People are now testing the feature on real children.

Carmine Cupani wanted to set the record straight. So he asked his young son to get in the way of his Tesla while speeding through a parking lot.
The North Carolina resident set out to refute a widely circulated video of a Tesla with the “full self drivingThe beta software, which allows the car to turn, stop and accelerate, but requires an attentive human driver ready to take the wheel, turns into child-sized mannequins.

Dan O’Dowd, CEO of a software company that posted the video earlier this month, thinks the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should ban “full self-driving” until Tesla CEO Elon Musk, “prove you won’t kill children.”

That’s when Cupani, who runs an auto shop focused on imports and Teslas, got involved and recruited his son. While he describes himself as a “BMW guy,” Cupani says the software doesn’t compare to what Tesla offers.

It also wasn’t the first time he’s recruited his son, who Cupani says is 11, in a potentially viral car endeavor: earlier this year. posted a video of his son driving his Model S Plaid, which can do 0-60 in 1.99 seconds, in a private parking lot. It has been viewed more than 250,000 times.

“Some people look at it and say ‘oh this crazy dad, what is he doing?'” Cupani told CNN Business.

“Well, I do a lot of things like that, but I’ll make sure my son doesn’t get hit.”

cupani filmed the test of “fully autonomous driving” in a parking lot. Her son stood near the end of a hallway with a smartphone to film the test.

Cupani revved up the Tesla from across the lot and turned on “full self-driving,” reaching 35 mph (56 km/h). The Tesla braked steadily and came to a complete stop, well ahead of his son.

“Self-directed” Tesla: Cupani is one of many Tesla supporters who took issue with O’Dowd’s video and set out to create their own evidence. (Carmine Import Service)
Cupani did another test with his son on a street using Autopilot, Tesla’s most rudimentary driver assistance software, and found that it stopped for his son, too.

“This guy Dan says he’s an expert at this, an expert at that,” Cupani said.

“Well, I’m an automotive expert, future technology, professional driving instructor.”

Cupani is among the many Tesla supporters who took issue with O’Dowd’s video and set out to create their own tests. Some asked their children for help. Others built homemade mannequins or used inflatable dolls.

The passionate defenses and critics of “full self-driving” highlight how the technology has become a flash point in the industry.

“Self-directed” Tesla: Cupani is one of many Tesla supporters who took issue with O’Dowd’s video and set out to create their own evidence. (Carmine Import Service)
The California DMV recently said the name “full self-driving” is misleading and grounds to suspend or revoke Tesla’s license to sell vehicles in the state.

Ralph Nader, whose criticism of the auto industry in the 1960s helped fuel the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, joined a chorus of critics of “full self-driving” this month.

But it’s also yet another example of the unintended consequence of deploying unfinished, disruptive technology in the wild, and shows how far some Tesla believers are willing to go to defend it and the company.

Enough people seemed to be running their own experiments that a government agency took the extraordinary step of warning people not to use children to test car technology.

“Consumers should never attempt to create their own test scenarios or use real people, and especially children, to test the performance of vehicle technology,” the NHTSA said in a statement Wednesday. The agency called this approach “highly dangerous.”

Ralph Nader joined a chorus of critics of “total self-driving” this month. (Ride)

Earlier this month, California resident Tad Park saw that another Tesla enthusiast wanted to try “full autonomous driving” with a child and offered two of his children.

Park told CNN Business that it was “a little difficult” to get his wife to agree. She agreed when she promised to drive the vehicle.

“I’m never going to push the limits because my kids are so much more valuable to me than anything else,” Park said.

“I am not going to risk their lives in any way.”

park tests, unlike O’Dowd, started the Tesla at 0 mph. The Tesla stopped in all of Park’s tests before two of his children involved in the video, including a 5-year-old boy.

Park said he didn’t feel comfortable doing a 40-mph speed test, like the one O’Dowd did with the dummies, with his children.

Toronto resident Franklin Cadamuro created a “box boy,” a boy’s form crafted from old Amazon cardboard boxes.

O’Dowd is asking Musk to prove that “full self-driving” “won’t kill children.” (AP)

His Tesla slowed as he approached the “boy in the box.” He then sped up again and hit his cardboard mannequin. Cadamuro speculated that this might be because the cameras couldn’t see the short boxes once they were immediately in front of the bumper, and thus forgot they were there.

Human babies learn at around eight months that an out-of-sight object still exists, many years before they qualify for a driver’s license. But the ability may still elude some AI systems like Tesla’s “full self-driving.” Another Tesla fan found a similar result.

Cadamuro said his video started out as entertainment. But he wanted people to see that “full self-driving” isn’t perfect.

“I think a lot of people have two extreme thoughts about the ‘full self-driving’ beta,” Cadamuro said.

“People like Dan think he’s the worst thing in the world. I know some friends who think he’s almost perfect.”

Cadamuro said he also ran other tests in which his Tesla, traveling at higher speeds, effectively drove around the “box boy.”

According to Raj Rajkumar, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who researches autonomous vehicles, it will generally be more difficult to detect smaller objects, such as young children, quickly and accurately than it will be to detect large, adult objects for a computer vision system like the one Tesla vehicles are used.

The more pixels an object occupies in a camera image, the more information the system has to detect features and identify the object. The system will also be affected by the data it is trained on, such as the number of images of young children it is exposed to.

“Computer vision with machine learning is not 100 percent foolproof,” Rajkumar said.

“Just like diagnosing a disease, there are always false positives and negatives.”

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment and does not generally engage with the professional media.

Tesla blurs the lines between technology and vehicles
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment and does not generally engage with the professional media. (Supplied)

Some Tesla supporters had criticized the use of O’Dowd cones as lane markings in its original test, which may have limited the sedan’s ability to maneuver around the dummy.

Others claimed that O’Dowd’s test driver had forced the Tesla to hit the dummy by pressing on the accelerator, which was not seen in the videos O’Dowd posted.

Some Tesla enthusiasts also pointed to blurred messages on the Tesla vehicle’s screen as an indication that O’Dowd’s test driver was pressing the accelerator to tamper with the tests.

O’Dowd told CNN Business that the blurry messages referred to the supercharging not being available and uneven tire wear.

CNN Business was unable to independently verify what the message said, as O’Dowd did not provide sharper video of what happened in the car during testing.

in his second video, O’Dowd tested without cones on a residential street and showed the inside of the Tesla, including the gas pedal. The Tesla, as in other O’Dowd tests, hit the dummy boy.
O’Dowd lamented earlier this year in an interview with CNN Business that no industry testing body examines the “full self-driving” code. the united states government has no performance standards for automated driver assistance technology like Autopilot.

O’Dowd is the founder of Project Dawn, an effort to make computers safe for humanity. He ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the US Senate this year in a campaign focused solely on his criticism of “total self-driving.”

NHTSA is currently investigating Tesla’s driver assistance technology, so changes are possible.

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“The software that controls the lives of billions of people in self-driving cars should be the best software ever written,” O’Dowd said.

“We’re using absolute rules of Wild West chaos and we’ve come up with something that’s so terrible.”

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