Tesla accused of silencing safety campaigners demonstrating against driverless technology
Tesla was accused of silencing safety campaigners after it sent a cease and desist letter to US organisation the Dawn Project.
In the letter, the electric car titan required the Dawn Project to take down its TV commercials, which show a driverless Tesla running down child-sized mannequins as part of a safety test.
According to Tesla, the ad misrepresents the technology and relies on speculation.
City A.M. has approached the Austin-based company for comment.
The advocacy group rebutted the accusations saying the trial was conducted under controlled conditions and that the driver swore an affidavit to state he didn’t temper with the study.
It also bought a new run of TV ads.
“When Elon Musk is wrong he always resorts to baseless insults,” said the Dawn Project’s founder Dan O’Dowd.
“The Dawn Project has now released a new video demonstrating once again that a Full Self-Driving Tesla would fail to detect and fail to avoid a small child on a real road in a real school crosswalk.”
The group’s stance on self-driving cars was shared by US automotive safety advocate Ralph Nader who called the technology “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades.”
Over the last few months Tesla was forced to recall several thousands of vehicles due to safety concerns, City A.M. reported.
In February, Democratic senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey wrote a letter to the company, expressing “significant concerns” over the EV giant’s autopilot and full-self driving systems.
“These complaints and investigations paint a troubling picture: Tesla repeatedly releases software without fully considering its risks and implications, creating grave dangers for all on the roads,” they wrote.