brand’s cars in 2015, the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system has not stopped being talked about. Sometimes for the better, when he would avoid at least 40 accidents a day, but mostly for the worse. In fact, very often it is accused of causing collisions and it would even be under investigation by US courts by deceit
A paid video
Authorities accuse Elon Musk of misleading his customers into believing that this Tier 2 system is efficient enough to drive alone. However, this is not the case. On the other hand, it is a functionality that does offer the FSD (full self-driving) already marketed by the manufacturer and currently in beta testing in the United States. However, if this level 2 system is more efficient (and could be similar to a level 3 autonomous driving), although it will soon dispense with sensors in favor of cameras, it is not foolproof either.
Last January, an engineer claimed that video posted in 2016 showing its capabilities was actually fake. A first blow for the manufacturer, which will now have to face new charges. This time they come from Dan O’Dowd and The Dawn Project Children’s Association, which had already published a video last August stating that the FSD could ram children. This had been debunked by us, which proved it to be inauthentic.
Today, the detractor has returned and has done it in a big way. Indeed, this time he took advantage of the Super Bowl, the American football final followed by more than 100 million Americans, to unveil a new video against Tesla. For its broadcast, with a duration of 30 seconds, they would have spent more than 600,000 euros. However, the “ad” is unprofessional, while it doesn’t seem to convey any real message, except that the FSD is unreliable.
To do this, several shots follow one another, showing in particular a Tesla Model 3 hitting the dummy of a child crossing the street. Then we see pictures of the interior of the car, who want to show that the FSD does not respect the highway code, giving priority to a school bus or entering a work zone from the wrong direction. The sequence ends with the phrase ” Why does NHTSA (American Highway Safety) authorize Tesla’s fully autonomous driving? »
A fake video?
On paper, the intentions of The Dawn Project association could be laudable, thus alerting motorists about this system that is still perfectible. It should be enhanced with Cybertruck, which will benefit from new software when it is released. Except that the approach of Dan O’Dowd, a software developer in life, seems to be more geared towards the simple desire to discredit the brand. Because ? We will probably never know.
But anyway, and as explained numeralmany elements lead us to believe that this video is just a lie. And rightly so, at no time is it proven that the FSD is activated. For 100% autonomous driving to work, navigation must be activated, so that the car moves on its own. However, looking at the central screen, we notice that the GPS guidance is not visible. And it is the same in all the visible sequences in the video.
Because it is $TSLA too low?@Elon Musk: “Full autonomous driving… is the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money and basically zero.”
Many competitors have driverless robotaxis, but after 8 years of development, FSD is still running over a child in the school crosswalk: pic.twitter.com/fE2lQIwzIq
— Dan O’Dowd (@RealDanODowd) December 22, 2022
Worse still, in the shot showing the Model 3 driving on a road normally closed for work, an alert message appears to be written on the screen. Unfortunately this is unreadable, but it could be an indication that the FSD system has been disabled. In this case, it is effectively the driver who commits an offence, by voluntarily crossing the prohibited direction. Also, these videos would have been made with an old version of FSD, probably 10.12.2. However, Elon Musk has announced that this technology could work without GPS, but in a new version, 10.13.
Finally, several phrases are shown in the commercial, including one that particularly appeals to us, stating that ” 90% of people agree that the system should be banned immediately.« . EITHER, there is no source to back this up. and this number, which seems to come out of Dan O’Dowd’s hat. Elon Musk does not seem to be concerned about these accusations, although he has even decided to respond in Twitter his detractor in a humorous message.
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