Elon Musk has been defending Autopilot on his Twitter account as the NHTSA investigation moves forward on the fatal crash.
Following news last week that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a recent fatal crash in a Model S, the company is standing by its self-driving Autopilot technology. CEO Elon Musk has stepped up his support for the autonomous driving software.
More details are coming out about the investigation, including Reuters reporting that there was a delay in how first regulators and then the public learned about the accident and death. The crash occurred on May 7, but Tesla didn’t inform regulators until May 16. NHTSA didn’t make its investigation public until June 30, Reuters reported.
Musk has confronted a Fortune news feature saying that Tesla sold over $2 billion in stock at $215 per share in a public offering. That happened without reporting the fatal crash to the public.
After attacking the article as incorrect on his Twitter page, Fortune editor Alan Murray said that there was substance to the reporting on July 5. “Seems pretty material to me,” he tweeted.
Elon Musk retorted, “Yes, it was material to you — BS article increased your advertising revenue. Just wasn’t material to TSLA, as shown by market.”
Musk had told Fortune via email that Tesla’s Autopilot software is a good thing, and would save a lot of lives if it were installed in all vehicles.
“If anyone bothered to do the math (obviously, you did not) they would realize that of the over 1M auto deaths per year worldwide, approximately half a million people would have been saved if the Tesla autopilot was universally available. Please, take 5 mins and do the bloody math before you write an article that misleads the public,” Musk wrote in the Fortune article.
There should be a lot more Musk tweets on Autopilot safety. Since the Model S crash in may, there’s been news reported about a Tesla Model X that rolled over in Pennsylvania last week. Occupants in the Model X survived that crash.