Elon Musk says "humans are underrated"

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk admitted the company relied on too many robots to build the Tesla Model 3. 

"Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated," Musk tweeted on Friday. 

The admission came a day after the National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday that the agency is removing Tesla as a party to the investigation of the crash of a Tesla Model S that took the life of Walter Huang in Mountain View in March.

NTSB officials said in a statement that the action was being taken because Tesla "violated the party agreement by releasing investigative information before it was vetted and confirmed.

"Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash, which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public."

The investigation began after Huang's Tesla veered into a highway safety barrier and caught on fire on March 23 on U.S. Highway 101.

NTSB spokesman Chris O'Neil said after Tesla's March 30 blog post discussing data points about Autopilot and the specific fiery collision, the agency was "unhappy." The NTSB was not made aware of the information going out.

Tesla disclosed facts such as that Autopilot was engaged in the San Mateo resident's car at the time of the crash, that the system's adaptive cruise control follow-distance was set to minimum and that Huang was given multiple visual and audio warnings before the car hit the highway barrier.

The car manufacturer alleged that Caltrans did not replace the crash attenuator that was hit after the last recorded crash in the same place, which California Highway Patrol officials verified had taken place on March 12 via their Twitter account.

"The uncoordinated release of investigative information can affect how other parties work with us in the future so we take each unauthorized release very seriously," O'Neil said. "However, this release will not hinder our investigation."

The NTSB said that the party system that they use in which they involve companies that can provide technical assistance has been used for decades and that Tesla's invitation was a privilege.

"We decided to revoke Tesla's party status and informed Mr. Musk in a phone call last evening and via a letter today," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in the statement. "While we understand the demand for information that parties face during an NTSB investigation, uncoordinated 
releases of incomplete information do not further transportation safety or ]serve the public interest."

The NTSB concluded their statement by saying that they still expect future cooperation from Tesla in regards to data requests. Tesla remains a party to ongoing investigations from the crash of a Tesla Model X in Lake Forest in August 2017 and the crash of a Tesla Model S near Culver City in January of this year.

Tesla was not immediately available for comment.
 

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