Elon Musk is wrong on robotaxi timing, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC he agrees with Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the future of mobility is electric, but he disagrees with Musk that …

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC he agrees with Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the future of mobility is electric, but he disagrees with Musk that truly autonomous “robotaxis” will debut next year.

In an interview that aired on Uber’s IPO day on Friday, “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked him what the future of mobility looks like.

“First of all, it’s got to be electric,” the CEO said. “We think that’s a no-brainer. It’s good for the environment. It’s where the world is going. And we’re playing our part, for example, in London to move it electric.” He added that Uber, of course, thinks the future of mobility also has to be “shared.”

The ride-hailing giant will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, pricing its IPO on Thursday night at $45 per share.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told investors he is ready to take Tesla into a new, driverless era. The company should have a million vehicles capable of functioning as driverless robotaxis on the road by the end of 2020, he said. He also told investors that self-driving technology and services will help his electric car company grow to a $500 billion market cap.

When the Uber CEO first heard Musk’s predictions about this, Khosrowshahi said, “I thought: If he can do it, more power to him. Our approach is a more conservative approach as far as sensor technology and mapping technology. The software’s going to get there. So I don’t think that his vision is by any means wrong. I just think we disagree on timing.”

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Elon Musk posts ‘irresponsible’ tweet about couple who filmed themselves bonking in a self-driving …

TESLA boss Elon Musk has responded to a dangerous porn clip in which a couple risk their lives by having sex in one of his firm’s self-driving cars.

TESLA boss Elon Musk has responded to a dangerous porn clip in which a couple risk their lives by having sex in one of his firm’s self-driving cars.

The smutty video was posted to a major adult site last week and shows porn star Taylor Jackson, 19, and her boyfriend getting it on in the front seat of their Tesla as it steers itself at high speed down a US highway.

 Elon Musk has responded to a reckless couple who bumped uglies in a Tesla as it drove itself down a motorway

Twitter
Elon Musk has responded to a reckless couple who bumped uglies in a Tesla as it drove itself down a motorway

The stunt flagrantly ignored Tesla’s strict rules for its “Autopilot mode”, which allows its electric cars to steer and brake for you.

The firm urges drivers to keep both hands on the wheel at all times in case things go wrong – though CEO Musk, 47, seems to have his own ideas.

In response to Taylor’s filthy clip, the eccentric billionaire tweeted: “Turns out there’s more ways to use Autopilot than we imagined.”

He added: “Shoulda seen it coming …”

 The smutty video shows porn star Taylor Jackson, 19, and her boyfriend getting it on in the front seat of their Tesla as it steers itself at high speed down a motorway

Twitter
The smutty video shows porn star Taylor Jackson, 19, and her boyfriend getting it on in the front seat of their Tesla as it steers itself at high speed down a motorway
 Tesla boss Elon Musk is known for his carefree, and at times irresponsible, attitude to Twitter

AFP or licensors
Tesla boss Elon Musk is known for his carefree, and at times irresponsible, attitude to Twitter

The raunchy video has garnered 2million views since it was uploaded to adult site PornHub last week.

In the clip, the Taylor and her boyfriend, who live in Los Angeles, California, get hot and heavy for ten minutes while their £75,000 Tesla Model X careens past people’s homes on autopilot mode.

Musk’s failure to condemn the rompers for their high-speed antics was branded “irresponsible” by some fans.

One tweeter wrote: “This is dangerous … All kidding aside, be clear about the dangers.”

Another reminded the billionaire, whose tweets have landed him in hot water in the past, of deaths caused by inattention while using Autopilot.

“There was a story where a driver using ‘auto pilot’ decided to look down to text,” they tweeted.

“Guess what happened next? Yup – she KILLED someone.”

Musk’s comments follow a tricky 12 months for the business mogul in which his Twitter antics have landed him with dozens of controversies and a $20million lawsuit from the SEC.

 Amateur porn star Taylor Jackson is based in Los Angeles, California

Twitter/@TaylorJacksonXX
Amateur porn star Taylor Jackson is based in Los Angeles, California
 Not all of Elon's followers were happy with his tweets

Twitter
Not all of Elon’s followers were happy with his tweets

The South African is currently facing a defamation case after he famously called a hero British diver who helped rescue children from a flooded cave in Thailand a “pedo guy” on Twitter.

Tesla has not yet released an official statement on Taylor’s raunchy video.

Taylor explained why she recorded the clip in an interview last week.

“Earlier this year I was on a road trip with my boyfriend and he asked me to have sex with him while driving,” she told The Register.

 The billionaire was urged to be more careful about how dangerous the stunt was

Elon Musk
The billionaire was urged to be more careful about how dangerous the stunt was

“We both thought it was hot and joked about doing it again and putting it on PornHub. We thought someone had to have done it before so we looked it up, but we couldn’t find a single video.

“A few weeks later I signed up for a PornHub account and this video was one of the first few videos I made.”

However, the amateur star warned the risky romp almost cost her and her boyfriend their lives.

“I have experienced Autopilot a lot so I did feel safe,” she said.

“Most of the highway we were on was straight. We did have one scare where I hit the steering wheel and knocked it out of Autopilot mode.

“I wouldn’t recommend it since it is dangerous.”

 The clip even made it to PornHub's official Instagram account

The clip even made it to PornHub’s official Instagram account
 The Tesla Model X can drive itself when switched to "autopilot" mode

Tesla
The Tesla Model X can drive itself when switched to “autopilot” mode

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In other Tesla news, Musk recently revealed he expects Tesla cars to go “fully driverless” by 2020.

Driverless cars are being retrained to be more like humans after becoming ‘overly cautious’.

A terrifying video released last month showed a Model S erupting in a huge ball of fire in an underground car park in China.

What do you think of Musk’s tweets? Let us know in the comments!


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Self-driving cross-country trip possible for everyone with a Tesla this year, says Musk

Today, CEO Elon Musk pushed that timeline forward a bit, and stated that Tesla’s long-planned autonomous cross-country roadtrip would actually …

Tesla has been making bold claims about future autonomous driving plans lately, most recently holding an “autonomy investor event” where the company laid out plans for its future full self-driving technology. At that event, Tesla stated that they would be ready to roll out a fully autonomous robotaxi fleet as early as next year, depending on regulations.

Today, CEO Elon Musk pushed that timeline forward a bit, and stated that Tesla’s long-planned autonomous cross-country roadtrip would actually occur later this year. Tesla has made claims in the past about enabling cross-country Autopilot travel, but the news today is that not only will it be possible for Tesla to do this on their own to demonstrate their technology, but that any Tesla owner (*with FSD software) will be able to do the same.

In previous mentions of the cross-country roadtrip, Musk has stated that Tesla could use specialized software to get the roadtrip done, but that it would be “cheating” to do so. Surely, picking the right roads, writing software specific to certain situations, would make the job much easier. But making a generalized solution for self-driving is much harder, as there will be many more unexpected situations and poorly-marked offramps in the real world.

So Tesla has pushed back plans for an LA-NY roadtrip until the software is ready without needing special code.

Until now, we’ve expected that this roadtrip would occur on a private, internal build of Tesla’s software, and that it would be used to help development, and for demonstration purposes, and that perhaps the software to enable it wouldn’t be fully available to the public until later. The last time we heard about it, it was going to happen on “alpha” software – which owners do not have access to.

But today Musk suggested that this software will be available to everyone by the end of this year:

We could have gamed an LA/NY Autopilot journey last year, but when we do it this year, everyone with Tesla Full Self-Driving will be able to do it too

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2019

Tesla and Musk are no stranger to short timelines, but this one seems shorter than most. In less than 8 months, not only will Tesla be able to do a demonstration drive across country, but the public will be able to do it as well.

A lot needs to be done before then. Autopilot still doesn’t stop for stop signs and red lights (though it does recognize them), only recently stopped requiring driver confirmation for lane changes, and still has trouble with some things like stationary vehicles. It also still requires that drivers keep their hands on the wheel. The FSD computer has only recently rolled out and tens of thousands of cars will need to be retrofit before “everyone” has this capability.

Some even still think that Tesla’s approach is unsustainable, with most of the rest of the industry thinking LIDAR is necessary to make full self-driving happen. But as we’ve recently reported, at least one AI expert agrees that Tesla has a huge lead in software. And a recent study by Cornell states that cameras should be enough for autonomous driving. Musk, for his part, thinks any company that relies on LIDAR as a crutch is “doomed…doomed!

Questions still remain over whether this drive will be a “zero-intervention” drive where the driver just never touches the wheel (but still, for example, puts the car in park, plugs the car in, etc.), or if it will be a “simulated headless” drive where the driver is only inside the car for regulatory purposes but the car otherwise acts as if nobody is in it. The latter was promised in 2016 when Musk stated that within two years (by 2018), owners would be able to use Tesla’s “summon” feature to have the car pick them up on the other side of the country, even recharging itself along the way.

Electrek’s Take

We’ve heard these promises many times before, and Tesla has missed many timelines before. Musk himself acknowledges that he’s sometimes optimistic with timelines, and this seems like another one which seems quite optimistic.

But about a year before Tesla’s original 2014 release of Autopilot, the Model S had zero driver-assist/active safety features at all, and Musk said that Tesla would be ahead of the industry in autonomous driving in a year. Nobody believed it at the time, but this statement eventually came true – and it was even on time. And Tesla has maintained their lead in driver-assist software since then.

So this could go either way. They might pull it off this time, but I’m not counting on it yet. I’d love to see it though, and if it happens, I guess a roadtrip will be in order.


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Tesla seeks dismissal of suit challenging Musk pay package

A Delaware judge is weighing whether to dismiss Tesla shareholders’ complaints over a compensation plan that could net CEO Elon Musk more than …
ByRandall Chase | AP

May 9 at 6:52 PM

DOVER, Del. — Attorneys for Tesla Inc. asked a Delaware judge Thursday to dismiss shareholders’ complaints over a compensation plan that could net CEO Elon Musk more than $50 billion over the next decade.

A shareholder lawsuit filed last June alleges that Musk and Tesla’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duties to the company and its stockholders, granting unjust enrichment to Musk and wasting corporate assets.

The lawsuit said the pay plan is not just excessive but unnecessary, and that it should be subject to court review because it was negotiated by a compensation committee and approved by a board whose members had conflicts because of personal and professional ties to Musk.

“Those numbers were negotiated by conflicted people,” shareholder attorney David Tejtel argued Thursday, referring to the staggering sums involved in Musk’s compensation package.

Under the plan, Musk could reap billions if the electric car and solar panel maker hits ambitious market capitalization and operational milestones. For each of 12 milestones the company achieves, Musk, who already owns more than 20% of Tesla, would get stock equal to 1% of outstanding shares at the time of the grant.

Each milestone includes growing Tesla’s market capitalization by $50 billion and meeting aggressive revenue and pretax profit growth targets.

“He’s nowhere near getting paid a nickel as we speak,” noted Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights III.

Musk would receive the full benefit of the pay plan, $55.8 billion, only if he leads Tesla to a market capitalization of $650 billion and unprecedented revenues and earnings within a decade.

“If he doesn’t generate outsized returns … he gets nothing,” Tesla attorney William Savitt said of the all-or-nothing package. “It creates massively ambitious targets.”

After 15 years in business, Tesla has yet to turn a full-year net profit. Last month, the company reported a first-quarter loss of $702 million, more than double what analysts had expected and ranking among the company’s worst quarters in the past two years.

Savitt argued that the lawsuit fails to adequately allege that Musk’s new compensation package constitutes waste or is unfair to stockholders, who themselves would see significant benefits of their investment if the milestones are reached.

Just because the pay proposal is unusual and on a grand scale doesn’t make it unfair, said Savitt, who noted that at a special shareholder meeting last year it received the support of more than 70% of shares of common stock not owned by Musk or his brother, Kimbal Musk.

Tejtel, the plaintiff’s attorney, noted that the proposal did not earn the support of the majority of all of Tesla’s outstanding disinterested shares, but only a majority of shares represented at the meeting, either in person or by proxy. The failure to gain a majority of all outstanding shares means the deal is subject to court review, he argued.

Under Delaware’s “business judgment” rule, deference is typically given to a corporate board’s decision-making unless there is evidence that directors had conflicts or acted in bad faith.

If a plaintiff is able to overcome the business judgment rule’s presumption, the board’s action is then subject to an “entire fairness” analysis,” which shifts the burden to the corporation to show that the deal involved both fair dealing and fair price.

“It seems that what we’re talking about here is scale,” said Slights, who told attorneys he would try to issue a decision promptly.

Shares in Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, fell $2.86, or 1.17%, to close Thursday at $241.98.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Elon Musk’s productivity tips include walking out of meetings

Elon Musk’s productivity tips include walking out of meetings … venture The Boring Company, has some unique methods for boosting productivity.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who also runs space exploration company SpaceX and a tunnel digging venture The Boring Company, has some unique methods for boosting productivity.

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The email, sent out last year, began with a congratulation to employees for ramping up Model 3 production. During the company’s most recent earnings report, it detailed new problems with Model 3 delivery to overseas markets.

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The company recently said it plans to raise $2 billion in capital, after reporting a $702 million loss in the first quarter.

As the company deals with new challenges, here’s a look at how Musk wants employees to stay productive:

Ditch large meetings

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Musk says “excessive meetings are the blight of big companies” – indicating large meetings should be done away with, unless they are “providing value to the whole audience.” And if the latter is true, the meetings should be kept short.

Too many meetings are also bad

Unless dealing with “an extremely urgent matter,” employees are instructed to get rid of frequent meetings.

Walk out of meetings

“It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time,” Musk wrote, telling workers it is okay to walk out or drop off of a call when it is clear they are not adding value.

Don’t over-abbreviate

Specifically, Musk said employees should not use “acronyms or nonsense words” for objects, software or processes at Tesla.

“We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.”

Streamlined communication

Unless you want to get fired, don’t enforce “chain of command” communication, Musk warns. Information should be transmitted through the quickest channels to get the job completed – that includes interactions between departments.

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Use common sense

At times, common sense should trump following company procedures, Musk said.

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