Elon Musk opponent hiring influencers to badmouth Tesla's self-driving mode at US$100 a pop
Instead of logging Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta mode errors and reporting them in order to improve the autonomous driving system, a "concerned citizen" is looking for negative input from social media influencers to create a "Man vs Musk" short with prerecorded opinions on Tesla's Autopilot. This time around, the undertaking is not by Dan O'Dowd's Dawn Project which recently got in hot water for creating test setups where the Autopilot's emergency braking system failed to detect child-sized dummies.
The producer is Jordan Skopp, a founder of the Destructive Driving project whose purpose seems to revolve around changing the behaviour of Tesla and Elon Musk's mentality, in particular:
Elon Musk built his electric car company, Tesla, around the promise that it represented the future of driving. However, Musk has been intentionally tone deaf to the epidemic of distracted driving. Fact, he has built his empire disempowering drivers from the ability to pay attention and keep their car on the road...
Accident statistics are way up. People are driving impaired and distracted more than ever before. We are living during a global pandemic of distracted driving. Tesla’s products are appealing to this dysfunctional market, catering to distracted drivers in ways that make the problem worse.
The film's script continues with a public invitation to Elon Musk to "discuss his responsibility to prioritize automobile and road safety above all other considerations regarding his technological experiments with Tesla." The pay for the participation in the movie is US$100 "for an estimated 1 hour of work," and the casting platform Backstage is looking to recruit "75-100 actors with a strong social media presence/following to read and self-record a new 10-15 minute monologue."
The NHTSA is currently logging incidents with Teslas where Autopilot may have been engaged, and analyzing them to determine if there is a statistical aberration indeed. Elon Musk appears unfazed by the investigations or individual outcry, and has pledged to launch a truly self-driving Tesla by the end of the year, though it is not yet clear by what criteria. Tesla has an AI Day scheduled for September 30 when it may chart the way for its autonomous driving software, too.