Elon Musk almost runs red light livestreaming Tesla software

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By Dan Sears

Tesla CEO Elon Musk nearly ran a red light while testing the electric car’s new self-driving software through the Bay Area on Friday — the latest glitch in a long-running series of mishaps involving the company’s autopilot feature.

Musk livestreamed the test drive on his social media platform, X, formerly known as Twitter.

In the 45-minute clip, which was viewed more than 11 million times, Musk is seen leaving Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto.

Musk uses his finger to plan a route via a new version of the Full Self-Driving (FSD) software, the v12, which the mogul has described as “mind-blowing” and which has yet to be released to the public.

For nearly 20 minutes, Musk boasts about not having had to intervene, saying “the drive has been butter smooth.”

While being stopped at an intersection, Musk then acknowledged that “we have not programmed in the concept of traffic lights” to the software.

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He also said that Tesla engineers hadn’t taught the software to navigate speed bumps, stop signs or roundabouts.

Twenty minutes into the video, Musk pauses the vehicle’s self-driving mode and takes control of the steering wheel after the software made the car accelerate at a red light.

“This is our first intervention because the car should be going straight,” Musk said during the livestream.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk nearly ran a red light while testing his company's new self-driving software through the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk nearly ran a red light while testing his company’s new self-driving software through the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday.
AFP via Getty Images

“This is why we’ve not released it to the public yet,” he said.

The software appeared to operate without any glitches during the remainder of the ride.

Later in the clip, Musk did a Google search for the address of rival tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

“Maybe we’ll run into Zuckerberg and we can challenge him to a fight…spice it up,” Musk quipped during the clip, adding: “Just a polite inquiry as to whether you would like to engage in hand-to-hand combat.”

Musk and Zuckerberg have been going back and forth in recent weeks, accusing the other of backing out of a planned mixed martial arts cage match.

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Musk was testing the latest version of Tesla' Full Self-Driving system. The image above shows a Tesla driver using a beta version of the FSD system in 2021.
Musk was testing the latest version of Tesla’ Full Self-Driving system. The image above shows a Tesla driver using a beta version of the FSD system in 2021.
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Google did not appear to have Zuckerberg’s correct address.

Musk has told investors that Tesla is banking on FSD to generate significant revenue for the company.

Tesla sells the FSD software, which does not make the vehicle autonomous, for $15,000.

That is almost a third of the roughly $47,000 current starting price of the base Model Y in the US.

The beta version of the software, which has been made available to 400,000 Tesla owners since its release in 2020, allows Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously through most settings, including intersections governed by traffic lights.

But the beta software still requires frequent intervention and supervision by drivers.


Tesla is counting on its FSD system to be a money-maker for the electric car company.
Tesla is counting on its FSD system to be a money-maker for the electric car company.
REUTERS

Musk, who is aiming to take FSD out of the beta phase with the release of v12, has missed his previous targets to achieve self-driving capability dating back years.

The technology as it stands now has drawn legal and regulatory scrutiny following crashes.

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Tesla has said the technology does not make the car autonomous, and requires driver supervision.

With Post wires

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