It turns out that Tesla’s FSD Bet actually does stop for kids and pedestrians as demonstrated in a video with both a mannequin and an actual child. Recently, the founder of the Dawn Project who is also the CEO of Green Hills Software, which makes automated driving systems, Dan O’Dowd, claimed that Tesla’s FSD Beta did not stop for a child-sized mannequin. This led to a mainstream media storm against Tesla and its life-saving technology.
Tesla owner and FSD Beta Tester, @WholeMarsBlog asked if there were anyone in the Bay Area with a child who could run in front of his car while FSD Beta was engaged. Many took this as a joke, however, The Verge published an open letter to @WholeMarsBlog asking him not to do this.
It turned out that there was someone in the Bay Area willing to allow his child to put Tesla’s FSD Beta to the ultimate test. And it should be noted that the person who allowed this was the driver during the test.
In a Twitter DM, @WholeMarsBlog told me:
“Our tests showed that Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta has no problem detecting pedestrians of all ages. As long as the driver is paying attention, which the system ensures, there is no risk to pedestrians even in the event that the software fails to detect them.”
“This is driver assistance and is not expected to be perfect. It sickens me that Dan O’Dowd would push harmful misinformation to benefit himself financially. He should be charged criminally for false advertising, along with any stations that ran his ads. I don’t have millions to spend on ads like Dan, so please share the video on social media so that everyone who saw Dan’s ad can see our test too.”
Tesla FSD Beta doesn’t hit the mannequin or the child.
In a series of tests involving a child-sized mannequin dressed up and later on a child, Tesla’s FSD Beta proves to not do as O’Dowd claimed it would do.
During the first test, the mannequin was standing in the middle of the street and the car wouldn’t move once FSD Beta was turned on. After moving the mannequin further down the road, the group engaged FSD Beta and it slowly began to move forward.
Once it got closer to the mannequin, it slowed down and came to a complete stop. @WholeMarsBlog showed a detailed look at the screen which showed that Tesla’s FSD Beta detected a pedestrian in the street. It should be noted that, unlike O’Dowd’s video, there were no cones on either side of the vehicle blocking the car from moving around the mannequin.
In the next test, they moved the mannequin a little to the right. The vehicle not only recognized that there was a pedestrian in the street but easily moved around it safely.
Testing Tesla’s FSD Beta with People
In the next series of tests, one of the members of the group, Alvey, participated. Alvey stood in the middle of the street and FSD Beta immediately recognized Alvey as a pedestrian and came to a complete stop at a safe distance. Next up, Alvey walks in front of the car as it’s driving and the car immediately stopped.
In the next test, Tad Park, the CEO of Volt Equity took the driver’s seat. Tad said that he trusted the system enough and has tried FSD Beta previously.
“I would trust my kids’ lives with it and so I’m very confident that it’s going to detect my kids. And then, I’m also in control of the vehicle so I can brake at any time.”
Not only does Tesla’s FSD Beta detect Tad’s son, but it stopped for him. In the next test, Tad’s son crossed the street in front of the moving vehicle. Again, FSD Beta recognized what was happening and reacted accordingly. It slowed down and @WholeMarsBlog pointed out that it waited for him to cross and then continued on.
Attempting to run the mannequin over at a higher speed
The next test was for them to run the mannequin over at a higher speed. They moved it far enough that it was almost out of view but Tesla Vision still detected it. They accelerated to 40 miles per hour but instead of hitting the mannequin, FSD Beta slowed down and moved over to the right.
“It’s not like the commercials you see on TV.”
The video disproves the claim that Tesla FSD Beta will hit kids and do so repeatedly. You can watch it below.
Disclaimer: Johnna is long Tesla.