Elon Musk took aim at a “bats–t crazy” tech billionaire who is denounced the Tesla CEO as a “crybaby” for complaining about a video clip showing a Tesla run over a child mannequin.
Musk’s electric car company has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dan O’Dowd’s advocacy group, The Dawn Project, over an allegedly “defamatory” video depicting a self-driving Tesla colliding with a doll meant to represent a child.
The 32-second-long viral ad, which includes an appearance by O’Dowd, calls into question the safety features of Tesla’s autonomous “Full Self-Driving” software (FSD).
The video shows a “safety test” of a Tesla vehicle that was performed at Willow Springs Test Track in Rosamond, Calif.
“Elon Musk says Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software is ‘amazing,’” O’Dowd is heard saying in the video during his narration.
“It will ‘blow your mind,’” O’Dowd, president and CEO of Santa Barbara-based Green Hills Software, says in the video. “But does it work?”
The video then cuts to a clip of a Tesla sedan in “actual full self-driving mode” as it repeatedly barrels into a child-size mannequin.
“This happens over and over again,” O’Dowd is heard saying.
“A hundred thousand Tesla drivers are already using Full Self-Driving on public roads.”
O’Dowd, whose company provided embedded safety and security systems to car manufacturers such as Ford, continues: “I’m a safety engineer, and Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software is the worst commercial software I’ve ever seen.”
“Tell Congress to shut it down,” he says.
The video, which was posted on Twitter on Aug. 9, has accumulated nearly 1 million total views.
Musk responded on Twitter to a post about O’Dowd written by @WholeMarsBlog, a pro-Musk Twitter account.
The Tesla mogul used the emojis for a bat and feces before writing out the word “crazy.”
O’Dowd posted a response to Tesla’s threat of legal actioncalling Musk a “crybaby” who sicks his “troll army” against critics such as himself.
“I dare you to come out and defend this technology,” O’Dowd wrote in response to Tesla’s letter.
“Tesla Full Self-Driving software has no future. It is the most incompetently designed, implemented, and tested commercial software I have ever seen.”
In a subsequent Twitter post, O’Dowd refers to Musk as a “master scammer” and “crybaby” who was “hiding behind his lawyer’s skirt.”
“Guess I hurt his wittle feewings,” O’Dowd taunted. “Now the coward [Musk] lashes out, sending pawns to fight his fight.”
O’Dowd’s tweet features a cartoon showing a naked Musk tweeted while lying in bed as two lawyers tie up a woman who is bound and gagged in a chair. One of the men is depicted holding a knife while the other is holding a nondisclosure agreement.
“Elon Musk’s idea of free speech,” reads the caption. The cartoon is criticism of Tesla’s policy requiring the owners who gained early access to the beta version of its FSD software last year to sign nondisclosure agreements.
Earlier this week, Musk announced that Tesla would be hiking the price of its FSD software to $15,000.