Musk Challenged over Tesla 3 Safety on 60 Minutes
After a year of public mistakes and struggles, Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk about his life, his decisions and Tesla’s technology problems on last Sunday’s 60 Minutes episode.
Interviewer Leslie Stahl peppered Musk with questions, including a pointed one about why he appeared on an edgy podcast in an interview with Joe Rogan, with whom he smoked a joint. He shooed away her questions in a couple of sentences. She also asked about what many said were unrealistic production goals for Tesla Model 3 and the problems in meeting them.
But the most noise from naysayers over the interview had to do with his use of the hands-free, semi-autonomous driving system and the hiccup it had. Riding in the car with him, Stahl asked if Musk felt safe:
“Yeah,” the CEO answered, settling back into the driver’s seat, his hands clasped together over his stomach, after turning on the car’s semiautonomous driving system. “Now you’re not driving at all,” Stahl said, incredulously, looking over at his feet.
Musk went on to demonstrate the car’s new Navigate on Autopilot feature, which lets it change lanes by itself. Stahl’s wowed reaction—“Oh my goodness”—matches that of many people when they first see the Tesla take control of its steering and speed. But her questioning, trying to gauge Musk’s involvement in the driving process, highlights a significant issue Tesla faces as it rolls out ever more advanced Autopilot features.
According to a story by Jack Stewart in wired.com, evidence shows that consumers are generally confused about how to drive safely with autonomous systems. It seems even the CEO of Tesla had issues while on camera.
“His board of directors needs to slap him upside the head,” says Missy Cummings, who researches human and autonomous vehicle interaction at Duke University. “One of the biggest problems with Tesla is something called mode confusion—people don’t realize when a car is in one automated mode versus another.”
Read more about the interview at wired.com
For more information on autonomous cars, read The Wired Guide to Self Driving Cars
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