Elon Musk: "Humans Are Underrated, Excessive Tesla Automation A Mistake"

Tesla Model 3 Crowned Best Selling EV in America

Tesla Model 3 Crowned Best Selling EV in America

The Silicon Valley auto maker, which has consistently fallen short of promised production targets and is fighting bad publicity over a fatal crash of a vehicle using its Autopilot system, said 10 days ago it would have positive cash flow from the third quarter.

Tesla is still a party to ongoing investigations of a Tesla Model X crash in Lake Forest, California, on August 25, 2017, and a January 22, 2018, crash of a Tesla Model S near Culver City, California.

Musk's claim about profit and cash flow hinges on a rapid rise in production of the Model 3 sedan, Tesla's latest vehicle to have experienced production delays.

"The NTSB took this action because Tesla violated the party agreement by releasing investigative information before it was vetted and confirmed by the NTSB".

Thomson Reuters consensus of analyst estimates predicts Tesla's free cash flow to be negative well into 2019, thanks in part to heavy investments.

Tesla was proud to share that the company had just wrapped up its most successful quarterly sales yet with a total figure of 34,494 vehicles sold. When Tesla launched the Model 3 in July, Musk said the company would produce 20,000 a month by the end of 2017.

Speaking to "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King during a tour of the factory, King brought up the topic about how the robots used in production actually slowed the process down.

Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake.

Musk told CBS Tesla is now producing 2 000 Model 3 cars a week. About a quarter of that sum was achieved by the Model 3 and it suggests that we are not far away from seeing a stable monthly production figure for the affordable EV.

A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement that the NTSB requirement to not divulge information on Autopilot "fundamentally affects public safety negatively (and) we believe in transparency, so an agreement that prevents public release of information for over a year is unacceptable". The NTSB is also investigating two other Tesla crashes.

NPR reported an email from Tesla asserting that the company proactively withdrew from the investigation.

You can view Musk's full interview with King on CBS News.

At one point during the interview, Musk did not have his hands on the wheel and the vehicle beeped at him to retake the wheel.

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