'Elon Musk's Crash Course' explores the limits of Tesla's 'self-driving' technology

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Elon Musk arsenic  seen successful  'The New York Times Presents Elon Musk's Crash Course,' premiering connected  FX and Hulu.

CNN  — 

As Elon Musk tweets his mode done his pending Twitter acquisition, FX’s “The New York Times Presents” documentary banner takes a hard look astatine his flagship business, Tesla, and its long-deferred committedness to deliver self-driving car technology with “Elon Musk’s Crash Course.”

Musk didn’t cooperate with the filmmakers, who absorption connected Tesla’s information record, respective fatal accidents tied to the exertion and possibly astir significantly, Musk’s past of repeatedly saying that existent self-driving exertion is “two years away,” illustrated by clips of the CEO moving the goalposts again and again since 2015.

In addition, the movie premieres arsenic the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a caller probe into circumstances surrounding different crash, involving a Tesla successful Newport Beach, California, this month.

As Times newsman Cade Metz notes, erstwhile pressed astir the contented Musk has tended to “double down connected it,” adding that successful presumption of his nationalist optimism regarding erstwhile that space-age conception would go reality, “It’s precise casual to accidental these things. And there’s nary cheque connected him.”

“Crash Course” includes interviews with assorted regulators arsenic good arsenic erstwhile Tesla employees, specified arsenic bundle technologist Raven Jiang, who marque the points that self-driving exertion was seen arsenic a important selling constituent and that it’s hard to separate Musk’s relentless salesmanship from whether helium afloat believes what he’s saying.

The producers besides diagnostic trial drives that show unsighted spots successful the Autopilot function, including difficulties identifying stationary objects that adhd to the hazard factor.

01:39 - Source: CNN Business

Watch: Tesla in 'Autopilot' mode crashes into constabulary car

Even with the indispensable disclaimers, the word “self-driving” evokes definite expectations astir the grade to which a idiosyncratic down the instrumentality needs to beryllium engaged successful its operation, which has muddied the coverage. Musk’s precocious illustration and swashbuckling entrepreneurial representation person besides fed into the romance surrounding the company, with Times newsman Neal Boudette saying, “Tesla fans perceive what they privation to hear.”

Tesla has said that it’s inactive the driver’s work to wage heed to what the car is doing adjacent portion successful Autopilot, and that the operator should beryllium acceptable to instrumentality complaint successful lawsuit of problems with the software.

But critics suggest that Musk’s pronouncements person fueled perceptions that spell beyond what Autopilot tin presently accomplish, specified arsenic an interrogation successful which he’s shown saying that self-driving exertion volition soon connection “complete autonomy. Safer than a human.”

“There are excessively galore radical who construe the word Autopilot to mean ‘Human engagement nary longer necessary,’” says erstwhile National Transportation Safety Board president Christopher Hart.

With Musk precise overmuch successful the news, “Crash Course” offers a model into this inordinately outspoken and arguable billionaire and the firm civilization that helium fosters. Yet much urgently, it raises questions astir the information of Tesla owners erstwhile they employment Autopilot now, not wherever they’ll beryllium 2 years from now.

“The New York Times Presents Elon Musk’s Crash Course” premieres May 20 astatine 10 p.m. ET connected FX and Hulu.

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