Politico has covered Founder of The Dawn Project Dan O’Dowd’s ride-along with legislators, which revealed the dangers of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software.
The Dawn Project’s ride alongs were covered on 9 November 2023 in Politico, and can be found here.
Politico reported on Dan and The Dawn Project’s ongoing campaign to ban Tesla’s dangerous and defective Full Self-Driving software. US Congressman Salud Carbajal and California State Senator Monique Límon joined Dan to test the safety of Tesla Full Self-Driving in a ride-along in Santa Barbara, California. In half an hour of city driving, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software ignored ‘Road Closed’ and ‘Do Not Enter’ signs, blew past a stopped school bus, ran down a child-sized mannequin in a crosswalk and committed numerous other egregious mistakes.
Highlights of The Dawn Project’s ride-along with the legislators can be found below:
Discussing the urgent need for legislative measures to be introduced to tackle the dangers of Tesla’s Full Self-driving software, Dan commented: “They’re nowhere near the standards that self-driving cars are at, and yet they’ve done a wide release to everybody. Tesla needs to be held to the same standards, because they’re putting it on the road.”
US Congressman Salud Carbajal commented that following his concerning experience of Tesla Full Self-Driving, his office is “considering appropriate legislative action to ensure our roads are made as safe as possible”.
The Congressman continued: “My experience of Tesla Full Self-Driving was concerning and revealed a number of very worrying safety defects. While my office awaits the results of NHTSA’s investigation into Tesla’s self-driving systems, we are examining this issue in detail.”
California State Senator and Transportation Committee member Monique Limón said: “The ride-along showed that fully autonomous vehicles have a way to go. Making California’s roads safe is a vital issue, and ensuring that self-driving technology is deployed safely is a critical part of that. As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, my team and I are monitoring any legislative options available to ensure that self-driving systems active on California’s roads are made safe for public use.”
Dan concluded by highlighting the importance of concrete legislation for this public safety issue, commenting: “We need something to make people safe. That’s the job of the legislature — to pass reasonable safety rules.”