SANTA BARBARA, CA Software expert Dan O’Dowd, Founder of safety advocacy group The Dawn Project, has today commented on NHTSA’s recall of over two million Tesla vehicles, saying that the recall does not go far enough to address critical safety issues in Tesla’s self-driving software.

Commenting on NHTSA’s recall, Founder of The Dawn Project Dan O’Dowd said:

“NHTSA’s recall misses the point that Tesla must address and fix the underlying safety concerns that have been raised in regards to its self-driving software to prevent further deaths. Without addressing these critical safety issues, the public will continue to be crash test dummies for Tesla’s self-driving experiment. The only way to protect road users is to ban Tesla’s self-driving software. Minor software updates to Tesla’s driver monitoring system will not be enough. 

“This recall does not solve the underlying problems associated with Tesla’s software – namely, that it does not fully recognize objects and does not stop for obstacles, like school buses and stop signs. Until we take this dangerous technology off the roads, and until Tesla stops testing its systems in real-life situations, we are continuing to needlessly put Americans at risk.

“NHTSA must now act swiftly to ban Tesla Full Self-Driving from public roads until all safety defects have been fixed. Allowing Tesla to issue a voluntary recall is completely inadequate and regulators must compel Tesla to fix these defects and set a deadline for determining whether Tesla has addressed these issues.”

NHTSA’s recall requiring improvements to Tesla’s driver monitoring system comes following The Dawn Project’s campaign to highlight serious concerns about this software.

The Dawn Project’s tests revealed that Tesla’s driver monitoring system did not detect an inattentive driver.

Footage of The Dawn Project’s tests showing Tesla’s driver monitoring system failing to detect a teddy bear, balloon and other non-human objects behind the wheel can be found here. The tests also revealed that Tesla’s driver monitoring system fails to detect an inattentive driver texting, looking backwards or even falling asleep at the wheel.

Dan’s comments were covered by the Associated Press on December 14, 2023 and can be read here