Elon Musk says humans are underrated, calls Teslas excessive automation a mistake

In a rare mea culpa for the mercurial billionaire, Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that the company has been too reliant on robots for production.

” Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake ,” Musk wrote, responding to a Wall Street Journal reporter’s tweet.” Human are underrated .” He also talked about this with CBS News’ Gayle King, adding” we had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts….And it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing .”

Tesla has faced mounting public pressure amid a production slowdown for its Model 3, its lower-priced car. The company lately revealed that it missed its target to produce 2,500 cars a week, disappointing investors.

The uncertainty has resulted in a volatile stock. A month ago shares were trading at $340 and then slid to $252. Things have started to recover now that Musk says the company will be profitable and cash flow positive in the third quarter .

This was also revealed in a tweet that Musk wrote to The Economist on Friday.

There’s ” no need to raise money ,” he added. Shares closed Friday at $300.34.

The company has a market cap of $50.7 billion. By comparing, Ford Motors has a market cap of $45 billion.

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Elon Musk just took charge of Model 3 production, saying its his most critical job right now

You can probably argue over whether it’s a good or a bad sign, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter today a report in The Information that he has taken over direct control of the division that’s making Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan after the company failed to meet the delivery objectives it had set.

Specifically, Tesla had intended to produce 500 Model 3 vehicles per day, or 2,500 per week, by the end of last month. But according to a company-wide email to employees that was sent today and obtained by Jalopnik, Musk said Tesla has been building closer to 2, 000 of the cars per week.( Musk calculated last July that Tesla would be stimulating 20,000 of the cars per month by December .)

In his email — fired off at 3 am. PDT — Musk added that if” things go as planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven day period! ”

Musk may have been referring in part to the reorganization. But while The Information reported that Musk had seemingly” pushed aside the company’s senior vice president of engineering, Doug Field, who had been overseeing manufacturing in recent months ,” Musk quickly took issue with that characterization of events.

He complained on Twitter to Information reporter Amir Efrati,” Can’t believe you’re even writing about this. My undertaking as CEO is to focus on what’s most critical, which is currently Model 3 production. Doug, who I regard as one of the world’s most talented engineering exec, is focused on vehicle engineering .”

Musk continued, tweeting:” About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering& production. He agreed that Tesla required[ engineering and production to be] better aligned, so we don’t design autoes that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide& subdue, so I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …”

That Musk is feeling sensitive to press reports right now won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the company, given the string of negative advertising that Tesla has received in recent weeks.

In addition to a voluntary remember of 123, 000 Model S vehicles that owes to a problem with the power-steer component of some of the cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week launched an investigation into the role of Tesla’s Autopilot in a fatal crash.

In fact, in a series of separate tweets today, Musk responded to the National Transportation Safety Board, a security bureau that said it was ” unhappy” with Tesla’s decision on Friday to publish a blog post about the accident, given that investigations are ongoing.

In that post, Tesla said the driver, since identified as an Apple engineer,” had received several visual and one audible hands-on alerting earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision .” The company also noted that a highway security roadblock that might have mitigated the impact of the collision had been” crushed in a prior collision without being replaced .”

The suggestion was plainly that Tesla can’t be blamed, at the least not entirely, for the fatality.

In response to the NTSB’s newly public frustration over the release of these details by Tesla, Musk wrote on Twitter today,” Lot of respect for NTSB, but NHTSA governs automobiles , not NTSB, which is an advisory body. Tesla releases critical accident data affecting public safety instantly& always will. To do otherwise would be unsafe .”

Tesla closed down 5.1 percentage at $252.48 in trading today.

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BrainQ aims to cure stroke and spinal cord injuries through mind-reader tech

Israel-based BrainQ is a new neurotech startup hoping to take over brain-computer interface( BCI) companies like Braintree founder Bryan Johnson’s Kernel and Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

It’s not clear yet what Musk’s startup intends to do with the computer chips it plans to put in our heads, but Johnson’s startup tells it is focused on developing “technologies to understand and treat neurological diseases in new and exciting ways.”

Whatever sector each company runs for, both plan to insert chips in our brains to connect us to computers — the consequences of which could have dramatic impacts on human memory, intelligence, communication and many other areas that could rocket humanity forward, should they work out.

But it’s early days in this industry, including for BrainQ, which plans to use a non-surgically embedded EEG machine instead to gather data and help improve outcomes for stroke and spinal cord patients.

Aside from the brain implant options, BrainQ faces quite a bit of competitor in this area. EEG machines are nothing new , not even in the spinal cord trauma space. Missouri-based NeuroLutions is working on similar EEG type technology to improve and restore function to paralytics. NeuroPace, a Kleiner-funded startup, is focused on seizures rather than stroke and spinal cord traumata, but is based on the same idea.

BrainQ admits it is also a couple years out from being fully operational here. It still needs to get through clinical human trials and gain Food and Drug Administration approval to sell its services in the U.S.

So far, the company is in the process of conducting two human clinical trials for stroke patients in Israel and a spokesperson for the company, Assaf Lifshitz, tells BrainQ will likely try to go to other marketplaces first while waiting on the FDA. BrainQ tells TechCrunch it hopes to be available in the U.S. market by 2020.

Alzheimer’s research is another area TechCrunch was told the company wants to get into soon, and perhaps children’s syndromes, as well.

There are a lot of different areas the company could go into with this type of tech but it’s probably safest to bet on a few narrow areas in the beginning, as there is already so much competitor in the space in just the U.S. For instance, NeuruLutions’ Ipsihand device is already connecting stroke patients’ brains to a moveable bracing they can control with thought and help them move certain body parts again.

And, while Lifshitz believes BrainQ is at least ahead of the market as far as Kernel and Neuralink run, that’s too easy of a comparison to stimulate. EEG is a low-risk entry toward a BCI device win FDA approval. All the company needs to show, as many of these companies are either on their style to proving or have proved already, is that the device runs. That is far from the same thing as a chip surgically inserted into your head.

BrainQ will continue to forge ahead, of course. Google’s Launchpad Studio chose to work with the startup this last fall, based on what it thought was some interesting machine learning tech. The company also has raised about $3.5 million to date from various Israeli investors and angels, and presented previous clinical findings to the World Congress of Neuro Rehabilitation.

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Elon Musk crashes SXSW panel to talk about space travel

Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, made a astonish appearance on the Westworld panel at SXSW. After getting cued up by Jonathan Nolan, the co-creator of HBO series Westworld , Musk walked out on stage to people cheering and person or persons screaming, “Elon, we love you! ”

During his stage hour, he spoke about the excitement of space travel, sending a Tesla into a space and what a time it is to be alive. Musk kicked off his quick on-stage appearance with discussing how there are a lot of negative things in the world.

“There are a lot of terrible things happening all over the world, all of the time, ” Musk said. “There are lots of problems that need to get solved. Lots of things that are miserable and kind of get you down.”

“But life cannot just be about solving one miserable thing after another, ” he added. “That can’t be the only thing. They need to be things that inspire you, that stimulate you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity. That’s why we did this.”

Musk is referring to SpaceX’s recent launching of the Falcon Heavy. You know, the rocket that carried a red Tesla with a dummy in an astronaut suit.

The SpaceX CEO also gave a shoutout to Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who talked about how earth is the cradle of humanity but that you can’t stay in the cradle forever.

Musk said he felt really excited by Tsiolkovsky’s notions around needing to be out there among the stars, and to expand the scope and scale of human consciousness.

“I found that unbelievably arousing, ” Musk said on stage. “That attains me glad to be alive. I hope you feel the same way.”

Nolan and Westworld series co-creator Joy Lisa has hitherto worked with Musk to create a short video of the Falcon Heavy’s recent launch into space. You can check that out here, courtesy of Musk’s Instagram.

Falcon Heavy and Starman, Part 1

A post shared by Elon Musk (@ elonmusk) on

Falcon Heavy and Starman, Part 2

A post shared by Elon Musk (@ elonmusk) on

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Heres how to keep track of Elon Musks Roadster and Starman in space

Elon Musk’s Starman, the mannequin driver of the Tesla Roadster SpaceX launched aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket, is taking a trip around our solar system, in a large elliptical orbit that will bring him comparatively close to Mars, the Sun and other heavenly bodies. But how to track the trip-up , now that the Roadster’s onboard batteries are out of juice and no longer transmitting live footage?

Thanks to the work of Ben Pearson, a SpaceX fan and electrical technologist working in the aerospace industry, who made’ Where is Roadster, ’ a website that stimulates use of JPL Horizons data to track the progress of the Roadster and Starman through space, and to predict its path and let you know when it’ll come close to meeting up with various planets and the Sun.

The website tells you the Roadster’s current position, too, as well as its velocity and whether it’s moving towards or away from Earth and Mars at any given moment. It’s not officially affiliated with SpaceX or Tesla, but it is something Elon Musk is apparently use to assist recollect where he parked his galactic ride.

Elon Musks Boring Company gets preliminary permit for NYC-DC Hyperloop

A 29 -minute trip from D.C. to New York may seem too good to be true. And it very well is a possibility. But that isn’t stopping Elon Musk from pushing forward with plans to build a Hyperloop along the eastern corridor.

And while it’s a very small, very vague step forward, Musk’s Boring Company has received a permit for preparation and preliminary excavation of a site in the nation’s capital. The exact location is 53 New York Avenue NE, next to a McDonald’s and near the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to The Washington Post.

In July, Elon Musk tweeted that he had received verbal government approval to build a multi-state underground Hyperloop on the East Coast. While such approval doesn’t formally exist, Bloomberg confirmed that the White House had had positive conversations with The Boring Company over the proposals of the tunnel.

This latest permit is far from what’s required to actually begin constructing the tunnel — which would run from New York to Philadelphia to Baltimore to D.C. — but it’s a start. Musk lately received a conditional permit to start operations in Hawthorne, Maryland for a 10.3 mile route. Maryland officials told WaPo that the tunnel would operate under Maryland Route 295, with the D.C.-Baltimore leg being built first.

Stations for the Hyperloop would be relatively small and toned down compared to the stations we’re are applied to, such as Union Station and Penn Station. There would be a main line running between the four aforementioned cities, with smaller lines spurring out from the city’s central station for other potential destinations.

Right now, the trip from NY to D.C. takes more than 3 hour. It would certainly be nice to pop down for a meeting with only an hour of travel hour, but this first permit is comparable to canadian athletes stretching before a race. We have not yet begun.

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Tesla looks to take solar mainstream with Home Depot partnership

While Elon Musk is preparing for this week’s launching of the Falcon Heavy rocket, his other company is also preparing for a launching. Tesla has made a deal with Home Depot to sell both the PowerWall and Tesla’s solar panels at 800 Home Depot locations.

The retail spaces will be Tesla branded and Tesla employees will be on hand to assist with service and sales.

Bloomberg first reported the news after corroborating the move with Tesla.

Home Depot has some 2,200 stores across the country, but the 800 -store roll out is still the largest retail presence Tesla has ever known for its energy products. They will be put on display, quite literally — Bloomberg reports that the Tesla retail showings will be 12 feet tall and 7 feet wide, and that some locations will have visual demonstrations of the products.

Tesla first unveiled the solar roof in October of 2016. Unlike most after-market solar panel, which don’t offer much by way of esthetics, Tesla’s solar roof tiles come in four styles that closely resemble current roofing materials.

Tesla also sells solar panel, and both products work with the PowerWall 2, where energy can be stored after being diffused through the members of the commission/ tiles.

The move into Home Depot will be the first true test of mainstream interest in solar energy.

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Heres a video of Elon Musk watching the Falcon Heavy take off

This past week, as we watched SpaceX launch its utterly massive Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time, many of us wondered if it would make it off the launch pad. So did Elon Musk.

National Geographic only posted some incredible behind-the-scenes footage of the launch, capturing everything from about 15 seconds prior to takeoff to his moment of realization that the mission was a huge success. Not only did they manage a picture-perfect launching, but they also recovered two of three rocket cores in a jaw-droppingly beautiful( simultaneous !) controlled landing.

This launch was the culmination of many, many years of work on SpaceX’s part — but still , no one could say with absolute certainty what would happen. The night before the launch, Elon told reportersthat he’d “just be happy if it clears the pad and doesn’t blow the pad to smithereens” — and you can see just how happy he actually was in the video below 😛 TAGEND

( Some folks are reporting that the video above isn’t proving up for them on mobile; if that’s the case for you, you should be able to find it here )

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Elon Musk expects to do coast-to-coast autonomous Tesla drive in 3 to 6 months

Tesla had aimed to do a cross-country U.S. drive in one of its vehicles using fully autonomous driving abilities by the end of last year. Obviously it didn’t stimulate that goal, or you’d have heard about it. Instead, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says he foresees being able to make the trip-up within three months, or six months at the long end.

Specifically, Musk said on an earnings call in response to a question about the autonomous drive that they’d “probably” be able to “do a coast-to-coast drive in three months, six months at the outside.” When asked whether this feature would then be immediately available to clients, he did say that it “will be a feature that’s available to customers, ” without commenting directly on timing of availability.

Musk admitted that he’d “missed the mark on that front, ” regarding the original autonomous drive demonstration, but he qualified that Tesla “could’ve done the coast-to-coast drive[ last year] but that the company “would’ve had to do too much custom code, effectively gaming it.” It would’ve resulted in specific features that others could have used in their vehicles as well, but only for that exact cross-country route.

Part of Tesla’s goal is to build a system that’s robust and more generally useful. To that end, Musk said he’s been generally happy about how the company’s work has been progressing on its neural nets for autonomous driving.

“I am pleased with the progress made on the neural net, ” Musk said. “It’s kind of like it goes from’ doesn’t seem like too much progress, doesn’t seem like too much progress’ to’ wow.’ ”

The CEO compared the progress to what Google’s DeepMind achieved with AlphaGo, where it seemed comparatively lacking in ability at first, but quickly stimulated leaps to where it could beat human players, and eventually to where it was able to handily beat any human players in the world in a relatively short span of time.

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Space exploration should be an initiative of nations, not just some rich guy | Van Badham

There are hours I really hope that intelligent life from outer space is NOT find us