Threatening to sue for advertisements depicting cars crashing into dummies

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Tesla claimed in a cease-and-desist letter that O’Dowd’s “testing is highly deceptive and likely fraudulent,” that the “purported tests” in the commercial “misuse and distort the capabilities of Tesla’s technology,” and that this provocative advertisement amounted to “misinformation about Tesla.”

Dan O’ Dowd, the CEO of Green Hills Software and The Dawn Project, has been threatened with legal action by Tesla after he developed and funded a national television advertisement featuring a Tesla vehicle running over a child-sized mannequin on a closed test track. According to the advertisement, the vehicle has activated the automaker’s “Full Self-Driving” advanced driver aid system.


  • One hundred thousand Tesla drivers are now using Full Self-Driving on public highways, O’Dowd says in the commercial. Dan O’Dowd here. I work in safety engineering. Tell Congress to shut down Tesla Full Self-Driving because it is the worst piece of commercial software I have ever seen.

  • According to a tweet from O’Dowd, the Dawn Project campaign launched on August 9.

According to a representative for O’Dowd, he paid “seven figures” and the advertisement “aired on hundreds of TV stations reaching almost 60% of households in America.”

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