Is Tesla's Self-Driving Tech Safe? This Tester Says 'No' Without Actually Activating The Software

Is Tesla's Self-Driving Tech Safe? This Tester Says 'No' Without Actually Activating The Software

Dan O'Dowd of Green Hills Software, a company working on automated driving systems, does not think Tesla Inc's TSLA Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta is safe enough for road use.

In a new video, O'Dowd's "The Dawn Project" claims to show Tesla's FSD Beta running over child-sized mannequins multiple times. He also calls on Congress to shut the FSD program down.

However, Fed Lambert of Electrek called shenanigans on O'Dowd's claim: the software was not actually engaged in the posted video.

"There’s a real problem with the test," Lambert wrote. "They never activated Tesla’s FSD Beta in the test."

In O'Dowd's video, the in-car camera is blurry and obstructs many details of the screen. But when FSD is engaged, a blue steering wheel with blue lines appears on the screen, non of which was visible, Lambert says.

The car did throw a warning, telling the driver something was in the way, but the warning is not readable due to the low-resolution footage from inside the car.

When Electrek contacted The Dawn Project, the driver claimed in a sworn statement that he believed FSD Beta was activated.

The Dawn Project's website says: "The first danger we are tackling is [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk’s reckless deployment of unsafe Full Self-Driving cars on our roads."

But Tesla is still testing FSD software to see if a vehicle can drive from point A to B with zero actions from a human in the driver's seat. Currently, drivers are required to be present and often take over to assist the car if it makes a wrong move or decision.

Tesla's FSD Beta program has been going on for almost two years and has expanded to over 100,000 vehicles without a reported mishap to date.

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Posted In: Dan O'Dowdelectric vehiclesElon MuskTech