Tech titan Elon Musk accused reporters of “killing people” with their negative coverage of recent crashes by Tesla cars that were in autopilot mode.
Tesla cars don’t kill people — journalists do.
From New York Post
That’s because Tesla’s self-driving technology — which got a boost Wednesday with a new, eight-camera, ultrasonic-and-radar hardware package that will be standard on all Teslas from now on — is actually safer than humans handling the wheel, Musk claimed.
“You need to think carefully about this,” Musk testily told reporters on a late-Wednesday conference call after announcing the new tech. “Because if, in writing some article that’s negative, you effectively dissuade people from using an autonomous vehicle, you’re killing people.”
Potentially killing about 600,000 people a year, Musk calculates, because there are currently 1.2 million car-related fatalities a year and Tesla’s self-driving tech is twice as safe as manual driving.
Musk was copping attitude despite the death earlier this year of Joshua Brown, who was killed when his Tesla Model S in autopilot mode failed to recognize a semi-truck trailer crossing in front of it on a Florida highway.
Tesla said it has since upgraded its software to prevent such an incident again. Periodic software improvements, added every few months, will eventually make Tesla cars 10 times safer than humans while in autonomous mode, Musk said.
“We find this announcement surprising given increased scrutiny following the Autopilot crash,” UBS analysts wrote in a Thursday research note. “Adding these capabilities too early and without enough testing could have negative long term consequences to adoption given the headline risk of AV crashes.”
Tesla shares on Thursday were recently off 1.8 percent at $199.98.
The electric car maker’s new, $8,000 hardware package will come standard on all new Teslas including the $35,000 Model 3, which is slated to hit the streets at the end of 2017.
By then, Tesla cars in fully autonomous mode will be able to not only make a trip “from home in LA to, let’s say, dropping you off in Times Square in New York” without a driver ever touching the wheel, Musk said — but then be able go “park itself.”
Read Full Story At New York Post