California, United States — The Dawn Project has received a cease-and-desist letter, claiming that the their ad campaign showcasing a Tesla in “Full Self-Driving” mode running over a cardboard child was misinforming and threatened the company’s business interests.
The letter dated Aug. 11 claims that the Dawn Project’s testing was “seriously deceptive and likely fraudulent.” It also demands that Dan O’Dowd, CEO of the Dawn Project withdraw its anti-Tesla advertisements, videos and publicly retract its defamatory statements against the OEM.
This is the latest development in the battle over the safety of Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) beta, after Dan O’Dowd claimed that FSDs “ruthlessly mow(ed) down a child mannequin wearing a safety vest in a real school crosswalk.”
While Collision Repair Magazine was not able to independently verify the accuracy of the Dawn Project’s video, we confirmed that Dan O’Dowd is a potential competitor to Tesla in the autonomous vehicle market.
Other outlets have provided breakdowns of the warning messages in the video, and highlight discrepancies that suggests possible driver intervention forcing the vehicle into the mannequin.
However, several of these breakdowns came from Tesla-affiliated influencers and newsrooms. These were cited by Tesla as proof of “swift and public rebukes from multiple sources.”
Collision Repair Magazine was not able unable to independently verify the accuracy of these rebuttal videos, but confirm that several of these sources have ties to the electric vehicle manufacturer.