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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Tesla voluntarily recalls 123,000 Model S vehicles

If you own a Model S constructed before April 2016, you’re probably going to want to swing by a trader and get onto checked out…

Tesla has just issued a voluntary recall for 123,000 Model S vehicles, having found that the power steering bolts in some were displaying” excessive corrosion .” Model X and Model 3 vehicles aren’t affected here , nor are Model S constructed after April 2016.

The company says that the corrosion is principally being carried out in autoes driven in particularly cold climates, but isn’t limiting the recall to those cars( because, well, who knows where you’ll be driving it a few years from now ).

In an email outlining the recall to affected proprietors, Tesla notes that swapping out the bolts will” take around an hour ,” and that no accidents or injuries are believed to have been caused by this issue.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has issued a remember, but it’s their biggest recall to date. It recalled around 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in April of last year due to parking brakes who are likely get stuck in the “on” position; a few months later, it remembered 11,000 Model X because of a faulty cable in the second-row seating.

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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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Tesla says fatal crash involved Autopilot

Tesla has provided another update to last week’s fatal crash. As it turns out, Tesla said the driver had Autopilot on with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum. However, it seems the driver dismissed the vehicle’s warnings to take back control.

” The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not seen on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision ,” Tesla wrote in a blog post.” The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed accident attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken .”

The promise of Tesla’s Autopilot system to further reduce car collisions. In the company’s blog post, Tesla notes Autopilot reduces crash rates by 40 percent, according to an independent review by the U.S. government. Of course, that does not mean the technology is perfect in preventing all accidents.

As Tesla previously noted, the accident was so severe because the middle divider on the freeway had been damaged in an earlier accident. Tesla also cautioned that Autopilot does not prevent all accidents, but it does make them less likely to occur.

No one knows about the accidents that didn’t happen, only the ones that did. The the effects of the public not utilizing Autopilot, because of an inaccurate notion that it is less safe, would be extremely severe. There are about 1.25 million automotive demises worldwide. If the present safety level of a Tesla vehicle were to be applied, it would entail about 900,000 lives saved per year. We expect the safety level of autonomous autoes to be 10 times safer than non-autonomous cars.

In the past, when we have brought up statistical security points, we have been criticized for doing so, implying that we lack empathy for the misfortune that merely passed. Nothing could be further from the truth. We care deeply for and feel indebted to those who chose to set their trust in us. However, we must also care about people now and in the future whose lives may be saved if they know that Autopilot improves security. None of this changes how devastating an event like this is or how much we feel for our customer’s family and friends. We are incredibly sorry for their loss.

This development, of course, comes in light of a fatal accident involving one of Uber’s self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona.

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Tesla car that crashed and killed driver was running on Autopilot, firm says

Company says driver took no action despite systems warns in latest collision involving self-driving technology

Tesla has said a auto that crashed in California last week, killing its driver, was operating on Autopilot.

The 23 March crash on highway 101 in Mountain View is the latest accident to involve self-driving technology. Earlier this month, a self-driving Volvo SUV that was being tested by the ride-hailing service Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

Federal examiners are looking into the California crash, as well a accident in January of a Tesla Model S that may have been operating under the Autopilot system.

In a blogpost, Tesla said the driver of the sport-utility Model X that crashed in Mountain View, 38 -year-old Apple software engineer Wei Huang,” had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision.

” The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider … but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken .”

Tesla also said the concrete freeway divider had previously been damaged, increasing its impact on the car. The vehicle also caught fire, though Tesla said no one was in the vehicle when that happened.

The company said its Autopilot feature can keep velocity, change lanes and self-park but necessitates drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, in order to be able to take control and avoid accidents.

Autopilot does not prevent all accidents, Tesla said, but it does construct them less likely.

” No one knows about the accidents that didn’t happen ,” Tesla said,” merely the ones that did. The the effects of the public not using Autopilot, because of an inaccurate faith that it is less safe, would be extremely severe.

” There are about 1.25 million automotive demises worldwide. If the current safety level of a Tesla vehicle were to be applied, it would mean about 900,000 lives saved per year .”

The company added that it” care[ s] deep for and feel[ s] indebted to those who chose to put their trust in us. However, we must also care about people now and in the future whose lives may be saved if they know that Autopilot improves security.

” None of this changes how devastating an event like this is or how much we feel for our customer’s family and friends. We are incredibly sorry for their loss .”

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Tesla Semi does its first production cargo run with batteries on board

Tesla is putting its new electric Semi to work, with its first operate as a “production” vehicle — for a familiar client. Tesla itself is the customer, as the trucks were equipped with trailers loaded up with battery packs fresh from the Gigafactory assembly line, heading to the Tesla Fremont car factory in California.

Elon Musk shared an image of the trucks at work, with both the matte black version and the silver one with the aero hood, which presumably are the same they depicted off at the official unveil( they’re the same colour, at the least ). The trucks had full-size trailers attached, which is not what they’ve been equipped with during previous sightings.

The trip from the Gigafactory to the Fremont factory is around a four-and-a-half hour journey, encompassing around 260 to 270 miles. It’s not exactly a long haul, but it could be something that’s still very useful to a large number of customers, and it’s a journey that Tesla itself has to induce regularly with its own transport fleet for this very purpose.

Tesla calls this a “production” run, but its target for actually rendering these still seems to be 2019, with a likely delivery time frame more like 2020. Still, this cargo operate should provide valuable info to the company as it moves ahead, especially now that it has a sizable backlog of client pre-orders to deal with.

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Volvos hybrid Polestar 1 available for pre-order next week

Volvo turned its race-tuning sub brand Polestar into its own company with a focus on electric performance last year, and at the Geneva Motor Show the coming week it uncovered the Polestar 1 GT, a hybrid electric car that’s designed to go toe-to-toe with Tesla for performance-loving customers eager for alternative powertrain options.

In person, the Polestar 1 is quite fetch, especially in the matte grey that the car was wearing at the present. The styling is somewhat more muscle automobile throwback than Tesla-like oval arc, but that’s to the car’s credit- it seems a little bit mean, but in a good way.

Polestar will begin accepting deposits for the car next week, asking for $3,000 down, in the form of a refundable deposit( which is another move straight from the Tesla playbook, coincidentally ). Polestar says it’s already had inbound interest from over 6,000 customers, and it intends to make only 500 per year, so likely if you want one you should get a pre-order in.

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Poor cloud security let hackers mine cryptocurrency on Teslas dime

The strange new breed of malicious cryptocurrency miners spares no one, it seems: Tesla is the latest to be struck by this trendy form of hackery. A poorly secured cloud computing setup let them waltz right in.

It’s merely the latest example of several detected by cloud security outfit RedLock, which has tracked a series of Kubernetes admin consoles wide open to anyone seeming. Not even password-protected.

If RedLock could find them, so could hackers — and they did. By logging in and carefully disguising the cloud computing utilization and associated traffic, they managed to quietly mine utilizing Tesla’s AWS pod for … well, it’s anybody’s guess how long. And given the volatility of cryptocurrency marketplaces these days, it’s also anybody’s guess how much and of what coin.

Obviously, the solution here is to have literally any kind of security on your infrastructure. But hackers are clever and companies should also be watching for unusual high levels of traffic and other usage indicators, and also monitor for non-standard user behaviours. But severely, at least a password.

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Ontarios Provincial Police reveal a Tesla Model X pursuit vehicle prototype

Tesla’s Model X is arguably the best performing SUV you can buy, so it’s fitting that Canada’s Ontario Provincial Police would select it for a cruiser demo vehicle, revealed at this week’s Toronto international car show.

The Tesla Model X, a P90D model, features full OPP badging and black and white paint, as well as running illuminates and sirens, but it’s still simply a demo vehicle at this phase, meant to illustrate “the future of policing, ” according to OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt, who disclosed the car on a live stream.

The Model X use here is actually a “generous donation from a friend, ” Schmidt explains, and “may be what the future of policing looks like down the road, ” but it’s not going to be used in service “because right now this vehicle has not been tested at the proving grounds for a police-rated pursuing vehicle, ” the Sergeant explains.

That doesn’t mean you should rule out being pulled over by this thing if you’re speeding down Ontario’s highways in the future, however. In fact, Schmidt hinted that the OPP might be opening a dialogue with Tesla to facilitate a potential future deployment.

“We gotta talk to Tesla to set this vehicles through the proving ground and make sure that it is available, ” Schmidt says before moving on to demo some of the Model X’s features. “We’ll see how that works out.”

Check out the full unveil and walkthrough below 😛 TAGEND

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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.