An Anti-FSD Beta Ad Will Run at This Year's Super Bowl, Tesla Staying Silent

Tesla Model 3 in The Dawn Project's Anti-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad 6 photos
Photo: Dan O'Dowd on Twitter / autoevolution edit
Anti-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad ScreenshotAnti-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad ScreenshotAnti-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad ScreenshotAnti-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad ScreenshotAnti-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad Screenshot
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) has been in the public’s attention a lot last year. Some older tests showing radar-less EVs don’t stop for kids resurfaced, and a social media craze began. Customers tried their own tests, YouTube banned some of them, while critics spent their time becoming even more vocal than before. Now, the anti-FSD Beta saga continues.
Last month, we learned that Tesla’s FSD Beta has around 400,000 paying customers. That’s not a crazy figure by any means considering the manufacturer sold 1.3 million cars last year, and most of the units reached American and Canadian customers. Coincidently, Tesla has enabled the unfinished advanced driver-assistance system only in the U.S. and Canada.

It was arguably more impressive that the automaker started 2023 with major discounts in North America and Europe, even though it has adjusted its pricing policy slowly upwards by now.

While America is getting ready to experience the Super Bowl and many companies are racing to come up with creative marketing ideas, one entity decided to spend money on an ad that will show how Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta does not work.

Before looking at what this clip is all about, it’s worth remembering a couple of useful things. While it may be debatable that a carmaker is allowed to test unfinished technologies on public roads with hundreds of thousands of users without having proper supervision or special permissions from regulators, the fact that Tesla is crystal clear about what you have to do when the software runs is not questionable.

Owners who get access to FSD Beta are informed beforehand that they remain responsible at all times. Tesla doesn’t say anywhere that the cleverly named software can replace the driver. In fact, some owners can get their FSD Beta privileges revoked even if they paid good money for it. A couple of influencers and some users might break these rules, but that has nothing to do with how the company communicates what testers must do.

The ad that’s set to run at the Super Bowl shows many instances where Tesla’s FSD Beta failed to take the appropriate measures promptly. It also includes references to what has been discussed last year when we saw that the camera-based driver-assistance system had a hard time identifying kids, smaller inanimate objects, or road signs.

Anti\-FSD Beta Super Bowl Ad Screenshot
Photo: Dan O'Dowd on Twitter
The video also contains a couple of strong affirmations like “Tesla Full Self Driving will run down a child in a school crosswalk, swerve into oncoming traffic, hit a baby in a stroller,” and a couple of other questionable claims like this one that says “90% agree that this (i.e FSD Beta) should be banned immediately.” It's not clear how this percentage was reached.

Besides the Super Bowl ad, Dan O’Dowd’s The Dawn Project demands the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stop FSD Beta from being allowed to work on public roads “until Tesla fixes all safety defects.” He also claims that the automaker didn’t fix safety problems highlighted over half a year ago.

The EV maker's supporters rushed to Twitter to report the video as fake news but at the time of writing it is still online.

Another interesting fact is that Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and owns the social media company to which Dan O'Dowd has subscribed to.

On the other hand, Dan O’Dowd is the CEO of Green Hills Software, a company that sells digital security solutions and is trying to become a key player in the automotive industry by supplying various computing platforms and other specific systems.

Last year, Tesla threatened to sue The Dawn Project because of the organization’s active stance against FSD Beta. However, the only thing that happened was that the founder received a “Cease and Desist” letter which demanded the stopping of “all defamatory advertisements.” What will Tesla do now, considering the anti-FSD Beta story will probably reach millions of people? It’s going to be an interesting battle to follow.

At the end of the day, negative publicity is still publicity. Tesla doesn’t do any marketing of its own through any of the classic channels of mass communication, so this might end up as another free win for the EV maker. We’ll see how people react when they’ll get to watch these 30 seconds of heavy FSD Beta criticism.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories