A hot potato: Elon Musk has responded to an ad taken out in Sunday's New York Times that blasts Tesla's Full Self-Driving software, claiming it malfunctions and commits critical driving errors every 8 minutes. The CEO says the full-page advertisement is a "tragic case of ego [over] ability."
The advert was taken out by The Dawn Project, an organization calling for software in critical computer-controlled systems to be replaced with unhackable alternatives that never fail. The ad demands Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) be removed from public roads until it has "1,000 times fewer critical malfunctions."
"Don't be a Tesla crash test dummy," the ad states. "We did not sign up our families to be crash test dummies for thousands of Tesla cars being driven on the public roads by the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company."
The ad also offered $10,000, the same price as the software itself, to the first person who could name "another commercial product from a Fortune 500 company that has a critical malfunction every 8 minutes."
Musk responded to the ad with the following tweet:
Tragic case of ego/ability>>1--- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 18, 2022
The founder of The Dawn Project is Dan O'Dowd, who is also the CEO of Green Hills Software, which builds operating systems and programming tools for embedded systems. TechCrunch notes that its real-time OS is used in BMW's iX vehicle.
A Twitter user replied to an O'Dowd tweet announcing the ad, noting that the CEO should reveal which Tesla competitors his company has taken money from. Musk joined in the conversation, adding that "Green Hills software is a pile of trash. Linux ftw."
Green Hills software is a pile of trash. Linux ftw.--- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 16, 2022
The ad arrived just days after the California Department of Motor Vehicles told Tesla it would be "revisiting" its opinion that the company's test program doesn't fall under the department's autonomous vehicle regulations because it requires a human driver. The decision came after the DMV reviewed dozens of viral videos showing Tesla's Full Self-Driving beta technology driving cars into dangerous situations. The agency also received a letter of concern from a key state legislator, reports the Los Angeles Times.