NYT takes a deep dive into the character of Elon Musk

Elevate your hand if you’re sick of studying about Elon Musk. The relaxation of you, convert to a current edition of The New York Situations Magazine, put together a grande latte — it’s possible two — and settle down to soak up much more than 7,000 terms trying to describe what would make Musk tick.

Lawsuits, accidents, fatalities and near-misses collide in this provocative, overachieving dissertation that will test the tolerance of all but the most confirmed Musk-o-stans.

It’s worth repeating the story’s to start with paragraph to realize the story’s premise and apparent one’s head for what follows:

“Early on, the application experienced the regrettable pattern of hitting law enforcement cruisers. No one particular understood why, while Tesla’s engineers experienced some excellent guesses: Stationary objects and flashing lights seemed to trick the A.I. (artificial intelligence). The car or truck would be driving together typically, the computer very well in regulate, and all of a sudden it would veer to the right or left and — smash — at least 10 times in just about a few yrs.”

In the up coming paragraph, this: “… these crashes might appear to be like a issue. But to Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief government, they presented an chance.”

Heartless? Selfish? Genius? Acquire your pick to describe the character of Mr. Musk, a single of the tasks of creator Christopher Cox in “Elon Musk’s Appetite for Destruction” (thank you, Guns N’ Roses). His choose is explained to via the lenses of two Tesla motorists who crashed while using the cars’ self-driving techniques, and by interviews with attorneys and a Musk affiliate (but unsurprisingly, no job interview with Musk himself).

Cox details a experience with owner David Alford of Fresno, California, who had posted a online video demonstrating his 2020 Product 3 in complete self-driving method approaching a red light-weight, but the vehicle does not cease. As a substitute, Cox writes, “It rolls into the intersection, where by it’s on keep track of to collide with oncoming targeted visitors, right until Alford takes above.” This in spite of the Tesla running the hottest A.I. software program update. Cox, riding in the car or truck with Alford driving, describes an technique to a further intersection with Autopilot in command:

“The Tesla commenced creeping out, striving to get a clearer look at the cars coming from our still left. It inched ahead, inched ahead, right up until as soon as again we were fully in the lane of targeted traffic. There was nothing at all stopping the Tesla from accelerating and completing the change, but alternatively it just sat there. At the very same time, a tricked-out Honda Accord sped toward us, about 3 seconds absent from hitting the driver-side doorway. Alford immediately took above and punched the accelerator, and we escaped securely.”

The Occasions can take pains to chronicle the great, the lousy and the unpleasant about Musk, his unrepentant defense of autonomous driving, his mission to send out us to Mars, his questionable personality. “Musk is only a narcissist,” the creator writes, “and each reckless swerve he tends to make is meant entirely to draw the world’s notice.”

Then there’s a poignant glimpse of the guy, where Musk sends his condolences to the father of a son who died right after his Tesla crashed when speeding. But in this long, extensive tale, Musk even in this article can’t resist his protection of a greater contacting: “I want to make confident that we get this correct. Most good for most variety of persons.” A revealing remark of several in the story.