“Trillion dollar Ponzi scheme.”
“It’s not safe.”
TV advertising for software billionaire Dan Odaud, who runs as a Democrat in the Senate in California, is not a typical campaign spot. Exceptionally, they all cover one topic: Tesla’s self-driving software. He is not his presumed enemy, Senator Alex Padilla, an incumbent Democrat.
O’Dowd’s campaign slogan is “Make computers safe for humankind.” He claims that Tesla’s computer is not.
“The problem over the last five or ten years has been taking everything our lives depend on and leaving it to the computer,” O’Dowd said in an interview. “So now, our power grid, our cars, or our dams, or bridges, hospitals-everything is in the computer that is in charge of everything.”
“And much of the software used to do that is of very poor quality,” he added.
Odaud’s first focus is Tesla’s fully automated driving softwareHe says it should never have been allowed on the road.
“The software that drives a car with millions of people accordingly must be our best software, the most carefully designed and tested software,” he said. “Instead, we’re literally using the worst software.”
O’Dowd also posted a paid ad in a printed version of The New York Times. “Don’t be a Tesla crash test dummy.” Advertise Dawn projectOdaud’s website highlighting his expertise as a software engineer for projects such as the Boeing 787 and Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter.
Some of O’Dowd’s critics Questioned the motive behind his anti-Tesla campaign.. The car company uses his company’s software in a variety of components and systems, including self-driving systems.
Mask enters the arena
For Democrats, Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, has created a fascinating political quarry.
For the past few weeks, Musk has shared his one-sided thoughts on what seems to come to mind on Twitter, such as politics, freedom of speech, “cultural cancellation”, and “hardcore proceedings”. He accused the Democratic Party of being a “division and hatred” party and now said it would “vote for the Republican Party.”
Musk’s involvement in the public debate cost him a great deal. The price of Tesla’s stock has fallen by nearly $ 400 since the news that he invested in Twitter was first announced in early April.
Tesla did not respond to requests for comment on this article. On that websiteAccording to the company, a fully autonomous driving system requires “active driver monitoring” and does not “make the vehicle autonomous.”
But masks sometimes imply that this is not the case. “This year, I am confident that this car will be self-propelled in order to achieve reliability that surpasses that of humans.” He said in January 2021.. “This is a very big problem.”
“I tried almost everything”
When I asked O’Dowd why he ran for an unorthodox public office instead of setting up a nonprofit to raise the issue in public, he was already taking that approach. Said.
“I tried almost everything,” he said. “I tried to go to the government, regulatory agencies, politicians, the companies themselves.”
“I’ve been speaking for seven years and I feel pretty lonely,” he said. But now that his crusade against Tesla has become widespread, he added, “I didn’t feel so lonely.”
If California or other legal authorities declare that Tesla’s self-driving software isn’t ready for public use, he said he would “shut up.”
But for now, he said, Odaud is willing to spend “whatever he needs” to achieve his goal of removing it from the market. “The whole raft of more commercials” is in the works.
“I don’t have the budget,” he said, of course.
No pollsters or rallies
O’Dowd is fully self-funded for his campaign. He has already spent nearly $ 3.5 million on advertising, far more than any other candidate for the race. His campaign manager is John Blair, a veteran democratic strategist who previously helped elect Gina Raimondo, the former governor of Rhode Island.
He also hired a democratic advertising maker, Mark Putnam. The company became famous for creating flashy biographical videos for candidates, including Amy McGrath and MJ Hager’s Spot.
Putnam’s Odaud ads have many features that have made him one of the most popular creative minds in his field. Emotional urgency, first-person testimony, and compelling footage. On the subject of non-traditional campaigns, they are quite arrested.
Putnam’s latest ad, which Musk accuses of running the “Ponzi scheme,” is almost two minutes long and is an extraordinary indulgence for most campaigns.
However, the operation of O’Dowd is different from most campaigns. He asked for a poll, but he hasn’t hired an official pollster. Although he does not hold campaign rallies or walking rope lines, he expressed his concerns by holding meetings with a small group of voters, a group of stakeholders, and elected officials.
O’Dowd Federal regulation Broadcasters must offer significant discounts to qualified candidates for public office. If he had installed a Super PAC or other vehicle to undertake his advertisement, the broadcaster would have had more room to reject them or charge a higher fee.
But campaign law experts said there was nothing wrong with what he was doing.
Adav Noti, Vice President and Legal Director of the Campaign Legal Center, said: “The law is pretty agnostic about what a candidate chooses to focus on.”
The primary election is scheduled for June 7. Odaud may face Padilla directly in the fall as California’s own election law allows the top two to advance to the general election.
Odaud doesn’t say so explicitly, but he’s not trying to win exactly.
“I’m going to limit these issues very carefully,” he said. “And I’m going to tell people, if you think this is the biggest problem you should vote for me.”
“Believe me, he knows who I am”
O’Dowd argued that his company, Green Hills Software, was not a competitor to Tesla.
“We don’t manufacture self-driving cars,” he said, adding that some car companies were using the software on certain low-level components. “It’s not our business.”
Green Hills promotes Expertise in creating specialized software used in autonomous driving systems.. The website states that the code is used in “hundreds of millions of vehicles.”
The New York Times has extensively reported on the shortcomings of Mask’s promotion of fully autonomous vehicles. Recent documentary films..
During February Tesla recalls 54,000 cars In some cases, it disables software features that allow the vehicle to perform a rolling stop. There are entire websites dedicated to documenting deaths involving Tesla, including those that have proven to involve driver assistance features.
When we spoke in late April, Odaud said he had never spoken to Mask about his concerns — not because of a lack of attempt. “I made three or four efforts to do so through mutual friends,” O’Dowd said. “Believe me, he knows who I am. He knows what I am doing. And he is not interested.”
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