The New York Times Presents is a series of standalone documentaries representing the unparalleled journalism and insight of The New York Times, bringing viewers close to the essential stories of our time. With more than 1,550 journalists reporting from 160 countries, The Times publishes 250 stories a day including investigative reports, political scoops and cultural dispatches.
The first documentary of the new season is “Elon Musk’s Crash Course.” Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, has claimed since 2015 that, for Tesla, technology for self-driving cars is essentially a “solved problem,” and made outlandish claims about Autopilot capabilities. But a New York Times investigation reveals the quixotic nature of Musk’s pursuit of self-driving technology, and the tragic results. Drawing on first-hand accounts, the film traces how Autopilot has been a factor in several deaths and dozens of other accidents that Tesla has not publicly acknowledged. It details pressure Elon Musk put on government officials to quash investigations and features inside stories from several former Tesla employees, who speak out against Musk for promoting a self-driving program that they believe was perilous.
Elon Musk made his name, and fortune, taking bold risks and betting on the impossible, but the story of his pursuit of self-driving has put Musk on a crash course with both the business realities and technology’s limits. Yet, even after years of unfulfilled promises, Elon Musk continues to double down on his Full Self-Driving service, once again, with questionable results.
The series is produced by The New York Times and Left/Right, a Red Arrow Studios company. Among the series’ acclaimed features are “The Killing of Breonna Taylor,” “Framing Britney Spears,” “Controlling Britney Spears” and “Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson.”
Executive Producers are Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, Liz Day, Jason Stallman, Sam Dolnick, Stephanie Preiss and Esther Dere. Dere also serves as the Showrunner of The New York Times Presents. Rachel Abrams is Senior Producer.