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Elon Musk says Autopilot will never be perfect but can ‘reduce accidents by a factor of 10’

Published Apr 15th, 2018 3:04PM EDT
Elon Musk Tesla Autopilot
Image: Tesla

Earlier today, CBS This Morning aired a new clip from its sit-down interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The clip below centers on Tesla’s Autopilot feature, a topic that has been in the news quite a bit over the past few weeks following a tragic crash that saw a Model X in Autopilot mode careen into a highway divider before the vehicle’s battery pack burst into flames.

In the wake of the accident, Tesla said that the car’s Autopilot system warned the driver to place his hands on the wheel in the seconds leading up to the crash, warnings that Tesla claims were not heeded.

“The crash happened on a clear day with several hundred feet of visibility ahead,” Tesla said earlier this week, “which means that the only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road, despite the car providing multiple warnings to do so.”

As part of the interview, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King went on a drive with Musk in a Model 3 where the two talked briefly about all things Autopilot. When asked about the benefits of Autopilot if the feature requires users to keep their hands on the wheel, Musk responded:

Oh, it’s because the probability of an accident with autopilot is just less.

Addressing the future of Autopilot, Musk added that Autopilot will never be perfect.

“But it’s important to emphasize that Autopilot will never be perfect,” Musk said. “Nothing in the real world is perfect. But I do think that, long term, it can reduce accidents by a factor of 10. So there are 10 fewer fatalities, and tragedies, and serious injuries. And that’s a huge difference.”

The full video can be seen below.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.