Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot system 'prevented severe injury' in 60mph crash

Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot system 'prevented severe injury' in 60mph crash

While a Tesla spokesperson failed to comment following the accident, the company's co-founder Elon Musk took to Twitter to note that it was "super messed up" that the latest accident had garnered so much public attention, while accidents involving traditional cars "get nearly no coverage". In a memo sent to employees, Musk noted he was "flattening (the company's) management structure to improve communications", while shifting away from "activities that are not vital to the success of our mission".

And despite the company's claims that it would not need to raise money, Jonas raised his estimate for Tesla's capital raising to $3 billion from previous $2.5 billion, which he continues to expect in the third quarter of this year.

The company faces a number of other issues, from increased scepticism over its finances to safety probes by regulators.

Investors gave a rare rebuke to Musk after he cut off financial analysts during the earnings call, sending shares down 5% despite promises that Model 3 production was on track.

On 2 May a U.S. traffic safety regulator contradicted Tesla's claim that the agency had found that its Autopilot technology significantly reduced crashes.

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Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control, handles some driving tasks and warns those behind the wheel they are always responsible for the vehicle's safe operation, Tesla has said.

In the wake of the collision, Musk took to Twitter and attacked The Washington Post's prominent coverage of the incident.

"This is false", Musk wrote. WSJ fails to mention that Tesla is safest auto on road, which would make article ridiculous.

"It certainly needs to be better and we work to improve it every day, but ideal is the enemy of good", Musk tweeted. He said Tesla's record of one fatality every 512 million kilometres compared favourably with the 2017 national average of 138 million kilometres, according to safety regulators.

Accidents in Utah have already commented on the head of Tesla Ilon Musk.

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On Monday firefighters in Switzerland said a fatal accident involving a Tesla may have set off a fire in the car's battery.

Tesla has been dominating the news cycle as of late - and for all the wrong reasons.

"Tesla has not yet received any data from the vehicle and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, including whether Autopilot was engaged", a company spokesperson said in a statement Monday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) spokesperson Keith Holloway said it has not opened up an investigation into the crash, but might yet do so.

Witnesses said the Tesla vehicle did not brake prior to impact, the police said in a statement, adding it was unknown if the autopilot feature in the Model S was engaged at the time. Two people died in that incident, although the NTSB does not believe that Tesla's semi-autonomous system was to blame.

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