A pair of Super Bowl ads attacked Tesla’s self-driving technology on Sunday, asking viewers to boycott the company and claiming its vehicles are unsafe.
The Project Dawn ads follow a 2023 Super Bowl ad campaign, which featured a Tesla on Autopilot knocking down child-sized dolls in a parking lot.
“Here’s what Elon Musk doesn’t want you to know: He’s selling flawed self-driving software by telling consumers it’s many times safer than a human driver, when in reality he’s driving like a drunk teenager,” he said. The group’s website says.
“Anyone who buys a Tesla from Elon Musk facilitates his reckless behavior, including his self-driving experiments that have resulted in more than 1,000 accidents and at least 33 tragic deaths,” he continues. “Boycott Tesla to cut off funding for Elon Musk’s depraved human experiments.”
Sunday’s ads showed a video of a Tesla on Autopilot ignoring a school bus’s flashing stop sign and hitting several child-sized dolls.
Tesla’s Autopilot technology has come under increasing scrutiny in the past year from state and federal regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded in December that improper use of the software caused accidents.
The company recalled about two million vehicles after the NHTSA report, nearly all the vehicles it has ever produced, for mandatory Autopilot upgrades. Tesla disagreed with NHTSA’s findings, but agreed to the vehicle recall and software update.
Autopilot is a prominent feature of Tesla, whose software can move between lanes, accelerate and brake automatically. Despite its name, it is not a fully autonomous driving system.
The software has been criticized for claiming that it can be easily tricked so that the driver does not have to be as attentive as expected or even sit in the driver’s seat when moving.
The recall is the latest scrutiny on Tesla, which has been the subject of multiple recalls and safety investigations by the NHTSA in recent years, including an earlier recall of its self-driving software.
California’s attorney general launched its own investigation into the safety of Autopilot software and Tesla vehicles in July.
The Hill has contacted Tesla for comment.
Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.