Musk published a blog post on Tesla’s website on October 19, the day before Video Going up, he said that all Tesla cars from that day forward will ship with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability. Emails he sent to employees that month discussed the importance of a demonstration campaign to promote the system.
Musk’s direct involvement in the video, and subsequent promotion of Tesla’s cars’ capabilities to drive themselves, comes at a time when the CEO’s reputation and reliability are increasingly on the line. In addition to his Twitter distractions, Musk also promised during a third-quarter Tesla investor call that the automaker would have an “epic end to the year,” and yet Tesla ended up Lack of Wall Street delivery estimates in the fourth quarter of the year. Moreover, the The company’s stock is down 65% in 2022.
Musk is also preparing to take a stand this week in a class action lawsuit from shareholders who say he is The infamous 2018 tweet Claiming that funding was secured to take the company public – it wasn’t – caused the loss of potential billions of dollars. The jury will determine whether Musk knowingly, and therefore fraudulently, demanded the secured funding when he was not.
“Amazing test drive on autopilot”
On October 11, Musk sent an email under “Absolute Priority” to notify the Autopilot team that he had canceled plans for the upcoming weekend to work on the video.
“I just want to be absolutely clear that everyone’s top priority is achieving an amazing test drive experience,” Musk said in the email, according to Bloomberg. he wrote, referring to the use of a 3D digital map used by Model X to follow a predetermined route.
He continued, “I’m going to tell the world that this is what the car *will* be able to do, not that it can do it on takeover.”
Despite that promise, internal emails show that Musk himself asked the Autopilot team to open the video with the words: “The person in the driver’s seat is just there for legal reasons. He’s not doing anything. The car is driving itself.”