Tech CEO Says Tesla Using Full Self-Driving Users As 'Crash-Test Dummies'

We've got some high profile beef in the tech world, as a tech CEO has issued a shot across the bow at Tesla and its founder, aka the richest man in the world, Elon Musk.

It sounds like the CEO really doesn't like Tesla's self-driving technology, and he wants everyone to know it.

Dan O'Dowd doesn't like Tesla's tech.

Unsplash | Jon Tyson

O'Dowd, who founded Green Hills Software, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Sunday that criticized the Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology found in Tesla's cars. The ad called Tesla drivers 'crash-test dummies.'

O'Dowd wants to ban FSD.

Pexels | Craig Adderley

In the ad, O'Dowd referred to the tech as "the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company."

The ad also included a shout-out to The Dawn Project, an anti-FSD pressure group operated by O'Dowd.

The ad is short on details.

Pexels | cottonbro

While accidents involving self-driving cars are rare, they do occasionally happen. But apart from slamming Tesla's technology as 'the worst', the NYT ad doesn't offer much substance apart from insults aimed at the software.

Where's this all coming from?

O'Dowd doesn't have a documented blood feud against Elon Musk, but he does operate a company that makes driver-assist software for the BMW iX.

In other words, it's a publicity stunt, or guerilla marketing, designed to attract eyeballs to O'Dowd's tech rather than Musk's.

It comes at a bad time for Tesla.

Pexels | Chad Russell

Tesla is dealing with a court case at the moment involving a Tesla that ran a red light and killed two people.

The driver, Kevin George Aziz Riad, is the first person ever to be charged over a fatal crash with Tesla's software.

What does Elon Musk think of this?

The Tesla founder is usually candid when it comes to stuff like this, and he did not disappoint.

On Twitter, Musk called O'Dowd's software 'trash.' In a separate thread, he said it was a tragic case of ego over ability.

How prevalent is FSD technology?

While Teslas are fairly commonplace in 2022, Teslas equipped with FSD are rare. The program is still in its beta phase, and only a couple of hundred vehicles have access to the proprietary Tesla technology.

The feud has settled down...for now.

Neither O'Dowd nor his company have offered further comment since the ad was published, and apart from the tweets, Musk has been silent. There hasn't been an official response from Tesla's corporate division, either.

What do you think?

Pexels | Roberto Nickson

As far as Elon Musk news goes, this story is fairly tame, but it still makes for interesting drama all the same.

Without knowing more about the tech on both sides, it's hard to form an opinion on who's right and who's wrong, but we'd still love to hear your thoughts.

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