Super Bowl ad showed Elon Musk's Tesla cars mowing down child mannequins

The campaign wants regulators to shut down Tesla's full self-driving program shut down.
Ameya Paleja
Screen grab of the alleged test conducted for Tesla FSD
Screen grab of the alleged test conducted for Tesla FSD

Dan O'Dowd/ Twitter 

An advert aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday showed a Tesla Model 3 car mowing, down a child mannequin, ignoring safety lights and even hitting a stroller. The advert was aired by The Dawn Project, supported by a Californian tech billionaire, Dan O’Dowd.

Elon Musk's Tesla cars offer a full-self driving (FSD) feature, which is intended to assist drivers with steering on highways as well as city streets, park automatically, and even summon vehicles. The program is still in the beta phase but, when ready will be available to users for an additional $15,000. However, O'Dowd believes that deploying the technology could endanger lives on the road.

In public interest or smear campaign?

For Sunday's advert, O'Dowd spent an estimated $7 million to get his 30-second clip in front of over 100 million people watching the Super Bowl. As seen in the video above, the advert showed a Tesla Model 3 allegedly in full self-driving mode, ignoring warning lights from a school bus, zooming past no-entry signs, and in no mood to stop even as a stroller moved across the road.

Although Tesla requires technology users to remain in the driver's seat and control of the car at all times, the company claims that it is reaching maturity by the end of the year. O'Dowd, though isn't convinced and has conducted these tests on the Tesla cars that he owns. He wants next for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to run them again and validate his findings in an official report, he said in a tweet after the advert was aired.

His demand will gather much steam after reports emerged last month that Tesla's FSD demo in 2016 was staged. However, O'Dowd also seems to have ulterior motives for dragging Tesla down. Last year, he ran for U.S. senate with the single point agenda banning the Tesla FSD program on U.S. roads.

Additionally, he is also the founder of Green Hills Software, a private tech company that makes operating systems and tools for the automotive industry, specifically driver assist features, Electrek reported.

What are his true intentions, only O'Dowd can tell us. In the meantime, we can only hope that the NHTSA completes a full investigation before giving the green light to FSD as a car product and that drivers continue to exercise caution while on the roads.

This report carried information that was reported in The Telegraph.

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