Today I was watching the news and saw an ad twice seriously dissing Tesla’s self-driving car software by showing one repeatedly driving over a child-sized test dummy. The second time I saw the add I noticed that it was paid for by the “Dawn Project”.
Being a cynic, I was expecting to find that it was paid for by the UAW, the US IC car companies or some such, I googled 'Who is the Dawn Project? Tesla:
This gave a long list of similar pieces describing the same pitch, including that they took out a full page ad in the New York Times.
Way down on the page I found this:
The “Dawn Project” is a function of Dan O’Dowd, a self-proclaimed “self-made billionaire” from Santa Barbara. He claims that he has spent the past 40 years running the obscure computer company Green Hills Software and writing software code that he claims “never fails and can’t be hacked” for nuclear weapon systems, military encryption systems, the FBI, car companies, and others.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that O’Dowd has become obsessed with Tesla’s full self-driving cars. He owns three Teslas and claims to have driven nothing else for over a decade, but believes the full self-driving cars have become so dangerous that they need to be banned immediately. California Senate candidate Dan O’Dowd will not talk about taxes. Or homelessness. Or climate change. Or inflation. Or housing. Or jobs. All he will talk about is how much he hates Tesla’s self-driving cars and the existential threat computers pose to humanity.
“My issue is more important than all of them, because it’s basically about survival,” he told Motherboard. “When cyber Armageddon hits, and everything goes down, I don’t think anybody’s gonna care about taxes.”
So, anyway, I’m guessing you’ll see these ads at some point and just thought that it’s always important to at least make an attempt to find out who pays for this stuff and what their interest is. This one, right or wrong, seems to be a guy with an axe to grind about the fallibility of Tesla’s self-driving software who apparently has the money (or has acquired the backing of other “interested parties”) to buy his own advertising campaign.