Almost $600,000 was spent on a Super Bowl commercial by a tech executive warning the public about Tesla’s self-driving technology.

by Christiaan Hetzner; Edited by News Gate Team

Dan O’Dowd thinks your child’s safety is worth over a half million dollars of his money. 

Green Hills Software CEO Dan O’Dowd believes Tesla’s self-driving technology is a safety risk and wants it off the road.
© Jonas Jungblut—The Washington Post/Getty Images

This year’s Super Bowl commercials were sometimes irreverent and extremely expensive, but one from his own “Dawn Project” called for the immediate outlawing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) capability.

The CEO of Green Hills Software has been attacking Elon Musk for a year in an effort to rally the public against FSD. His group verified to CNN that the 30-second ad cost $600,000 to broadcast.

He demanded that the American government order the deactivation of Tesla’s FSD until all alleged flaws are corrected in a tweet on Sunday, writing, “I am trying to remove the worst, most incompetently designed, built and tested automobile product on the market.”

Despite Fortune contacting them regarding the Dawn Project’s Super, Tesla did not answer.

Inquiries from Fortune regarding the Dawn Project’s Super Bowl ad went unanswered by Tesla.

However, in response, Musk asserted in a tweet that the advertisement would really help his automaker.

This will significantly raise public awareness that a Tesla is capable of self-driving (supervised for the time being), he wrote.

O’Dowd made a big impression when he first appeared on the scene in January of last year. He soon surpassed individuals like Snow Bull Capital CEO Taylor Ogan, an investor in BYD rival Tesla, as the most outspoken opponent of FSD.

He even made getting Tesla FSD cars off the road his campaign platform when he campaigned for the U.S. Senate.

After taking out a full-page ad against Tesla in the New York Times, he followed up in August with videos supposedly proving that Teslas “indiscriminately mow down” children. Tesla quickly responded with a cease and desist letter requesting he take down the video, to which O’Dowd replied he can “afford not to be intimidated by these threats.”

The authenticity of the videos is greatly disputed, and Tesla-friendly website Electrek claims to have conclusively debunked the claims—an assertion that O’Dowd continues to deny.

“To remove all doubt that these severe safety defects are real, we invite Elon Musk, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [and] the media to witness a public demonstration,” the Green Hills Software CEO argued on Saturday.

Musk has changed the rules.

The Super Bowl commercial does, however, confirm one thing: the FSD feature of Tesla is one of the most contentious topics related to the automaker’s technology.

Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, said last week that Tesla had defrauded him, saying the firm had overpromised and underdelivered on its promise to transform a car into a fully autonomous robotaxi at the push of a button.

Wozniak’s remarks come just a few weeks after it became clear that Elon Musk had faked a vital 2016 film that served as the foundation for his claim to be the pioneer of self-driving technology.

The so-called FSD beta was last year ultimately made available to all American and Canadian clients who purchased the software package, which is presently priced at $15,000.

Yet it remains a far cry from what was promised. Instead of a fully-automated vehicle, it remains nothing more than an assist system—albeit an advanced one—that requires constant supervision by a licensed driver behind the wheel.

Even Elektrek noticed in October that Musk had shifted the goalposts, with FSD stuck in “beta” development for an indefinite period of time. Currently 400,000 customers are testing the software.

By comparison, tech firms like Cruise and Waymo offer actual robotaxi services in limited geo-fenced areas where the surroundings have been meticulously mapped out in high definition digital maps.

Later this year, Mercedes-Benz expects to become the first carmaker to market a rudimentary drive pilot in the U.S., which will see drivers in Nevada legally allowed to take their eyes off the road. It has already been selling this technology in Germany since last May.

This story was originally featured on

by Christiaan Hetzner; Edited by News Gate Team

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