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The Dawn Project Pays for Test to Show FSD Doesn't Brake for Kids
You must have already seen some bumper stickers that read “I brake for animals,” “I brake for pedestrians,” or “I brake for bikes.” There are plenty of them in the wild. A recent test paid by The Dawn Project suggests that if Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) were to have a sticker, it would not be "Caution: student robotaxi," as some Tesla owners proudly exhibit in their cars. The proper wording would be “I don’t brake for children.” In all three runs in which the test consisted, a Tesla using the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) crashed against the mannequins that simulated kids on the road.

The Dawn Project Pays for Test to Show FSD Doesn't Brake for Kids

The Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for childrenThe Dawn Project pays for a test to demonstrate Tesla vehicles do not stop for children
The Dawn Project is airing TV ads starting on August 9 that shows clips of these tests and the results. They were performed by Art Haynie, a professional pilot and driving instructor that worked for several carmakers, including Porsche. Haynie’s task was to place a 2019 Tesla Model 3 with FSD Beta 10.12.2 on a 120-yard (109.7-meter) straight line sided by cones. It was the most recent one when the tests were performed at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, California.

The driver would enter the course defined by the cones at 40 mph (64 kph) and activate FSD. Dressed mannequins representing children were placed at the end of the lane, right in the middle. The idea was to test if the software could detect the “kid” and brake the car, which it may have only done in one of the three runs on which the test was based.

Nick Taylor filmed the EV from four perspectives, including the vehicle's interior. The raw videos show the main reaction FSD presented to the child mannequins was to try to deviate from them – and fail – in two of the attempts. In the one where the car keeps going forward, there was a warning for the driver to put his hands back on the wheel, and the EV decelerates, but not enough to avoid hitting the toddler mannequin.

Haynie said the speed was quickly reduced to 25 mph (40 kph) because the Tesla would “start to stagger as if lost and confused, slow down a little, and then speed back up as it hit and ran over the mannequins.” The crash speeds were 24 mph, 27 mph, and 25 mph.

Dan O’Dowd is the narrator of the main video. The founder of The Dawn Project states that 100,000 Tesla owners are using FSD on public roads. O’Dowd also says that FSD “is the worst commercial software” he has ever seen. In the end, the engineer asks viewers to “tell Congress to shut it down,” giving them a phone number.

The Dawn Project website describes O’Dowd as “the world’s leading expert in creating software that never fails and can’t be hacked.” He was running for the Senate but lost in the primary on June 7. Stopping Tesla from testing its beta software on public roads was one of the main proposals O’Dowd had if he was elected Senator.

These tests from The Dawn Project are not the only ones that show FSD does not perform as it should. In fact, it does not even have to be FSD or Autopilot: automatic emergency braking (AEB) already fails. Taylor Ogan tweeted more than once the tests made by Luminar with a 2022 Lexus RX 450h equipped with Iris LiDAR and a Model Y with Tesla Vision.

What the videos show is the Model Y hitting the mannequin and the RX 450h stopping in time not to hurt the hypothetical toddler. The CEO of Snow Bull Capital joked that Teslas still aren’t stopping for children in 2022.

Tesla investors and advocates tried to argue that Tesla Vision is so advanced it does not stop for cardboard obstacles. It was no irony or sarcasm: they seem to really believe that. For the record, the mannequins are made of foam and fabric. Let’s hope they do not try to prove Tesla Vision’s capabilities with real children.





 Download attachment: The Dawn Project Test Report (PDF)

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