Elon Musk is dealing with a difficult situation as a result of the government probe into Tesla Autopilot. He has a press conference regarding the automaker’s AI development set for Thursday, just 3 days after the US government launched its investigation.
While Musk’s AI Day invitations promise “an intimate peek at what’s ahead for AI at Tesla beyond our car fleet,” autonomous driving is very expected to be discussed. The CEO has identified AI as critical to making automobiles competent in roving highways without user intercession in many tweets over the previous several months.
The probe of Teslas on Autopilot clashing with cars at collision scenes by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may detract from Musk’s message. The agency announced Monday that it was looking into the system after 11 accidents in the previous three and a half years resulting in 17 injuries and one death.
The NHTSA committee that launched the investigation has the authority to assess whether automobiles are faulty and to issue recalls. Tesla’s stock dropped as much as 5.7 percent in one day, the most in more than three months. After ending up 1.6 percent last week, the stock is now down for the year.
Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, or FSD, capabilities have been “critical for narrative,” and any legislative restrictions on the functions would be detrimental to the business, according to Dan Levy, a Credit Suisse analyst.
Last month, Elon Mush stated that Tesla’s AI forecasts are “quickly becoming superhuman,” and that creating the technology is an “insanely hard challenge.” During a July 26 earnings call, he said it’s debatable whether it’s worthwhile to subscribe to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving features.
“In order for Full Self-Driving to be a compelling value proposition, we need to make it work,” Musk added. “Otherwise, it’s like people are wagering on the future.”
That’s a big change from how Tesla’s CEO talked about autonomy a few years ago. He told a magazine company in December 2015 that the problem was much easy to address than many anticipated. He described it as “essentially a solved problem” at a Recode event the following year in June.