Dan O’Dowd has been interviewed on CBS Los Angeles regarding his campaign to make computers safe for humanity.
Dan O’Dowd, Santa Barbara billionaire, U.S. Senate candidate and founder of Green Hills Software — has launched an advertising campaign targeted at Tesla Motors and their famous autonomous driving software.
O’Dowd is so intent on stopping Musk and Tesla from fully launching its self-driving technology, he’s running for U.S. Senate, specifically for the seat currently held by by Sen. Alex Padilla. But what makes this so different is O’Dowd’s campaign is about only one issue: Tesla.
O’Dowd is one of 23 candidates featured on the nonpartisan primary ballot for California. He has maintained, though, that he does not plan to actively campaign against any of those candidates, or Padilla.
On his personal LinkedIn page, O’Dowd’s headline reads, “I am running for U.S. Senate to make computers safe for humanity and ban Tesla Full Self-Driving.”
In January, he launched a full-page advertisement in The New York Times campaigning to ban the software from United States roads, which read: “We did not sign up our families to be crash test dummies for thousands of Tesla cars being driven on the public roads by the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company.”
“It’s a poor piece of software,” O’Dowd said. “You start with a perfectly good car. I love Teslas. I own three of them. But this full self-driving option — the one that costs $12,000 — to put it in your car, and now it will try to run off the road, run into parked vehicles.”
O’Dowd’s plan is to raise awareness for his message by getting the attention of politicians.
On Wednesday he detailed to CBS Political Reporter Tom Wait exactly why he’s launched a political campaign that’s designed to compete on just a single issue.
“It’s votes,” O’Dowd said. “I’ve tried to get people to look at this. I’ve talked to the regulators, I’ve talked to the politicians, I’ve talked to the companies and said we have a big problem. So how do I get politicians to listen? Through votes.”
He made it clear that his mission was not meant to benefit his company, but rather in hopes that he gets a conversation started.
“We supply to General Motors, in fact, we supply to Toyota and BMW – virtually all of the companies. Doesn’t make us a competitor to Tesla,” he said. “We don’t make self-driving software or cars or anything like that.”
However, Green Hills Software does sell software that is used in autonomous driving.
Wait also spoke with Loyola Law Professor and political analyst Jessica Levinson, who noted how different O’Dowd’s campaign is, and that apart from his agenda against Tesla, he “has no other platform at all.”
“Mr. O’Dowd is being very forthright about this. He seems to have no particular interest in the other issues – he’s a single issue candidate,” she said.
“Certainly there are some candidates that have no chance, but they do change the conversation,” Levinson continued.
Tesla was unavailable for comment on the matter, while the California Democratic Party issued a statement furthering their support for Sen. Padilla.
Dan’s interview aired April 27, 2022. Watch the full interview on the CBS News website here.