The New York Times and FX announce “expose” on Tesla CEO Elon Musk

This coming May is shaping up to be quite interesting, at least for those who are following updates on Tesla CEO Elon Musk. As per recent reports, an upcoming television documentary on Musk, Tesla, and its Autopilot program is poised to be released this coming May. 

The documentary, which is titled “Elon Musk’s Crash Course,” was made from a collaboration between FX and The New York Times. The upcoming television film is part of the two companies’ documentary series, “The New York Times Presents,” which provides in-depth stories about notable people or events.

Directed by Emma Schwartz, the film will be an “expose” into Tesla and its work on its self-driving technology. The film would feature reporting from Cade Metz and Neal Boudette of The New York Times, the latter being a known critic of the EV maker on social media platforms such as Twitter.

This became quite evident in a 2018 article where Boudette highlighted (and supported to a point) the theories and efforts of Tesla short-sellers while subtly questioning if the demand for the Model 3 was really there. The report has since been proven false by the Model 3’s raw sales numbers over the years. 

As per a Variety report, the upcoming documentary would discuss how Tesla’s Autopilot program had resulted in several deaths, which Musk and the electric vehicle maker are reportedly yet to acknowledge. The film also details Musk’s supposed efforts to curb investigations into the Autopilot incidents. Several former Tesla employees would also be speaking out against Musk for the first time in the documentary. 

“Elon Musk’s Crash Course” will be available for streaming on May 20 on FX and Hulu. 

While the topic of the upcoming documentary is compelling, there seems to be a pretty fair chance that the film would be an imbalanced take on Tesla and its Autopilot system. The documentary’s focus on Autopilot deaths seems quite sensationalist, considering that Tesla publishes regular vehicle safety reports every quarter. Tesla critics also tend to confuse Autopilot, a driver-assist system, with Full Self-Driving, which is designed for automatic driving

It should be noted that Tesla’s FSD Beta program has already expanded to over 100,000 users since its launch in late 2020, and it has resulted in no confirmed injuries so far, despite strong criticism from skeptics of the company and Musk. Tesla’s Autopilot system also has clear rules whenever it gets engaged by drivers, with Tesla strongly reminding users that the system is still a hands-on solution that requires constant attention.

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