Tesla is demanding that an advocacy group remove videos of its vehicles running over child-sized mannequins, escalating the debate over the safety of the company’s Full Self-Driving software.
Tesla sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Dawn Project, an anti-Tesla group fronted by software developer Dan O’Dowd. In it, the company alleges the videos are defamatory and misrepresents the capabilities of its driver-assist technology. (The letter was first reported by The Washington Post.)
New video of Master Scammer Musk’s Full Self-Driving @Tesla ruthlessly mowing down a child mannequin wearing a safety vest in a real school crosswalk. No cones. Room to swerve. Video of pedals.
Everything is real except the child, bc you know what would happen to a real child! pic.twitter.com/a3ut9bpSqG
— Dan O’Dowd (@RealDanODowd) August 15, 2022
“It has come to our attention that you, personally, and The Dawn Project have been disparaging Tesla’s commercial interests and disseminating defamatory information to the public regarding the capabilities of Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) (Beta) technology,” Dinna Eskin, senior director and deputy general counsel at Tesla, writes in the letter. “We demand that you immediately cease and desist further dissemination of all defamatory information, issue a formal public retraction within 24 hours and provide Tesla with the below demanded documentation.”
The letter comes a few days after YouTube removed several videos that show Tesla drivers carrying out their own safety tests to determine whether the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software would enable it to automatically stop for children walking across or standing in the road