Dan O’Dowd, Santa Barbara billionaire, US Senate candidate and founder of Green Hills Software, has launched an ad campaign targeting Tesla Motors and its famous self-driving software.
O’Dowd is so determined to prevent Musk and Tesla from fully launching their self-driving technology that he is running for the US Senate, specifically for the seat currently held by Senator Alex Padilla. But what makes this so different is that O’Dowd’s campaign is about a single issue: Tesla.
O’Dowd is one of 23 candidates appearing on California’s nonpartisan primary ballot. However, he has maintained that he does not plan to actively campaign against any of those candidates, or Padilla.
On his personal LinkedIn page, O’Dowd’s headline reads, “I’m running for US Senate to make computers safe for humanity and ban Tesla’s full self-driving.”
In January, he ran a full-page ad in The New York Times campaigning to ban the software from America’s roads, which read: “We didn’t sign up our families to be crash test dummies for thousands of Tesla cars.” walking the streets”. public roads for the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company.
“It’s a poor piece of software,” O’Dowd said. “You start out with a perfectly good car. I love Teslas. I have three of them. But this full self-driving option, the one that costs $12,000, to put in your car, and now it’s going to try to run down the road, hit parked vehicles “.
O’Dowd’s plan is to raise awareness of his message by attracting the attention of politicians.
On Wednesday, he detailed to CBS political reporter Tom Wait exactly why he launched a political campaign that is designed to compete on a single issue.
“It’s the votes,” O’Dowd said. “I’ve tried to get people to look at this. I’ve talked to regulators, I’ve talked to politicians, I’ve talked to businesses and I’ve told them we have a big problem. So how do I get politicians to listen? Through of the votes.”
He made it clear that his mission was not meant to benefit his company, but rather in hopes of starting a conversation.
“We supply General Motors, in fact we supply Toyota and BMW, pretty much every company. It doesn’t make us a competitor to Tesla,” he said. “We don’t make self-driving software or cars or anything like that.”
However, Green Hills Software sells software that is used in autonomous driving.
Wait also spoke with Loyola law professor and political analyst Jessica Levinson, who pointed out how different the O’Dowd campaign is and that aside from his anti-Tesla agenda, “he doesn’t have any other platform.”
“Mr. O’Dowd is being very forthright about this. He doesn’t seem to have any particular interest in the other issues, he’s a one-issue candidate,” he said.
“Certainly there are some candidates who don’t stand a chance, but they change the conversation,” Levinson continued.
Tesla was not available for comment on the matter, while the California Democratic Party issued a statement further endorsing Sen. Padilla.