Tesla CEO Elon Musk has predicted that the Tesla Cybertruck launch will be bigger than any other product launch in the world this year, ahead of the delivery event set to take place on Thursday.
Musk appeared for an almost-90-minute interview with reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin for the New York Times 2023 Dealbook Summit on Wednesday, during which the two talked about subjects ranging from Tesla and SpaceX to artificial intelligence (AI), the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, free speech and more.
During the conversation, Musk predicted that the Thursday Cybertruck launch would be “by far” this year’s largest product launch, adding that he’s done “more than any human on Earth” for the environment by selling electric vehicles (EVs).
“[The Cybertruck event] will be the biggest product launch of anything by far on Earth this year,” Musk said during the summit. “Whether you hate me, like me or are indifferent, do you want the best car or not the best car?”
Musk and Sorkin also discussed several other topics surrounding Tesla, including the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta. When pressed on how his companies were handling the competition, Musk noted that his companies aren’t intended to be competitive, highlighting how Tesla has even open-sourced its patents so other companies can use them.
Near the end of the conversation, Sorkin also asked Musk about the safety of autonomous vehicles, and when computer-driven vehicles would be “politically palatable” for the public.
“First of all, humans are terrible drivers,” Musk said. “So they will text and drive, drink and drive, they get into arguments. They, you know. They do all sorts of things in cars that they should not do.”
“So it’s actually remarkable that there are not more deaths than there are,” Musk added.
“What we’ll find with computer driving is, I think, probably an order of magnitude reduction in deaths. The U.S. has actually far fewer deaths per capita than the rest of the world. If you go worldwide, I think there’s something close to a million deaths per year due to automotive accidents. So I think computer driving will probably drop that by 90 percent or more? It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be 10 times better.”
“The self driving thing is something I’ve been optimistic about,” Musk added. “We’ve certainly made a lot of progress. If anybody has tried the has been using the sort of full self driving beta, the progresses you know, every year has been substantial. It’s really not the point where in most places, it’ll take you from one place to another with no interventions.”
“And the data is unequivocal that that supervised, Full Self-Driving is somewhere around four times safer. Maybe more than than just be human driving by by themselves. So I can certainly see it coming.”
Other topics surrounding Tesla included Musk’s prediction that the Model Y will become the world’s best-selling car this year, how much the CEO appreciates Chinese automakers, regulations on his companies and more. When asked if he thought full autonomy was another five or ten years away, Musk said “definitely not.”
Musk also disccused the recent decision from the UAW to launch union campaigns at Tesla and other automakers, saying that “if Tesla gets unionized, it will be because we deserve it and we failed in some way.”
You can watch Musk’s full interview at the New York Times Dealbook Summit below, featuring discussions on Tesla, the Chinese auto market, the U.S. political climate and much, much more.
Watch the live interview of Elon Musk from the DealBook Summit in New York. @andrewrsorkin will ask about Musk’s latest trip to Israel and the future of the tech billionaire's business empire. https://t.co/Oz2xeBlU65
— DealBook (@dealbook) November 29, 2023