Elon Musk has agreed with critics who say that Tesla is too reliant on automation to produce its vehicle - although the reasoning is unrelated to his earlier claims that AI is a threat to humanity.
During an interview with CBS, Musk said that using too many robots in the production process of the Model 3 sedan has led to a "crazy, complex network of conveyor belts," which might actually have slowed things down. "It was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing," he told CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.
Tesla announced earlier this month that it had missed its production target of 2,500 cars every week for the Model 3, and is now aiming at 2,000 a week - a climbdown from its initial target of 5,000.
Musk now says that he wants to start using more humans in the factory, to speed up production. He has referred to the recent period as "production hell".
More humans could well help with areas of quality control that the Model 3 has faced. Early customers have complained about a multitude of issues, including broken rear lights, charging problems and other technical defects.
Musk, who personally took control of the Model 3 production line this month and has been sleeping at the factory, says that production is now back on track. He told CBS, "We'll probably have...a three- or four-fold increase in the second quarter," adding, "I...have a clear understanding of the path out of hell."
Sources recently told Reuters that Tesla will begin to produce its upcoming Model Y at its plant in Fremont, California in November next year. It will ramp production by also producing the cars in China, from 2021.
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