• July 1st, 2016

As the co-founder and chief executive of Tesla Motors, the technology billionaire Elon Musk has consistently portrayed his company’s electric cars as cleaner, safer and more innovative than models made by other automakers.

His confidence in Tesla’s technology has seemed boundless, particularly when the company announced last year that it would equip its flagship Model S sedans with a self-driving feature called Autopilot that was still in its testing phase. The technology was so out in front of federal highway regulations that there were no rules against it.

But with the revelation this week that a Model S driver in Florida was killed in May while operating his car in self-driving mode, Mr. Musk’s determination to push limits has hit its most formidable roadblock.