Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot system 'prevented severe injury' in 60mph crash

Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot system 'prevented severe injury' in 60mph crash

As part of the reorg, we are flattening the management structure to improve communication, combining functions where sensible and trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission.

Tesla confirmed the contents of the email after they were reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Tesla continues to struggle to meet production targets for its Model 3 battery-sedan, an issue that led to record first-quarter losses.

Tesla has said that autopilot requires constant vigilance and is not meant to take over driving responsibilities.

Mr Schwall was the electric carmaker's main technical contact with United States safety investigators.

Doug Field, senior vice-president of engineering, is taking time away from the company to recharge, according to a company spokesman.

The company is developing multiple new vehicles, including a semi truck, and has registered a new auto firm in Shanghai in a probable step towards production in China.

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"To ensure that Tesla is well-prepared for the future, we have been undertaking a thorough reorganization of our company", Musk said in the memo, obtained by CNBC. He added that he would reduce the number of third-party contracting companies engaged by Tesla, equating them with "barnacles" needing to be scrubbed off.

Investors gave Mr Musk some rare criticism after the call in which he referred to one analyst as a boring bonehead. But there's been a growing push by short-sellers and some traditional supporters have begun asking more troubling questions - many now expecting Tesla to have to raise new capital despite Musk's claim that it has enough cash in hand to get through 2018 without a new stock offering.

The driver of the fire truck was evaluated for whiplash but was not hospitalized.

On Friday night a Tesla Model S sedan traveling at about 97km/h smashed into a fire engine that was stopped at a red light about 30 kilometres south of Salt Lake City, Utah.

USA police said it was unknown if the car's autopilot feature was on at the time.

There was light rain falling and roads were wet when the crash occurred, police said in a statement. Matthew Schwall, Tesla's primary contact with United States regulators, just joined the safety team at Waymo, the self-driving-car company started by Google. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a Tesla crash in Florida last week that killed two high school students.

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