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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on April 13th, 2018 | by Steve Hanley

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Elon Musk Talks About Tesla Model 3 Production Challenges, Social Media Regulation (VIDEO)

April 13th, 2018 by  


Elon Musk sat down with Gayle King of CBS News this week to talk about the challenges Tesla is facing on the Model 3 production line. While she had his attention, King asked Musk about issues roiling the world of social media following revelations about how Facebook misused the data it accumulated on tens of millions of its users.

You’ll Definitely Get Your Car

Asked if people with reservations for a Model 3 should be worried, Musk replied, “No. It’s best to look at this not in an exact, numerical way, but in a, on a calendar basis. There shouldn’t be a question mark as to whether somebody’s gonna get their car, it’s just, yes, you’ll definitely get your car. It’s gonna be six to nine months longer than expected. It’s a six to nine month time shift, that’s literally it, and three of those months have already passed.”

King then asked whether people are cancelling their reservations because of the delay. Without getting into specific numbers, Musk said, “It’s mostly like people cancel because, you know, they just needed a car and we didn’t have a car for them.” What about all those people who have placed their faith in him and his promises? “Okay. Well, I hope their faith is not misplaced,” he said.

The Reservation Queue Flap

Over the past weekend, some Model 3 reservation holders have complained on social media that they stood in line through the rain and cold to reserve their cars on the first day but people who reserved their cars months afterward were getting invitations from the company to configure their cars for production ahead of them.

Musk replied on Twitter that it probably had to do with early reservation holders wanting different features on their cars than others. For instance, Tesla is not yet building cars with dual motors or the smaller battery. Not so, complained one customer.

Musk tweeted back that he would look into the issue personally. “Will take corrective action immediately. Sorry about this.” According to the Mercury News, he tweeted later, “should be fully fixed within the next few days.” [Editor’s note: For the record, I waited in line in California, used a Florida address, and got invited to configure on April 7. —Zachary Shahan]

Sleeping With The Workers

When Tesla was having difficulty ramping up production of the Model X a few years ago, Musk took a sleeping bag to the Fremont factory and camped out at the end of the assembly line. Now he’s back to sleeping at the factory to shepherd production of the Model 3 along. During his interview with Gayle King, Musk’s specific explanation for the change of home was, “because I don’t have time to go home and shower,” Musk said, before adding, “I don’t believe, like, people should be experiencing hardship while the CEO is, like, off on vacation.”

Last November, Musk hosted the Q3 earnings call from Gigafactory 1 in Nevada because that was where he was needed most. “I always move my desk to wherever — well, I don’t really have a desk, actually — I move myself to wherever the biggest problem is in Tesla. I really believe that one should lead from the front lines and that’s why I’m here.” It seems to be a case Musk has made for years.

“I am personally on that line, in that machine, trying to solve problems personally where I can,” Musk said. “We are working seven days a week to do it. And I have personally been here on zone 2 module line at 2:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, helping diagnose robot calibration issues. So I’m doing everything I can.”

Regulations & Social Media

As fate would have it, while Elon was chatting with Gayle King, Mark Zuckerberg was in DC blowing sunshine up the skirts of various members of Congress. King asked Musk whether social media and Silicon Valley should be subject to new regulations.

“I think whenever something is … whenever there’s something that affects the public good, then there does need to be some form of public oversight. I do think there should be some regulations on AI. I think there should be regulations on social media to the degree that it negatively affects the public good,” Musk said. “We can’t have like willy-nilly proliferation of fake news, that’s crazy. You can’t have more types of fake news than real news. That’s allowing public deception to go unchecked. That’s crazy.”

Musk assured King that Tesla takes appropriate steps to keep its customers’ data private.

Inside The Tesla Model 3 Production Line

That’s all the Elon Musk and Model 3 news as of this minute. CBS has now posted footage taken inside the Fremont factory of the Model 3 production line. Tesla is very protective of what goes on inside the factory, so getting a look behind the curtain with Elon as your personal tour guide is a rare treat. Enjoy!

 

 


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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may take him. His muse is Charles Kuralt -- "I see the road ahead is turning. I wonder what's around the bend?" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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