The long-awaited Super Bowl finally took place yesterday (February 12) and created quite a stir. There has been plenty of drama, ranging from former US President Donald Trump’s criticism of Rihanna’s half-time show performance to Drake making bets on the games risking up to $1 million.
The latest comes as Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and product architect, responds to a Californian tech entrepreneur whose campaign tries to ban Tesla’s planned fully self-driving cars. Tesla’s official website calls the phenomenon: “Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability.” According to the manufacturer, this self-driving function, also known as an “advanced driver system,” would “enhance safety” as well as convenience.
“When used properly,” the website explains, “Autopilot reduces your overall workload as a driver.” Nonetheless, one person was extremely vocal about their dissatisfaction with the new function in the form of a long ad. Dan O’Dowd tweeted the ad.
The 30-second commercial shows a Tesla pulling up on a suburban street, with the words “full self-driving” scrolling across the screen. A mannequin child is being slowly pushed onto the road by a string as the Tesla drives along. Within seconds, the automobile clashes with the model child. The next scene shows a shaky driver crashing his car into two pushchairs on the road.
The car then passes many stop signs near a high school bus, highlighting the obvious flaws with self-driving technology. To conclude the sequence, the car is seen crashing into – you guessed it – another mannequin child. The short video ends with the text: “Why does NHTSA allow Tesla full self-driving?”
O’Dowd captioned the tweet: “Watch The Dawn Project’s #SuperBowl ad demonstrate critical safety defects in Tesla Full Self-Driving. “6 months ago we reported FSD would run down a child. Tesla hasn’t even fixed that! To focus their attention, NHTS must turn off FSD until Tesla fixes all safety defects.”
Tesla’s Twitter account shared the advert in a tweet, writing: “Thank you @RealDanODowd for spending $7M for this $tsla advertisement. It’s very clear that your testing was fake but grateful for spreading the word that Teslas are the leader for general autonomy.”