Elon Musk Crash Course review: Explores the limits of Tesla’s ‘self-driving’ technology

As Elon Musk tweets his way through his pending Twitter acquisition, FX’s “The New York Times Presents” documentary banner aims to provide self-driving car technology with its flagship business, Tesla, and “Elon Musk’s” Looks like a long-delayed promise. Crash course. ”

Musk did not cooperate with the filmmakers, who focus on Tesla’s safety record, several fatal technology-related accidents, and perhaps most importantly, Musk’s history of repeatedly saying that real self-driving technology It’s two years away, “he said. The CEO has been transferring round posts repeatedly since 2015.

In addition, as the film premieres, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month launched a new investigation into another crash involving a Tesla in Newport Beach, California.

As noted by Times reporter Cad Metz, when pressed about the issue, Musk tended to “double down” on it, adding that when the concept of space would become a reality, In terms of its public expectations, “it’s very easy to say and there’s no check on it.”

The “crash course” includes interviews with various regulators as well as former Tesla employees, such as software engineer Raven Jiang, who point out that self-driving technology was seen as a key selling point and that Musk’s It is difficult to separate tireless salesmanship from this. I am absolutely convinced of what he is saying.

Producers also offer test drives that demonstrate blind spots in the autopilot function, including difficulty identifying stationery items that add to the risk factor.

Even with the necessary denials, the term “self-driving” raises some expectations to the extent that a person behind the wheel needs to be engaged in his work, which has tarnished the coverage. Musk’s high profile and entrepreneurial image has also sparked romance around the company, said Times reporter Neil Bodit. “Tesla fans listen to what they want to hear.”

Tesla said it was still the driver’s responsibility to pay attention to what he was doing while in the autopilot, and that the driver should be prepared to take charge in case of problems with the software.

But critics suggest that Musk’s announcements have given rise to the impression that autopilots may currently have, such as an interview in which he said that self-driving technology would soon offer “complete autonomy”. Will do. Safer than humans. ”

Christopher Hart, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, says “there are a lot of people who use the term autopilot to mean ‘human engagement is no longer needed’.”

With Musk in the news, “Crash Course” presents a window into this extraordinarily talkative and controversial billionaire and the corporate culture he promotes. Even more urgently, it raises questions about the safety of Tesla owners when they hire an autopilot right now, not where they will be two years from now.

“The New York Times Presents Elon Musk’s Crash Course” will premiere on May 20 at 10pm ET on FX and Hulu.