In this communication war between Tesla’s anti-autonomous driving and the manufacturer, all shots are allowed. Maybe even that of lying about the proper use of the autonomous system in their demonstration.
On August 9, 2022, a communication campaign appeared on American screens with the aim of banning Full Self-Driving (FSD). With its demonstration, the Dawn Project wants to prove that Tesla’s autonomous driving is dangerous and that it can even run over children. If some fans of the brand wanted to demonstrate for themselves that Tesla’s autonomous driving system is reliable, others have dissected the videos in search of clues to prove that the initiators of the project lied.
Despite a rather serious test protocol on paper, the Dawn Project would have somewhat manipulated the truth that the Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) was well engaged and above all correctly used.
What casts doubt on the various Dawn Project videos
Two videos were scrutinized, in particular by the Electrek media, the 30-second commercial video which serves as support for the campaign and a longer version used for editing.
In the final version released on the various media, we can notice that during this hold, the autonomous driving was not engaged. The video shows for 3 seconds a view of the interior allowing to see the central screen. We can believe that the elements present on the screen are those of autonomous driving, but two things are missing:
- The outline of the trajectory in front of the vehicle must be blue if autonomous driving is engaged.
- A small blue steering wheel should appear at the top left of the screen.
On this level, autonomous driving is clearly not active, a big faux pas for the sincerity of the test. On Twitter, the information began to circulate and in response to these messages, others showed that in other scenes of a longer version of the video, these indications were indeed present.
Indeed, by viewing this video, we see on another socket that at least the Autopilot (if not possibly the FSD) is engaged, including during impact. Except that we can see an error message, which could be the one indicating that the accelerator is kept pressed and therefore that the driver has control of the autonomous system. Problem: the error message cannot be clearly read and a doubt may remain.
Biased results, but which the Dawn Project maintains to be true
Contacted by Electrek.co to ask for an explanation, the project’s press team responded by indicating that the pilot made an affidavit that the FSD autonomous driving was indeed engaged during the tests.
Between ostrich politics and a hot potato game, for the moment, we don’t know more about what will happen following these new revelations. Tesla could very well attack the Dawn Project in return. For his part, Elon Musk hastened to respond on Twitter by transforming the name of the initiator of the project from @RealDanODowd to Real Scam O’Dowd.