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US electric carmaker Tesla, which has yet to make a profit, has reported a sharp rise in car deliveries for the past quarter. The firm said it shipped 24,500 cars in the third quarter, up 70% on the second quarter and more than double the number delivered in the same period in 2015.

It also confirmed its 50,000 production target for the second half of 2016.

The announcement comes amid criticism of the firm after its autopilot system was linked to several accidents.

The autopilot feature makes the vehicles automatically change lanes and react to traffic, but it is not a fully-fledged self-driving technology.

In a separate incident, Tesla has been forced to update its software after researchers from China hacked into the operating system of its electric cars.

The researchers remotely manipulated the brake system on a Tesla while it was on the move, from a distance of 12 miles (19km). The also managed to open a car door without using a key.

In August, the carmaker reported its thirteenth consecutive quarterly loss but insisted it was on track to deliver 50,000 of its Model S and Model X vehicles in the second half of the year.

 

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