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EV/AV Report: F-35 software contractor denounces Tesla FSD in unverified collision study

Toronto, Ontario — In this week’s report, a study critiquing Tesla’s fully-self-driving software is linked to a military contractor with a conflict of interest, and the Canadian Automobile Association releases a new EV buyer’s guide. This is the latest in electric and autonomous vehicles.

Teslas and tactical fighters

A software designer for American stealth aircraft and nuclear bombers has denounced Tesla’s fully self-driving (FSD) beta for driving into cardboard children, claiming the software poses a danger to children.

On Aug. 9, the Dawn Project published a video of a Tesla supposedly driving into cardboard children while its self-driving systems were on. While Collision Repair Magazine is unable to verify the warning messages due to the low resolution and shakiness of the video, other outlets specializing in Tesla vehicles have pointed out various details in the video which calls its validity into question.

Two Tesla-affiliated publications, Drive Tesla Canada and the ‘Dr Know It All Knows’ YouTube channel produced breakdowns of Dawn Project’s original video. They claim that the Tesla in the video lacked the expected warning messages after FSD is enabled, or had FSD that was being overridden by a driver whose foot is out of frame in the video.

These claims were made by comparing the text and symbols of various warning messages found by the two publications to those found in the video. Both said that the low resolution made it impossible to verify the messages directly, and raised the possibility of this study being a misinformation campaign against Tesla.

What we can confirm is that the Dawn Project is led by a software designer competing against Tesla in the autonomous vehicles industry, creating several conflicts of interest for a supposedly impartial, scientific test.

The Dawn Project was founded by Dan O’Dowd, CEO of Green Hills Software – a company designing autonomous vehicle software for companies including AVA and Toyota, two companies that have yet to become notable in the autonomous vehicles market according to several market reports including Fortune Business Insights and Emergen Research.

Prior to their recent entry into autonomous civilian vehicles, O’Dowd and Green Hills Software mainly designed military technology such as operating systems for military and civilian aircraft, helicopters and radiation-resistant processors for ballistic missiles.

Buyers Benefit

Looking for an electric vehicle? A new Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) website might help you find the right one.

CAA has launched its interactive EV Buyer’s Guide website, described as a “user-friendly online tool aimed at the EV-curious, with information on all the 90-plus electric vehicles on the market today, as well as facts and advice on price, savings, charging, and owning an EV in Canada.”

Readers of other interactive sites may be pleased or disappointed to know that this buyer’s guide is effectively a website loaded with information about EVs, and a Buzzfeed-style quiz to help people find an EV that suits their needs. It might not be flashy, but this resource can be an invaluable starting point, especially for people with no background knowledge on EVs.

“CAA has been supporting the transition to more fuel-efficient and zero emission vehicles for more than a decade,” said Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs for CAA National. “We wanted a one-stop, neutral source of information for those considering an EV for their next vehicle, and we think our guide delivers it.”

According to the CAA, seven in 10 Canadians intend to make their next vehicle purchase an EV, and the website provides a way to learn about EVs simply, accurately, and thoroughly.

To give the website a try, click here!

Would you like to see these longer articles in the next EV/AV report, or do you prefer the older format with a few short stories? Let us know in the comments!

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