[PRESSWIRE] SANTA BARBARA, CA – Feb. 11, 2024 – Safety advocacy group The Dawn Project, founded by tech billionaire Dan O’Dowd, will broadcast two commercials at Super Bowl LVIII highlighting the dangers of Tesla’s self-driving software and calling for consumers to boycott Tesla.
“Boycott Tesla Now” – In two Super Bowl LVIII commercials, The Dawn Project’s founder, Dan O’Dowd, calls on the American public to boycott Tesla
- The Dawn Project’s two Super Bowl commercials highlight the dangers of Tesla’s self-driving software, which have resulted in over 1,000 crashes and 33 deaths
- Tesla must be held accountable for its failure to fix its defective software
- Links to the two Super Bowl LVIII commercials can be found here and here.
The Dawn Project’s two ads draw attention to a series of fatal and serious crashes involving Tesla’s self-driving software on roads where Tesla says its self-driving software isn’t safe.
The Dawn Project’s public safety messages follow a Super Bowl advertising campaign during last year’s event, which published the results of the group’s safety tests of Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) software. The ad in 2023 revealed that Tesla FSD will run down a mannequin in the road, drive into oncoming traffic, ignore safety critical road traffic signs and blow past stopped school buses. The Dawn Project called upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ban Tesla’s defective software.
This year, the ads feature real crash footage from victims of Tesla’s self-driving software, including a schoolchild who was run down by a Tesla blowing past a school bus in North Carolina in March 2023, just one month after The Dawn Project’s second warning about this safety defect, which Tesla refused to fix:
The group’s second Super Bowl LVIII commercial highlights a series of crashes involving Tesla’s Autopilot software in areas where Tesla admits that the software could not reliably operate, such as highways with cross-traffic.
These Tesla Autopilot crashes were recently reported by The Washington Post and revealed the shocking number of fatal crashes which occurred on roads that Tesla says it isn’t safe to engage Autopilot.
The Dawn Project’s commercials criticize Tesla’s inaction after a series of fatal crashes on roads where Tesla says it isn’t safe to engage Autopilot, demanding the company be held accountable for these incidents and urging consumers to take action by boycotting Tesla.
The first of these crashes occurred in May 2016 when Joshua Brown was killed when his Tesla Model S sedan, operating on Autopilot mode, collided with a tractor-trailer that was crossing the Tesla’s path in Florida. Following the fatal collision, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the collision and demanded that Tesla “incorporate safeguards that limit use of automated vehicle control systems to those conditions for which they were designed”. Tesla ignored the NTSB’s safety recommendations and refused to disable the software on roads where Tesla knows it isn’t safe.
Three years later, Jeremy Banner died in almost identical circumstances when his Tesla Model 3 collided with a semi truck at approximately 70mph in Delray Beach, Florida, while also operating on Autopilot mode. The top of Mr Banner’s Tesla was sheared off as it collided with the side of the trailer, which was crossing the car’s path at the time. Once again, the NTSB investigated the collision and found that Tesla Autopilot “allows a driver to activate the partial driving automation systems at locations and under circumstances for which their use is not appropriate, safe, or included in the manufacturer’s design, such as roadways that have cross traffic”. Again, Tesla ignored the NTSB’s safety recommendations and again refused to disable the software on roads where Tesla knows it isn’t safe, resulting in many more tragic accidents and fatalities.
The ad also includes footage from a crash involving Dillon Angulo in Key Largo, Florida, where Tesla’s self-driving software blew past a stop sign at a T-intersection at approximately 70 mph before colliding with Angulo’s parked vehicle.
Founder of The Dawn Project Dan O’Dowd commented: “This weekend The Dawn Project is calling for a boycott of Tesla because Tesla has failed time and time again to address the failings in its defective self-driving software. This has resulted in multiple, fatal, collisions which could, and should, have been avoided.
By allowing Autopilot to operate on roads with cross-traffic, where Tesla says it isn’t safe, Tesla is putting both its customers and the American public at unnecessary and unacceptable risk.
Our two Super Bowl commercials this year urge the US public to boycott Tesla to hold the automaker to account for its failure to address critical safety defects in its self-driving software, which have resulted in numerous fatal collisions.
As a result of Tesla’s inaction, a schoolchild in North Carolina was run down by a self-driving Tesla blowing past a stopped school bus, just one month after we ran our commercial at last year’s Super Bowl, warning that this would happen. Tesla failed to restrict its self-driving software to roads where it is safe to operate, and our commercials serve to bring this callous negligence to a national audience.
The American public is unaware of the true extent of Tesla’s self-driving death toll, which Tesla’s self-reporting to regulators has shown to be involved in over 1,000 crashes, resulting in 33 deaths.
When you buy a new Tesla you are financing and enabling Elon Musk to put a dangerous, unfinished, product on our public roads. Through numerous nationwide TV commercials, including at last year’s Super Bowl, five full-page ads in the New York Times and online advertising, we have tried to pressure Tesla and Elon Musk to do the right thing and take their defective software off our roads. However, it seems that the only thing that will pressure Tesla and Elon Musk to do the right thing is to deny them your money.
Boycott Tesla now to keep your kids and families safe from Tesla’s self-driving cars.”