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Opinion
Liam Denning

Tesla’s Stock Just Went Fully Autonomous

Investors are unmoved by Elon Musk’s claims of an imminent invasion of highly profitable robotaxis.

Are you not entertained?

Are you not entertained?

Photographer: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

Steve Jobs was said to operate his own “reality distortion field,” persuading others to believe in the seemingly impossible. Tesla Inc.’s CEO, Elon Musk, has tapped into similar powers. But on Monday, when he hosted his company’s autonomy demonstration, reality remained stubbornly intact.

Musk, along with several senior managers, spent hours showcasing an area of technology, autonomous driving, where Tesla doesn’t enjoy quite the same pioneering reputation it has in vehicle electrification. Certainly, the first presentation — Peter Bannon, VP of silicon engineering, on the company’s “full self-driving,” or FSD, computer — seemed squarely aimed at establishing Tesla’s technical bona fides, even if it sometimes ran the risk of leaving non-geeks somewhat bewildered (sample line: “In this network, of the 35 billion operations, almost all of them are Convolution, which is based on dot product; the rest are Deconvolution, also based on dot product; and then ReLu and Pooling, which are relatively simple operations.”)