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Tesla engineers were quietly concerned with Elon Musk's early claims about the company's self-driving tech, according to a new book

Tesla engineers were quietly concerned with Elon Musk's early claims about the company's self-driving tech, according to a new book

Elon Musk in 2016 declared that new Teslas would all have the hardware to eventually drive autonomously.
Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images




Some early critics of Elon Musk's self-driving claims were Tesla engineers, a new book says.




The reporting comes from "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century," out Tuesday.




Engineering, PR, and legal employees worried Musk was overstating Autopilot's abilities in 2016.




See more stories on Insider's business page.


Elon Musk has caught heat for years over the way he exaggerates the capabilities of Tesla's driver-assistance features: Autopilot and Full Self-Driving. Autopilot doesn't pilot cars automatically, and Full Self-Driving doesn't make them autonomous. Most of that criticism has come from safety advocates, politicians, and others in the auto industry who say Tesla's fast-and-loose approach to automated-driving tech puts people in danger. Making overly optimistic promises about what these systems can or will be able to do emboldens people to misuse them and causes crashes, they argue. But some of the earliest such concerns came from within Tesla, according to Tim Higgins' "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century," a new book on the automaker's history, published Tuesday.As Tesla geared up to release a new version of Autopilot hardware and software in late 2016 - a year after the system first hit streets - Sterling Anderson, who led the Autopilot team, grew increasingly worried about Musk's tendency to overpromise, according to people familiar with his team's work.
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