Apr 22, 2019

Elon Musk to announce full autonomy for Teslas despite expert skepticism

Musk unveils the Model Y at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., in March. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Amid skepticism, Tesla CEO Elon Musk today will unveil a plan to bring full autonomy to his electric cars, making them truly driverless vehicles, AP reports.

Be smart: Musk's description of Tesla's controls as "Full Self-Driving" has alarmed some observers who think it will give owners a false sense of security and create potentially lethal situations in conditions that the autonomous cars can't handle.

  • Driving the news: The technology Musk claims will make that quantum leap is scheduled to be shown off to Tesla investors at 2 p.m. ET at the company's HQ in Palo Alto, Calif.

Musk indicated in a recent interview that Teslas should be able to navigate congested highways and city streets without a human by next year.

  • "My guess as to when we would think it is safe for somebody to essentially fall asleep and wake up at their destination? Probably towards the end of next year," Musk said in February in an ARK Invest podcast. (CNBC)

The big picture: More than 60 companies in the U.S. alone are developing autonomous vehicles.

  • Some of them are aiming to have their fully autonomous cars begin carrying passengers in small geographic areas as early as this year.
  • Many experts don't believe they'll be in widespread use for a decade or more.
  • Steven E. Shladover, a retired UC Berkeley engineer who has been researching autonomous driving for 45 years, said of Musk's announcement: "It's all hype ... The technology does not exist to do what he is claiming."

Go deeper: Building trust in automated vehicles is a two-way street

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

7 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.