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According to GMs own data on the volt usage it is about 63% of the miles that were electric. http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2014/Jun/0617-volt.html The 90% is BS. But the new Volt is a good move in the right direction to all BEV drive. The GM Bolt will be more interesting.
@mahonj Wired has a good piece on the cost of self-driving technology. It cost much more for the level of quality sensors that are needed for fully self-driving cars than just for driver assist systems. Google is so far the only fully self-driving car in testing and its GPS system that is accurate by centimeters cost 6000 USD and its lidar that fires 64 lasers collecting 1 million data points per second cost 60000 USD. Boston consulting does not expect fully self driving technology to cost less than 10,000 USD per car until 2025. http://www.wired.com/2015/04/cost-of-sensors-autonomous-cars/ However, even a high 20,000 USD per car is trivial to total cost of self-driving cars if it is operated as a taxi service clocking 100,000 miles per year for 10 years making 40 cents per mile or 400,000 USD over its 10 years lifespan.
E.c.i. I hear you and I think you are spot on about lying to superiors to keep things going in many cases but not this case. The case of fuel cell cars definitely qualifies. For the past 40 years lots of people in the auto industry have been saying fuel cell cars are just around the corner and regardless of zero real world results many still seem to believe in it. Larry Page calls the shots at Google and he does not care anymore about making money short-term. He has all he can spend in a 1000 lifetimes so he will fund the self-driving project regardless of how long it takes. Since college he has been passionate about transportation systems so he want this to happen. I am certain he couldn't care less if Google's boss of self driving cars Chris Umson told him it would probably take 10 years. Chris thinks his team can do it before 2020 and I do not see why he should be lying about that to anyone considering his boss is Larry Page. There is a highly recommendable TED talk about Larry Page and his philosophy for Google and life and about artificial intelligence. He starts to talk about cars 15 min and 15 sec into the 23 min long interview but I recommend viewing it all. https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_page_where_s_google_going_next#t-1386504 Artificial intelligence is also a big topic in this talk and it is intimately related to self-driving cars in my opinion and also in Google's opinion. Part of Google's self driving software is the system's ability to recognize objects like humans, animals and different types of cars (like an ambulance in action versus an ordinary car) and predict where they go next in order to avoid accident. It is done with programming and learning computer based neural networks about these things. @mahonj It does not matter much if it cost 5000 USD or 20000 USD to add self driving technology to a car. Tesla are aiming for a service like for 1 million miles for their BEVs. Add self-driving technology and operate it as a taxi charging 40 cents for 1 million miles doing 100,000 miles per year in 10 years and that taxi will make 400,000 USD. This is plenty to pay for every cost associated with that driving and still make good profits. Today a Taxi cost 1.4 USD per mile but 1 USD is for the taxi driver and overheads that are not paid in a self-driving vehicle. I want to focus on the big picture and not on whether you can get a SSD drive black box for 200 or 500 USD. You are probably right about the 200 USD. However, if I were a company using self-driving taxies I would want a deluxe monitoring system with six, 360 degrees cameras in 4k and radar etc. and a 30 minutes recording to be sure my case in court would be well documented. There will be hordes of people both private and industry lobbyist that will try to coerce money from you or prevent the future from happening because their clients stand to lose from it. So spending extra on that is money well spend.
E.c.i. I know it takes forever to make just little progress in the auto industry with regard to gassers. The Prius, for instance, only gains 5 mpg in efficiency every 6 years and also handles a little better and gets a little more comfortable every 6 year. The transition to BEVs is also going to be fairly slow. Problem is you need to build 200, 50GWh battery factories to make 100 million long-range BEVs per year and for Tesla to build just one takes 6 years. So we are talking decades for sure before we see a full transition to BEVs. However, self-driving vehicle technology is just tiny censors, PCs and software. Once you have a fully functioning basic self-driving system that is capable of performing in all types of driving conditions (and it appears Google is getting very close to that goal; the head of this program at Google expect 5 years at most) it is easy to scale up production of the components of that system (the censors, PCs and software). You can go from making 100 of those systems per year to making 100 million of those systems to be sold to automakers in 2 to 3 years. That is impossible with 90kwh battery packs or 200kw electric motors or power controllers. The latter will take decades even if you know how to do it very profitable and you have unrestrained demand. You literally have to transform million of tons of raw materials into these components whereas with sensors and processors we a talking a few 100 tons of raw materials in an industry that is already experienced in making hundreds of millions of copies of these items for the smart phone industry. The other thing why the transition to self-driving vehicles will be very fast once the first systems are made is that there are 100 of billions of USD to be saved every year and billion of hours of driving time to be saved and literally 1.2 million human lives that are killed every year globally in the traffic because of human errors. They could also be saved along with an even larger number of humans that are permanently crippled every year. Take it all together, life and livelihood saved, time saved, money saved and the ease of scaling up production and you will understand my optimism for why I think self-driving cars are going to be one of the fastest transition and deployment of new technology that the industrial world have seen so far. Of cause we still need to see that first operational taxi service in action on public roads. My bet is on Google or Tesla to be first with that and they may join forces.
@mahonj We completely agree that black box recordings will be able to solve the liability problem by far and large. It is not as easy as it sounds though. Today's cars could equally benefit from black box recordings but practically none cars sold have such boxes and the problem is costs. The 360 degrees cameras, radars, lasers and ultrasound sensors together with the cabling, processors and storage medium could easily add well over 10,000 USD worth of equipment for the black box ability at current prices. Of cause with an autonomous car we only need to add the storage medium perhaps 2 terabytes of SSD drives in a fireproof box will do costing 500 USD and then a backup black box costing another 500 USD. I would like to stress that Google so far is the only player globally that is testing fully self driving cars on public roads. Everybody else are just testing driver assistance and safety systems which are nice to have but they will not change the world as we know it like the self driving technology that Google is testing. Google's self driving project is therefore by far the most interesting of all the efforts out there on the topic. Google now delivers monthly progress reports on this topic at http://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/reports/ I would also say it is already a complex effort by multiple groups at hundreds of companies working on different aspects of the self-driving technology from sensors (like Bosh) to processors (like Nvidia) to software (Google) and system integration (every single global auto maker). Google will soon have 150 test cars driving so they must have at least 500 people working on this. Globally I expect almost 10000 engineers working on this up from max 2000 just 5 years ago. Everybody knows and agree that this is a make or break technology for the industry. In a few years consumers will not buy a car unless it is packed with safety and driver assistance systems and in 10 years self driving taxi services could be destroying private ownership of cars at record speed globally changing the world forever.
E.c.i. My 3 to 5 year estimate is not based on the Volvo development but on what I am reading and viewing about Google's self-driving car. As you probably know Google is currently testing a fully self driving car in the streets of Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas. Admittedly it only drives on a selected set of roads and it is a neighborhood electric vehicle with a top speed of only 25 miles per hour. They are testing 40 of them now and will expand to 150 in the coming months. They are indeed truly self-driving. No human interaction is needed as a failure in one critical system will be corrected by another back-up system taking over immediately. Google was forced by the authorities to retrofit a gas pedal and a steering wheel but they are entirely not needed. They are not used at all. But they can be used and that is what the bureaucrats needed to hear in order to authorized the test. Google is past testing these vehicles in controlled environments (dummy cities). With 150 vehicles clocking 30,000 miles per year Google will get accident and reliability statics from nearly 5 million miles per year. With about 10 million miles of real world city driving done by the end of 2017 I would expect the next phase is to allow Google to start a taxi service on pre approved roads in 2018. As the cars clock more miles and the software is improved the speed should be raised to 40 miles per hour and so forth until these self-driving taxies are allowed to go anywhere. See for yourself at http://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/ and the TED talk at https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road Of cause I expect Tesla to make a big bold move in this area also.
It is progress like this that eventually will enable true autonomous driving. Computing power is still a showstopper for truly self-driving cars. You need to be able to process several ultrahigh definition video streams simultaneously in order to make a self-driving car and you do not want to do it using a lot of energy and space for the required computers. All the systems that collect and process data should not use more than 100 watt combined. We need better computers to do that. Fortunately, Moore's law will ensure we will get the processing power that are needed. In less than 20 years that law will guarantee that a smart phone like the iPhone 6 will be a 100,000 times more powerful than it currently is without using any more energy. That kind of super computing power is needed in order to run a highly capable artificial intelligence directly on the phone instead of indirectly through a datacenter using the internet as currently is the case for Siri, Cortana and Google now. In my opinion a truly useful self-driving car needs an artificial intelligence that drives the car and understands its passengers spoken language (whatever nationality and dialect) without having to be online using a datacenter. I for one do not want to be on-line when the car is in motion simply because someone with intent could than hack the car and crash it. In 3 to 5 years I expect we will see the first self-driving taxi services to operate at specific roads that have been cleared to be safe enough to facilitate self-driving vehicles. As the technology improves more roads of greater driving difficulty will be added and eventually the technology will become so god that the cars can drive themselves on any road in any weather condition no matter how poorly that road is maintained with lane lines, traffic signs, road construction, etc.
Self-driving BEVs are clearly coming. In Tesla's fresh announcement about a more affordable 70k USD Model S and a more powerful one doing 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 sec Musk also said they were working to make the BEV drive train durable enough for one million miles. See http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/three-dog-day One million miles is five times longer than any modern gasser or hydrogen car will ever do without drive train replacement. Most drivers only do 15,000 miles per year so 200,000 miles is enough for a conventional privately owned car. However, a taxi self-driving car could do 100,000 to 150,000 miles per year and this is why we need the BEV drive train to last one million miles so they can be in service for 7 to 10 years before needing replacement instead of 18 to 24 months. Also forget about PHEVs. They will destroy the planet because they use gasoline or diesel. In 50 years the planet will have 10 billion people that can all afford driving a car. You can either have 10 billion human operated PHEVs driving around using the exact same amount of gasoline as the 1.2 billion non-PHEVs that are driving around today. Alternatively you can use 1 billion self-driving taxi BEVs and heavy duty trucks to do the necessary land transportation without using a drop of oil.
The Passat GTE starts at 44,250 Euro in the german configurator. http://app.volkswagen.de/ihdcc/de/configurator.html#31305 I think that Tesla's Model 3 can match that in 2017 or 2018. However, it may be smaller than the Passat but also more fun to drive I am sure.
@Herman The 0.08 USD per mile warranty doing 15000 miles per year is 1200 USD per year. The average selling price is 100,000 USD so it sounds below industry average to me. A 100,000 USD gasser usually have more maintenance repairs than 1200 USD per year. Admittedly I do not have the exact numbers but after the 3 years warranty is out on a 100,000 USD gasser I would expect 4000 USD per year in regular maintenance and 3000 USD in gasoline. Most of Tesla's warranty bills can be traced to a few issues that have all been fixed at this point. 1) The faulty greasing mechanism that caused some 2000-4000 Model S85P to break their gearbox. 2) The battery fire on two or three cars that caused Tesla to offer extra (but probably unnecessary) shielding of the battery. There has not been any other fires and it was probably just a statistical rarity. 3) The retractable door handles has caused too many malfunctions on the first Model S produced. These warranties issues should be expected for a startup company doing an entirely new type of car. I am surprised there has not been more warranty issues. Do not expect Tesla's first 100,000 cars to be representative for Tesla's warranty expence. The cars that comes after that will be far more representative of the long term warranty expenses for BEVs. And you bet they will be much lower than for gassers or hydrogen cars. In hindsight I would say Tesla should not have made 1) The falcon doors. 2) The retractable door handles. 3) They should have tested and debugged the Model S for 6 months more before releasing it to the market. Those falcon doors on the model X is my biggest concern. If Tesla have done them so that they are durable it is brilliant as it will be a world first and something that will be noticed literally all over the parking lot. Good for marketing. However, they could also become a menace with lots of warranty issues. If I was Tesla I would also offer a version of Model X without the falcon doors with a lower price tag.
Sorry but VW's 100,000 miles battery warrenty is not exelent. It is normal for plugins. However, Tesla's 8 years, infinite mile battery and drive unit warranty on all versions of Model S that is truely exelent. Note also that it includes the drive unit meaning motor, gearbox and powerelectronics. There is not a single gasser or hydrogen car in the world that offers anything as exelent as Tesla's standard warrenty. That said VW's plugin car warrenty is better than the Nissan's warrenty on the Leaf battery in Europe where it is only 100,000 km or 70,000 miles. It will be interesting to see whether Tesla's warrenty on the Model X will be the same as for Model S. Model X is ideal for Taxi driving because of its size and falcon doors. So that unlimitted milage warrenty may come to its test. It will be nice to see a Model X taxi do 8 years and 8*50,000 miles = 400,000 miles and still be running smoothly without any repairs on the battery or the drivetrain.
As shown below the economics of self-driving BEVs is much better than traditional gassers or self-driving grassers. Note those calculations are not assuming any benefits for BEV "right sizing". Allowing for that will bring the transportation cost further down. Specifically, an autonomous BEV taxi will cost you 0.16 USD per mile to drive. A self-owned Camry gasser will cost you 0.41 USD per mile or about 500 USD per month if you drive 15,000 miles per year (= ($0.41*15,000/12). Finally, a human operated taxi Camry will cost you 1.41 USD per mile which is representative of actual taxi rates. Reducing the cost of taxi driving from 1.41 USD to 0.16 USD per mile using an autonomous BEV taxi is simply revolutionary. The world will change for the better as a result. Far fewer traffic accidents, no air pollution from land transportation, no import of oil for making transportation fuels, no wasted time by traffic congestion. Time spend for transportation can be used productively to sleep, eat, work or for entertainment or education. The average American household can reduce transportation expenses from 500 USD per month per car needed in household to 200 USD per car (= ($0.16*15,000/12). This is as big as it gets for the automotive industry and it will change the world for the better. Documentation for costs to drive one mile: 1) Life cost to own Toyota Camry: 65,133 USD = (23,000 USD for Camry + 16,000 USD for life gasoline + 4,800 USD for life maintenance + 21,333 USD for life car insurance). Life cost per mile: 0.41 USD = $65,133/160,000 miles service life. 2) Life cost of Toyota Camry with human taxi driver: 225,133 USD = (23,000 USD for Camry + 16,000 USD for life gasoline + 4,800 USD for life maintenance + 21,333 USD for life car insurance + 160,000 USD for taxi driver). Life cost per mile: 1.41 USD = $225,133 /160,000 miles service life. Now consider a fully autonomous taxi with an ultra durable 24kwh lithium titanate battery (10,000 cycles) giving it about 85 miles of range and a service life of 850,000 miles. With autonomous driving the range issue and charging time issue no longer exists as you can change the vehicle in seconds to go an additional 85 miles and keep doing it until you reach your destination. This is the BEV conception that will wipe out any gasser on the market because its total cost per mile is unbeatable by any gasser. 3) Life cost of autonomous BEV taxi: 133,467 USD = (35,000 USD for BEV taxi + 28,800 USD for life electricity + 17,000 USD for life maintenance + 56,667 USD for life car insurance - 4000 USD scrap value of battery). Life cost per mile: 0.16 USD = $133,467/850,000 miles service life. ------ Add 1) Toyota Camry assumptions: 1) Service life is 160,000 miles. 2) Long-term price of gasoline is 3 USD. 3) It gets 30 mpg so 16,000 USD spend on gasoline = (160,000/30)*$3. 4) Maintenance cost for oil change, tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 300 USD per 10,000 miles so 4,800 USD = (160,000/10,000)*300 USD. 5) Insurance cost is 2000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 21,333 USD = (160,000/15,000)*$2000. Add 2) Toyota Camry taxi assumptions: 1) Service life is 160,000 miles. 2) Long-term price of gasoline is 3 USD. 3) It gets 30 mpg so 16,000 USD spend on gasoline = (160,000/30)*$3. 4) Maintenance cost for oil change, tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 300 USD per 10,000 miles so 4,800 USD = (160,000/10,000)*300 USD. 5) Insurance cost is 2000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 21,333 USD = (160,000/15,000)*$2000. 6) Hourly pay to chauffeur is 20 USD and hourly markup for time wasted and taxi company overhead is another 20 USD. Operating hours in service for life of car assuming 40 mph is 4000 hours =(160,000/40) so total life cost of chauffeur and taxi company overhead is 160,000 USD = (4000*($20+$20)). Add 3) Fully autonomous BEV taxi assumptions: 1) Service life is 850,000 miles (= 85 miles battery range*10,000 deep cycles) which corresponds favorably to warranty for Toshibas lithium titanate batteries (see http://www.scib.jp/en/product/detail.htm). 2) 0.28kwh is used to drive one mile (=24kwh battery/85miles range), 3) electricity cost is 28,800 USD = (12 cents per kwh * 0.28kwh* 850,000 miles) which could be much lower off peak, 4) maintenance cost for tires, brakes, coolant, etc is 200 USD per 10,000 miles so 17,000 USD = (850,000/10,000)*200 USD, 5) scrap value of battery after 850,000 miles is 4000 USD. 6) Insurance cost is 1000 USD per 15000 miles so life car insurance is 56,667 USD = (850,000/15,000)*$1000. The lower car insurance for autonomous vehicles assumes that they are twice as good as human drivers to avoid accidents. 7) The Leaf sized vehicle costs 35,000 USD with a 24kwh battery. It is assumed 12000 USD (=24kwh*$500) can be attributed to the battery pack, 6,000 USD for autonomous technology (computers, sensors and redundancy of critical systems) and 17,000 USD for other car expenses. All costs are including gross margins.
It is delusional to think that global warming is reduced by making vehicles with higher mpg. Problem with fuel efficient vehicles is that they make the use of fossil fuels relatively more affordable. That means the consumption will continue even if oil go to 200 USD per barrel. That is a problem because at 200 USD per barrel of oil mankind can economically extract oil for another 100 years in as large or larger volumes than we currently does with catastrophic consequences for the global climate. We need to stop using fossils altogether and the only way to do that is to direct all future research and development into non-fossil technologies. Automakers must stop developing more fuel efficient vehicles as it only increases the problems. We need zero emission vehicles and nothing else. The fastest and most economic way to get there is to speed up the development of fully self-driving cars that operate on battery power. They can be made far more durable than fossil fuel cars or hydrogen cars that only are good for 200,000 miles and uses expensive fossils. BEVs can be made to go 1,000,000 miles and operated as self-driving taxi vehicles they can log 100,000 miles per year of transportation services. Google is currently leading the effort and there is a good presentation of Google's efforts at TED talks for those who need to know see https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road I hope that Tesla's next car after model 3 will be a self-driving taxi made for durability and low cost operation and without a steering wheel or a gas pedal. Tesla might use Google's software and Google's capital for launching a massive global transportation service with millions of cars with these self-driving and self-charging taxies. That would really matter.
BYD's sales are predominantly limited to China. To grow they need to sell in all markets so I don't believe BYD will take the crown from Tesla. Tesla is building capacity to do 60k model s per year 60k model x per year and 380k model 3 per year by 2020. At Tesla's annual shareholder meeting Musk said they were almost done with a new paint shop that could paint 500k car per year. Apparently they find it less costly to do that now instead of expanding it gradually. The most difficult part id to make enough batteries for 500k Teslas but that Gigafactory is on track to start production of cells and packs in the summer of 2016 and reach full capacity in 2020 for 500k units for Tesla cars taking 35Gw and another 15Gw for the energy business. Apart from Nissan perhaps I do not see any other automaker making the investments today that it takes to get any serious capacity for BEVs in the next 5 years. I hope BYD will do well but it will mostly be limited to China where BYD take advantage of generous incentives as an incumbent producer something Tesla cannot do until they start producing in China.
@mahonj It is elementary. You get another fully charged autonomous taxi BEV if the first one you drive need to stop for a charge. You can do that for as long as you need to go without losing average speed apart from the 60 sec it take to change the car. Also Musk said Tesla did not make a 600 miles range, 200 kwh Model S because it costs too much for most customers at Tesla to want it. It is not because it can't be done. In a world full of autonomous BEV taxis a few will be 200kwh versions that can take you non-stop for 600 miles during the night so you can sleep while you are transported to the destination in mind. That will end much of the short distance air travel. I imagine it to be a motorhome with bed, toilet and a small kitchen. Far more comfortable and private than an airplane and no time wasted going to and from an airport in a taxi.
This is more good news from Tesla. Globally Nissan sold 3417 Leafs in April and 3742 Leafs in May see http://ev-sales.blogspot.dk/2015_06_01_archive.html Final number for the global sales of the Leaf for June is not in but they appear to be a disappointment meaning that Tesla with 11.500 delevered Model S for 2015, Q2 is now the world's best selling plug-in car. With Model X starting deliveries in Q4, 2015 I think it is safe to say that by Q1, 2016 Tesla will also become the world's largest plug-in automaker.
@mahonj I agree with you that commercial self-driving taxi services will not come until 5 to 10 years from now. I hope only 5 years are needed to make it happen. Until then I do not believe BEVs will be more than a niche business in the global auto-industry. Specifically, BEVs will be less than 5% of total global vehicle production. Until self-driving BEVs arrive they will still be too expensive and they will still suffer from parking, charging and range anxiety all of which prevent them from going mainstream. Last month Google started running fully self-driving cars limited to 25mph on public roads for the first time so I hope Google will be able to start a commercial self-driving taxi service in about 5 years that is also allowed to do 60 mph on highways and drive in cities at 40 mph. It is true that the self-driving ability will also greatly enhance the value of gassers but BEVs stand to gain by far the most from this technology as it solves all the weaknesses of BEVs versus gassers. With self-driving technology BEVs will therefore gain the competitive edge over gassers. Self-driving BEVs will become better and less costly per mile driven than self-driving gassers in all situations. The self-driving taxi services will chose BEVs over gassers because they can do the required job better than gassers and they cost less to fuel and maintain and they are far more durable than gassers.
They still don't get it. With sef-driving cars worries about where to park the car and where to charge the car in the cities are ridiculous. The self-driving car can always find a parking space and start charging itself. This is another reason they will be very inexpensive to use relative to private ownership in a city where you in addition to the car need to pay for expensive parking. Just make those self-driving vehicles and all the current problems with BEVs will no longer be an issue. Parking, charging and range anxiety all solved by self-driving cars.
The 12 publicly available hydrogen stations for all of USA are heavily subsidized. In reality we don't have a price for hydrogen for fuel cell cars that is meaningful for comparison with gasoline or electricity. I expect it to be much more expensive than gasoline without subsidies for the hydrogen stations. This is just another show stopper for fuel cell vehicles. IMO the auto industry should instead focus on self-driving cars and BEVs. That is the future for that industry.
Tesla's Model S 70D does 101 mpge combined with 101 city and 102 highway. That Tesla can also do 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 sec whereas the smaller Mirai does that in 10 to 15 sec and only 67mpge. Also for a car that has virtually no places to fuel 312 miles range is pathetic. The Tesla can fuel for free anywhere and it has unlimited mileage warranty on the battery whereas the Mira only get 100,000 miles. And the Mirai does not have a trunk instead it has bulky hydrogen tanks that better not blow up at the extremely high pressure they store the hydrogen. Who will buy it?
It is nice to see that more people realize that solar power and wind power is affordable already and is going to become the lowest cost energy we can make in a few decades. I would say the average cost of new utility scale solar power is about 10 cents kwh now and we are heading for 3 cents per kwh in 2035. Wind power is about 6 cents per kwh and going down to about 3 cents per kwh by 2035. In 2014 50 GW of wind power and 40GW of solar power was added to the global grid for about 250 billion USD. It has become big business now but solar and wind needs to grow 11 fold to about 1000 GW per year in new capacity added. At that rate it will take 25 years to get 25,000 GW of solar and wind power globally and that is enough to power the entire planet without any biofuels or fossil fuels or nuclear or anything else. It can be done and it should be done for so many good reasons like eliminating air pollution, making cancer a rare disease, eliminating oil dependence, creating local jobs, stopping the ongoing Holocene mass-extinction event see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction EP as you know solar power is nuclear power. It all comes from the giant fusion reactor at the center of our solar system, the sun. And the sun can be trusted not to blow up for at least one billion years to come. It is as reliable as it gets.
Very impressive. Hopefully some new world records can be made at the 2015 Pikes Peak race. I guess the boss wants to drive because he thinks he can do it and he probably also pays most of the costs. It is probably more of an enthusiast hobby than a real business.
Sorry Davemart after digging into it I can see I had you mixed up with E.C.I. that I had a long discussion with about the issue. Happende here and elsewhere http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/02/20150219-volvo.html
Good to see that you are able to change your opinion on matters. I recall our discussions a few months ago and you were clearly among those who thought that self driving cars were far out in the future. In my opinion self driving cars are a reality in 2020 and no later than 2025 most countries will allow them on public roads enabling a transportation revolution of the biggest kind with repercussions for air travel, train and bus travel and private car ownership and the spread of battery electric cars versus cumbustion based. Everything will change in a very big way for the better. I noted at Tesla's shareholder meeting a few days ago that Musk said he had decreased his own estimate of when Tesla will have a fully self driving car made to begin extensive road testing and public approval. He now think that car is ready in 3 years instead of the 5 years he said in 2014 and the 10 years he said in 2012. What has changed for Musk is that now he is driving every day in a Model S, X with the latest prototype version for Tesla's autopilot system. He get weekly software updates so he now knows the speed of the progress. He expect the first beta autopilot is ready next month to be tested by hundreds of Tesla employees and beta testers and a final version 1.0 for all Model S and X owners will be ready by Sepember or October, 2015 probably in time for the first deliveries of Model X. I expect that when Tesla announces the availability of their first autopilot for highway driving it will trigger a subsequent media storm about autonomous driving by all automakers just like the announcement of Tesla's powerpacks have triggered it for battery storage system's that was off the raider for most people until Tesla made it interesting.