It was recently revealed that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving and Autopilot software has been involved in 736 crashes since 2019, according to analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, far exceeding the number of crashes in previous reported statistics.
A crash involving a Tesla Model Y on North Carolina Highway 561 and seventeen-year-old Tillman Mitchell in March 2023 is one of the crashes revealed in the new analysis, highlighting a concerning array of safety defects in Tesla’s self-driving software. Tesla’s self-driving software failed to stop for the school bus with its stop sign extended and lights flashing which Mitchell was disembarking, leaving Mitchell hospitalised. This follows public safety group The Dawn Project publishing a full-page advertisement in The New York Times in November 2022 highlighting the dangers of Tesla Full Self-Driving after safety tests revealed that it will drive around a stopped school bus with its stop sign extended and lights flashing, failing to obey school zone speed limits.
Dan O’Dowd, Founder of The Dawn Project commented: “Seven months ago, I took out a full-page ad in the New York Times pointing out to Tesla that it could kill a child getting on or off a school bus. But Elon did nothing and now Tillman Mitchell is badly injured and hospitalised. I also showed them tests where Full Self-Driving would run over a child crossing the road. I offered them any assistance they needed to reproduce our tests.
According to a June 10, 2023, Washington Post article, on March 15, 2023, a Tesla running FSD ran down a child getting off a school bus whose lights were flashing and whose stop sign was extended.
It’s very simple. If Tesla cannot teach its Full Self-Driving car to stop for a school bus with its light flashing and stop sign extended, along with fixing many other safety critical safety defects that The Dawn Project has identified, it should not be allowed to sell it to the public.”
Dan O’Dowd is an entrepreneur and CEO with over 40 years’ experience in designing and writing secure, safety-critical software. Dan has built operating systems for the U.S. military’s fighter jets and some of the world’s most trusted organizations such as NASA, Boeing, and Airbus.
In 2021 Dan O’Dowd founded The Dawn Project, which campaigns to ensure all software in safety-critical infrastructure is secure and to make computers safe for humanity. The first danger The Dawn Project is tackling is Elon Musk’s reckless deployment of unsafe Full Self-Driving cars on our roads.
To view The Dawn Project’s recent Super Bowl ad highlighting the dangers of Full Self-Driving, please click here. The ad was broadcast during Super Bowl LVII on Sunday 12 February 2023 across California, Texas, Georgia, New York, Florida and Washington D.C.
For a full report of The Dawn Project’s safety tests of Tesla Full Self-Driving, please see here.