In context: Elon Musk definitely seems to be a love-him-or-hate-him character. One of those firmly in the latter camp is Dan O'Dowd, founder of the Dawn Project and CEO of Green Hills Software, who has been running a public campaign slamming Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) software as dangerous. The latest jab is a viral ad showing the vehicles running over child-sized mannequins while in FSD mode. It's resulted in a cease-and-desist letter from the automaker, which O'Dowd has responded to by calling Musk a "crybaby."

The Dawn Project is an organization launched last year calling for software in critical computer-controlled systems to be replaced with unhackable alternatives that never fail. It took out a full-page ad criticizing Tesla's FSD beta program earlier in 2022, offering $10,000 to the first person who could name "another commercial product from a Fortune 500 company that has a critical malfunction every 8 minutes."

The Dawn Project continued its campaign earlier this month by releasing a video called "Test Track - The Dangers of Tesla's Full Self-Driving Software." It claims to show a Tesla in FSD mode running over child-size mannequins wearing children's clothes at 25mph. O'Dowd says FSD is the worst self-driving software he's ever seen and calls for congress to shut it down.

Tesla took action against the ad. It sent a cease-and-desist letter on August 11 to O'Dowd demanding the video, which it calls defamatory and misrepresentative, be removed. It also asked O'Dowd to issue a public retraction and send all material from the video to Tesla within 24 hours of receiving the letter.

O'Dowd responded to the letter in a lengthy blog post calling Musk "just another crybaby hiding behind his lawyer's skirt."

There have been plenty of people and publications pointing out what appear to be flaws in O'Dowd's video; Electrek highlights several apparent inconsistencies.

Green Hills Software develops operating systems and programming tools for embedded systems; its real-time OS and other safety software are used in BMW's iX vehicles and others from various automakers. The company is also developing its own self-driving software.

Musk tweeted a reply to O'Dowd's blog with an emoji of a bat, a poop, and the word "crazy."

Last month , the California Department of Motor Vehicles filed a complaint against Tesla's autopilot and self-driving claims, alleging the company made "untrue or misleading" statements in advertisements on its website relating to its driver assistance programs.