In the wake of the accident, the electric carmaker had said that the car’s Autopilot system warned the driver to place his hands on the wheel in the seconds leading up to the crash, warnings that Tesla claims were not heeded.
Confronting the issue head on, Musk spoke to CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King while driving in a Model 3. The show then released a short clip (below) about Autopilot. During the drive, King asked Tesla's chief about the benefits of Autopilot, if the feature still required users to keep their hands on the wheel, to which Musk replied, “Oh it’s because the probability of an accident with autopilot is just less.”
The company claims it’s safe to drive on Autopilot as long as a driver keeps his eyes glued on the road. While comforting Autopilot users that while the system improves, it will eventually be significantly safer than human drivers, but will never be perfect, Musk said, "It's important to emphasise that Autopilot will never be perfect. Nothing in the real world is perfect. But I do think that long term, it can reduce accidents by a factor of 10. So there are 10 fewer fatalities and tragedies and serious injuries. And that's a really huge difference."
For those unaware, Tesla’s Autopilot feature, has been in the news over the past few weeks following the March 23 tragic crash that saw Walter Huang’s Model X in Autopilot mode ploughing into a unprotected edge of a concrete highway median that was missing its crash guard.
In the interview, Musk addressed the specific fatal Model X accident that happened in Mountain View last month, saying, “The system worked as described, which is that it’s a hands-on system. It is not a self-driving system."
Watch the clip below for the full interview: