NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Two weeks ago Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced that all Tesla cars being produced have fully autonomous driving hardware being built into them. However, concerns have surfaced regarding the safety of self-driving vehicles.
In June a driver operating a Tesla vehicle in Florida had the autopilot system engaged, and was killed when he crashed into a larger truck on the highway.
"I think these things tend to rise up and then die down. We had this with car fires at one point where every year in North America there are about 200,000 automobile fires; we had three. Our three got more press than the 200,000 combined. But, the public figured this out," Musk said during Friday's "Squawk Alley" on CNBC.
To this point, the driver in Florida is the only confirmed case in which a fatality has occurred from Tesla's self-driving technology.
"All that really means is that autopilot didn't steer away from the truck that crossed the highway. Autopilot didn't veer off the road and smash into anything, it stayed in the lane. But, the nature of the truck that was crossing the highway was very unexpected and unfortunately the driver was not looking at the time," Musk explained.
He equated Tesla's autopilot system to that of airliners, saying its technology is not designed to control every facet of flight, much like Tesla's autopilot isn't in place to handle every aspect of driving.
"The autopilot is not really a plane itself flying, it is meant as an aid to the pilot and enhances the safety," Musk said.
Shares of Tesla were higher in early afternoon trading on Friday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "sell" with a ratings score of D+
Tesla's weaknesses include its deteriorating net income, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSLA