Monday, July 11, 2016

Milking the Tesla S auto-pilot accident

Fortune Magazine recently published an article accusing Tesla Inc. of hiding material information in its $2 Billion stock offering dated May 18th, 2016. The article suggests that by failing to disclose the adverse affects of the fatal accident dated May 7th, Tesla Inc. may have misguided buyers about the future of the company.

 Elon Musk' reacted angrily to by calling the article BS.

This less than amicable exchange was mentioned in an article published by my local (Swiss) newspaper. This article, like many others, seemed to focus on Tesla's follow up on the accident and the future of auto-pilot, while ignoring salient facts about the circumstances of the accident. More specifically, the fact that Mr. Frank Baressi, the driver of the tractor trailer, cut the path of the Tesla S driven by the late Joshua Brown on a separated high-way, is mentioned only fleetingly. Cutting the path of traffic in a separated highway is a high-risk maneuver. While auto-pilot may share some of the blame, automatically exonerating both Mr. Frank Baressi and the late Joshua Brown from any responsibility in the accident seems disingenuous.

As for the $2 Billion stock offering, for a company bleeding cash at the rate of $500 million per trimester, nothing seems more natural than raising cash for future investments. Fortune magazine must know this.

The press seems to think that articles on reactions to articles published in some other paper is somehow newsworthy. The signal to noise ratio of the numerous articles published by Fortune magazine on Tesla seems very low and on par with click-bait internet pages we all love to hate. It looks like Fortune magazine, like many other papers and magazines, are merely milking the Tesla phenomenon.

Elon Musk took a risk in integrating auto-pilot before other car manufactures. He paved the way for auto-pilot technology to enter mainstream. Some may call this being brave.

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