Elon Musk Upset with 'Fortune' Article On Tesla Autopilot Crashes
Elon Musk's electronic car company Tesla is under fire after a Tesla in autonomous or autopilot mode crashed. But the space and renewable energy tycoon is irked with an article published by Forbes for slamming his brainchild and accusing Tesla of a shady maneuver just before selling billions in stock. Is Musk overreacting?
The driver survived the crash but unfortunately for Tesla, news about the incident spread like wildfire tainting the name of Tesla who is set to release more than 500,000 orders of their latest Model X in 2018.
Tesla hasn't confirmed whether the latest car crash involved an autopilot mode when the accident happened. But the most controversial autopilot accident occurred on May 7 where the driver was killed. Joshua Brown is the first person to be killed in a self-driving car. But take note though that the car collided with a truck so it is best to investigate facts before jumping to conclusions for this case.
Fortune's article is hammering Tesla and Musk for not disclosing the "fatality" until after $2 billion Tesla stocks were sold on May 18. In its headline, Fortune said, "Elon Musk Says Autopilot Death 'Not Material' to Tesla Shareholders." The article is saying that Musk should have told the investors about the crash immediately after it occurred.
In defense of his company, Musk replied in a series of Tweets showing obvious disgusts on articles that are slamming Tesla. Some comments supporting his company was retweeted by the business tycoon as well. Tesla slammed Fortune for "mischaracterizing" the incident by running a misleading lead.
"Fortune assumes that putting all of these other problems aside, a single accident involving Autopilot, regardless of how many accidents Autopilot has stopped and how many lives it has saved, is material to Tesla's investors," said Tesla in an official statement.
Tesla response to the misleading Fortune articles about Autopilot https://t.co/zWRM3aMnVC— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2016
Musk stands by the safety clause of Tesla cars. Some supporters even mentioned on Twitter that it is not fair to conclude driverless cars aren't safe with a statistic backed up with a single incident. "Approximately half a million people would have been saved if the Tesla autopilot was universally available. Please, take 5 minutes and do the bloody math before you write an article that misleads the public," Musk said in a statement published by CBS News.
This year, the race to make the best driverless cars is hyped. Carmakers started shelving tons of money on driver-less and autonomous cars, top brands included. But is hands-free driving safe? One thing is for sure, driving should be done cautiously with or without drivers; in terms of investor relationships, transparency is key. But misunderstanding arises once in a while and Tesla supporters and non-believers alike are awaiting how this feud would end.