Photo: The Dawn Project
Tesla Model 3 on FSD Beta did not hit a child-sized dummy in The Dawn Project's tests. A closer look from Tesla owners confirms that the results were completely fabricated.
A few days ago, a number of high-profile media outlets published articles that Tesla Model 3 on FSD Beta could not detect children on the road and may hit them. Such claims relied on a so-called “test,” which was in fact advertising, and was conducted and funded by one of the most ardent haters of FSD technology. Since the articles were published, it becomes obvious that none of the journalists even bothered to figure out whether to trust the result, which once again only underlines their negligent attitude towards their work and the pursuit of clicks, not the truth.
After the articles flooded the Internet, Tesla car owners who use FSD technology noticed a number of inconsistencies in the videos, indicating that the results were completely fabricated. They posted their observations on Twitter, which made it possible to publicly discuss and more widely understand that these “tests” are nothing more than staged videos.
The first thing that should alert anyone who starts reading the report is that the test was organized and funded by Dan O'Dowd, who is the founder of The Dawn Project. O'Dowd is widely known for his vehement hatred of Tesla's FSD and has taken a number of absurd steps in an attempt to turn Americans against the technology. This year, he ran a full-page ad in the New York Times advocating a FSD ban on Tesla. In addition, he ran for the California State Senate, but his campaign was focused on a single topic: the Tesla FSD ban. It seems that his obsession is now completely out of control, as this time he faked the testing with absolutely no fear of the consequences.
After watching the video from the test, Tesla owners who use FSD Beta every day immediately noticed that the icons on the car screen did not correspond with FSD being activated. In the video clip, the driver of the car can be seen “activating” Autopilot, although his hand completely hides the lever, and we cannot see the actual movement of it, which could indicate the authenticity of the activation but not in this case. After this pseudo-activation, a knowledgeable person can notice that FSD did not activate. This is indicated by the fact that the course prediction line stays gray. Also, the blue Autopilot wheel does not appear on the top left, which would have to happen if there was an activation.
Our new safety test of @ElonMusk’s Full Self-Driving Teslas discovered that they will indiscriminately mow down children.— Dan O'Dowd (@RealDanODowd) August 9, 2022
Today @RealDawnProject launches a nationwide TV ad campaign demanding @NHTSAgov ban Full Self-Driving until @ElonMusk proves it won’t mow down children. pic.twitter.com/i5Jtb38GjH
Another observation is that the filming is being done not by a fixed camera, but by a cameraman deliberately not filming the lower part of Tesla's central screen, where it shows various warnings. For example, there would be a warning if the driver is pressing the accelerator pedal, which makes it impossible for FSD to control the car and breaks. However, their lies are seen in one of the many clips when a warning hits the camera lens. Due to the very low quality of the video, which was most likely intentional, it is difficult to see exactly what is written in the warning, however, the owners were able to determine this by conducting their own tests. @RobKnight__/Twitter pointed out that the message is similar to when a driver presses the accelerator pedal in FSD mode and the system warns that it will not be able to brake.
In addition to the owners' observations, the Electrek blog, having reasonable evidence to disprove the veracity of the test, asked The Dawn Project for clarification. In response, it provided an affidavit from the driver who conducted the test. Art Haynie claimed in the sworn statement that he believed FSD Beta was activated. In the deposition, the driver mentioned “Exhibit B,” which showed a screen warning “regarding the full self-driving (Beta)” that the vehicle showed when it was “in full self-driving mode.”
Electrek looked at Exhibit B, which actually turned out to be just a screenshot of the warning that appears when the driver turns on FSD Beta in the settings, and not at the moment when it is activated or enabled. This warning does not appear when the driver activates the feature while driving and therefore does not prove that FSD beta was activated during the test.
It is worth bearing in mind that the video that The Dawn Project calls “raw” is a montage. It can be seen how the car drives with FSD Beta activated, but the bottom part of the screen is not in the frame, which means it remains unknown whether the driver pressed the accelerator pedal, and The Dawn Project cannot prove that the driver did not press it. It remains unknown exactly what manipulations were carried out during testing, as there is no real evidence of the claimed information, other than many inconsistencies noticed by careful observers.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.