It's been quite a few months for everyone's favorite Bond villain come-to-life.
After being excoriated for trying to merge two public companies that he founded, watching another billionaire start to figure out the private space rockets biz, and dealing with a fatality in one of his self-driving luxury electric cars, Elon Musk is ready to flip the script on 2016. So he's not just announcing that all of his luxury electric cars are going to have self-driving capabilities from now on, he's also going to stave off negative press by demanding that the media stop making self-driving cars dangerous...by telling people that self-driving cars are dangerous.
Allow the future King of Mars to explain:
Tech titan Elon Musk accused reporters of “killing people” with their negative coverage of recent crashes by Tesla cars that were in autopilot mode.
Still confused? We understand:
“You need to think carefully about this,” Musk testily told reporters on a late-Wednesday conference call after announcing the new tech. “Because if, in writing some article that’s negative, you effectively dissuade people from using an autonomous vehicle, you’re killing people.”
Get it? Got it?...Us neither.
Potentially killing about 600,000 people a year, Musk calculates, because there are currently 1.2 million car-related fatalities a year and Tesla’s self-driving tech is twice as safe as manual driving.
Musk's own calculations of Musk's own product are the kind of objective data that journalists prefer to use without any comparison or contextual framing, but is there maybe an epic stunt he could pull off to show us beyond a shadow of a doubt how safe self-driving cars really are?
Tesla spent a year testing the new hardware, and Musk said the company's goal is to do "a demonstration drive of full autonomy from LA to New York by the end of next year."
Let's just hope this goes better than the rockets landing on the boats.