Tesla knocked down a child’s dummy, the author of the test calls for a ban on Autopilot

Long-time Tesla critic Dan O’Dowd, head of security systems supplier Green Hills Software, published a video in which a Tesla Model 3 with the Full Self Driving system (FSD) turned on manages to slow down, but still knocks down a child dummy three times, which is less visible than an adult dummy for assistance systems due to its dimensions.

The low-quality video, which has racked up nearly a quarter of a million views on YouTube since it was posted on August 9, calls for FSD to be banned because it’s “the worst commercial software I’ve seen,” O’Dowd says in the video.

This system gets into controversy quite often. In particular, there is a naming problem, because despite its name, it does not manage to drive fully autonomously, but is “just” a semi-automatic driving assistance system.

Still, the question is whether he is really as bad as O’Dowd claims. In response to his video, other trials have appeared with the opposite results. A few were made and posted on Twitter by a user named tesladriverperson.

He placed a cardboard dummy of a child on the road and tried how his own Model 3 would behave. In several tests, where the dummy was in different places on the road, and even moving, the car always successfully avoided.

However, there are several differences compared to the O’Dowd test. Its authors, tesla, created a narrow road using cones in a test polygon environment, while tesladriverperson tested relatively generous widths on a public road, where the car had enough room to avoid.

However, they are not the only videos of this type. Twitter user Taylor Ogan posted another video showing a similar situation to the one in O’Dowd’s test. It compares the Tesla Model Y and the Lexus RX, on which we see the logos of Luminer, a lidar manufacturer. A Lexus won’t knock over a child’s dummy, while a Tesla will.

So is Tesla’s system really dangerous? It’s not perfect, that’s been known for a long time, but it’s also an assistance system that requires the driver’s full attention at all times. However, this does not change the fact that if the car in O’Dowd’s test could not change lanes and thus avoid the dummy, it should have stopped, not just slowed down.

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