May 23, 2018

Tesla on autopilot hits firetruck; Elon Musk announces reorganization

15 May 2018, 08:28 | Melvin Schneider

Police probe whether Autopilot feature was on in Tesla crash

Embattled Musk 'thoroughly reorganising' Tesla

News of the crash came as a top Tesla official who had been the main technical contact with USA safety investigators left the company to join rival Waymo.

Musk has repeatedly scaled back Tesla's production schedule, something he recently referred to as a "time shift".

Tesla will "continue to hire rapidly in critical hourly and salaried positions to support the Model 3 production ramp and future product development", according to the memo. By the end of the first quarter, Tesla was barely rolling out 2,000 Model 3 sedans a week, well short of its 2,500 vehicle goal.

Meanwhile, Musk told employees Monday that the company plans to "flatten" its structure while working to improve communication and trim actions "that are not vital" to the company's success.

Follow Tesla's stock price in real-time here.

Tesla's management churn is among the reasons some investors say they are wagering against shares in the company, which is valued similar to General Motors Co despite selling a fraction as many vehicles and burning through billions in cash.

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The 28-year-old driver told police she was looking at her phone as the auto slammed into the truck at about 60 miles per hour in South Jordan, Utah. Last week, the independent federal agency opened a probe into a Model S that caught fire after crashing into a wall In Florida.

In March, a Tesla Model X SUV crashed on a California highway, killing the driver, and investigators are looking into the performance of the semi-autonomous driving system in that crash.

"What's actually wonderful about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60 miles per hour and the driver only broke an ankle". It is unclear if it will now investigate the Utah incident, as well.

Musk has taken some heat for recent comments, including tweets appearing to criticize the driver killed in the California incident who reportedly failed to retake control of his vehicle after Autopilot issued a warning ahead of the crash. He described news reports as "super messed up" because Tesla accidents, including one that just resulted in a broken ankle, are garnering headlines.

Tesla said its autopilot system is unlikely to have been a factor in the crash, but it marks the agency's fourth active investigation into crashes of the company's electric vehicles. Accidents that previous year resulted in 40,000 US deaths, he added "get nearly no coverage".

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