Raise your hand if you’re tired of reading about Elon Musk.For the rest, flip through the latest issue of The New York Times Magazine and get ready for a Grand Latte—— Maybe two – and sit down and soak up 7,000+ words trying to explain what makes Musk successful.

Lawsuits, accidents, deaths and near misses weave together in this provocative and accomplished essay that will test the patience of all but the staunchest of Musksteins.

It’s worth repeating the first paragraph of the story to understand the premise of the story and to clarify what follows:

“Early on, the software had an unfortunate habit of hitting police cars. No one knew why, though Tesla’s engineers had some good guesses: stationary objects and blinking lights seemed to be fooling the AI ​​(artificial intelligence). The car was going fine, the computer was fine, and all of a sudden it was going to veer right or left— crush ——turned over at least 10 times in just over three years. “

In the next paragraph, this: “…these crashes may seem like a problem. But to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, they present an opportunity.”

heartless? Selfish? genius? Describing Mr. Musk’s character as he pleases is one of author Christopher Cox’s tasks in The Destruction of Elon Musk (thanks Guns N’ Roses). His perspective is told through the eyes of two Tesla drivers who were involved in a crash while the car was using Autopilot, and through interviews with lawyers and Musk colleagues (but, unsurprisingly, not Musk himself).

Cox detailed the journey with Fresno, California-based owner David Alford, who posted a video showing his 2020 Model 3 approaching a red light in full self-driving mode, but the car didn’t stop. Instead, Cox wrote, “it rolled into the intersection and collided with oncoming traffic on the track before Alford took over.” Smart software updates. Cox, sitting in the car driven by Alford, described the approach to another intersection under the command of Autopilot:

“The Tesla started pulling out slowly, trying to get a better view of the car coming from our left. It moved forward a little bit, a little bit, until we were fully in the lane again. Nothing could stop the Tesla Pull accelerated and completed the turn, but instead it just stopped there. At the same time, a modified Honda Accord sped toward us, about three seconds before it hit the driver’s side door. Alford quickly took over and Hit the gas pedal and we get away safely.”

The New York Times took pains to document Musk’s strengths, weaknesses and ugliness, his dogged defense of autonomous driving, his mission to send us to Mars, and his questionable personality. “Musk is nothing short of a narcissist,” the authors write, “every reckless shift he makes is just to get the world’s attention.”

Then came a poignant glimpse at the man, as Musk offered his condolences to the father of his son, who was killed after his Tesla crashed while speeding. But in this long story, even here, Musk couldn’t resist his defense of a higher mission: “I want to make sure we’re doing it right. What’s best for most people.” Revelatory remarks from many in the story .

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