Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) failed to pass a DMV driving test administered by a professional driving instructor, new tests conducted by The Dawn Project have revealed.

This unequivocally disproves Elon Musk’s claim that Tesla Full Self-Driving is four times safer than a human driving by themselves. FSD is a much worse driver than a 16-year-old driver, every one of which passed this test to get a license to drive on public streets.

The driving test took place in accordance with a standard California DMV driving test. Tesla Full Self-Driving failed on four separate occasions during the 15-minute test, almost colliding with a bicyclist in the real-world test in Santa Barbara, CA.

In collaboration with safety advocacy group The Dawn Project, the test was conducted by a professional driving instructor with 47 years of experience.


According to the professional driving instructor’s score card, Tesla Full Self-Driving failed the driving test on the following points:

  • Failing to finish “centered in the proper lane”.
  • Making “needless stops”.
  • Failing to avoid “possibly conflicts ahead by looking well in advance for problems”.
  • Failing to be aware “of problems facing others” and anticipating “their next move”.

During the test, the driving instructor commented that if he had to teach in a Full Self-Driving Tesla that “he would retire”, and can be heard on multiple occasions exclaiming his discomfort at Full Self-Driving’s dangerous maneuvers.

Upon completion of the driving test, the driving instructor commented: “It failed the test, miserably!”.

The instructor highlighted Full Self-Driving’s dangers around bicyclists after the self-driving Tesla almost collided with two bicyclists when passing them on a straight road with a bicycle lane.

Founder of The Dawn Project, Dan O’Dowd commented: “We mandate that drivers pass a standardized test to keep our roads safe. How can we possibly allow self-driving software that fails these minimum requirements to operate on public roads?”

“The Dawn Project demands that our legislators put in place frameworks at a federal level to ensure that all self-driving vehicles, with varying levels of automation, meet the basic standards expected of road users. Without minimum standards for self-driving vehicles, we cannot reliably protect the public from dangerous and defective software. How can NHTSA allow Tesla’s defective FSD software to be sold to over 400,000 untrained test drivers when it fails its driving test so miserably?”

“Elon Musk claims that “the data is unequivocal that supervised Full Self-Driving is somewhere around four times safer, maybe more, than just a human driving by themselves.” This is ridiculous, FSD is a much worse driver than a 16-year-old. It fails the driving test every 16-year-old has to pass to be allowed on the road.”

“I have a small suggestion: ban Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software from public roads until it can consistently pass a standard driving test.”