Safe-tech advocacy group Dawn Project claims that Tesla's Full Self Driving technology is not yet safe for children — not passengers but pedestrians — because it does not detect them. And to prove their point, a new ad produced by the group shows a Tesla repeatedly mowing down child-sized mannequins, "over and over again." Nevertheless, "over 100,000 Tesla drivers are already using the car's Full Self-Driving mode on public roads, putting children at great risk in communities across the country," the ad says. (See video below.)
From The Guardian:
The claims that the technology apparently has trouble recognizing children form part of an ad campaign urging the public to pressure Congress to ban Tesla's auto-driving technology.
In several tests, a professional test driver found that the software – released in June – failed to detect the child-sized figure at an average speed of 25mph and the car then hit the mannequin. The Dawn Project's founder, Dan O'Dowd, called the results "deeply disturbing."
Company chief "Elon Musk says Tesla's Full Self-Driving software is 'amazing,'" O'Dowd added. "It's not. It's a lethal threat to all Americans. …
O'Dowd has drawn accusations that he is little more than a competitor to Tesla because his company bills itself as an expert in making particular software used in automated driving systems. O'Dowd insists his Green Hills software doesn't compete with Tesla, saying it doesn't make self-driving cars. But he has acknowledged some car companies use his company's software for certain components.