Elon Musk's promises about self-driving cars are 'almost unethical,' AutoNation CEO says

  • Tesla CEOElon Musk’s promises about autonomous-vehicle technology are “almost unethical,” AutoNationCEO Mike Jackson said in an interview with CNBC on Friday.
  • Musk said in an interview with ARK Invest released on Tuesday that he was certain that by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval, Tesla vehicles would be able to operate without any driver intervention.
  • Tesla did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s promises about autonomous-vehicle technology are “almost unethical,” AutoNationCEO Mike Jackson said in an interview with CNBC on Friday.

“I think he is overpromising on autonomous vehicles in an almost unethical way,” Jackson told CNBC.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Musk said in an interview with ARK Invest released on Tuesday that he was certain that by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval, Tesla vehicles would be able to operate without any driver intervention.

“I think we will be feature-complete full self-driving this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention – this year,” Musk said. “I would say that I am certain of that. That is not a question mark.”


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Musk suggested the update would still require the driver to pay attention to the road, but he estimated that Tesla vehicles would be capable of operating themselves without any attention from the driver by the end of next year. He added that both updates would depend on regulatory approval.

But Musk has missed projections about autonomous-driving technology on multiple occasions. In 2015, Musk said Tesla would have the technology for fully autonomous driving ready in about two years, and Tesla has passed several deadlines, set by Musk, to send a self-driving vehicle across the US.

Jackson also criticised how Tesla has sold its Model 3 sedan, which Musk said when Tesla began taking reservations in 2016 would have a base price of $US35,000. Tesla has not begun selling a $US35,000 version of the vehicle, which starts at $US42,900 before federal and state incentives.

“There’s not another retailer in America that could get away with that bait and switch,” Jackson said.

Jackson is preparing to end his tenure as the CEO of AutoNation, the largest chain of auto dealerships in the US, in March.

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