Dan O’Dowd discusses the critical safety defects present in Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software and Elon Musk’s hypocritical stance on AI.

Dan’s article was published in International Policy Digest, 16 April 2023, and can be read here


Elon Musk strongly endorsed a recent open letter that calls to “Pause Giant AI Experiments”.
Meanwhile, Elon is pushing on with his own quest to conquer the automotive world with
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) AI.

Elon Musk has for years loftily claimed that FSD is the leading AI technology. As such, he
has tasked Tesla’s Full Self-Driving AI with driving a car anywhere, anytime, ten times better
than a human driver.

Those endorsing the petition are alarmed by the dangers posed by Advanced AI, such as the
recently released upgraded ChatGPT. But ChatGPT is just an app whose sole purpose is
entertainment. It has no power over you. Most importantly, it is not armed with 400,000 2-ton
killer robots.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving AI controls the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator of 400,000
cars, and is the only AI operational today with the power to kill millions. Tesla’s AI could
self-drive every FSD Tesla out of their parking spots to the nearest busy street, then
accelerate to 100 mph, and swerve into oncoming traffic.

There would be no warning. No one would know what was happening. In ten minutes it
would all be over, with millions dead and every road impassable.

Elon Musk has recklessly pushed out version after version of FSD with hundreds of
critical safety defects in order to mollify customers complaining about not having gotten
anything for their money. FSD AI is seriously deranged. It frequently tries to kill people. For
no apparent reason, FSD will suddenly turn the steering wheel left and swerve into oncoming

Currently, there is no other AI system anywhere near the magnitude of FSD AI’s potential
effects. Yet all of Musk’s confident predictions over the last nine years that FSD will be a
better driver than the average person have never been realized.

There are no independent reviews of FSD. It is always full steam ahead, we’ll fix it later.
Now Musk acknowledges that FSD AI needs vastly more testing by independent outside
experts, such as The Dawn Project.

By Musk’s own rules, Tesla should immediately halt development on FSD AI for at least six
months, and until it can conclusively prove that it has implemented adequate standards that
make FSD’s AI safe. Should Tesla fail to implement this pause, NHTSA and the Government
must step in to remove this dangerous software from public roads.

Musk can no longer get away with his hypocrisy. Since he demands oversight of others’ AI
projects, he must follow the same stringent rules himself when it comes to FSD, especially
when Tesla’s AI has the potential to kill and maim millions. Do the rules also apply to Elon
Musk, or do they only apply to everyone else?