Rolling off the couch in his office at Tesla Motors in Fremont California, which is where CEO Elon Musk admits to sleeping lately, the entrepreneur recently discussed some Model 3 production difficulties with CBS This Morning anchor, Gayle King.
Just to recap, the Model 3 was rolled out last July with that now infamous “production hell” claim from Musk that accompanied a promise to produce 20,000 vehicles a month. First quarter projections have that figure closer to 3,300 Model 3s per month.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the dialogue was that Musk agreed to over-doing the automation at the Fremont facility. He even went so far as to say that the factory showcased a “crazy, complex network of conveyor belts” that had slowed the production process.
King suggested that the factory might benefit from more human workers. Musk would later tweet that: "Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
Tesla would follow-up on the tweet by stating that there are no current plans related to hiring more workers or reducing robotic workload at the 10,000-employee facility.
Perhaps adding to the frequency of Musk’s sleep-overs at the Tesla facility is a current battle with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has been investigating last months’ fatal Model X crash.
Although the company’s Autopilot semi-autonomous-driving system was engaged at the time of the incident, Tesla insists that the crash stemmed from the driver not paying attention. The NTSB has expressed frustration that Tesla revealed details of the crash prior to the agency unveiling its findings.
Agreeing to disagree on how to handle the situation, Tesla has chosen to stop participating in the investigation.