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I think the Tesla pickup will be much like the F350 in size and towing ability but it will come with two or three battery pack options say 110kwh, 130kwh and 150kwh. 200kwh is not needed I think. If you really need it just load a 100kwh Tesla powerpack or two at the back of the pickup and connect it or load 10 of them at a gooseneck and connect it. I would not be surprised to see Tesla launch it only when it can be fully autonomous as that would guarantee its commercial success. A pickup that could get you heavy equipment without spending time to drive that pickup would be really attractive for any construction site or farmer. I am fully convinced Tesla can have such a beast ready by 2020 or 2022 at the latest.
LIDAR cost up to 80,000 USD a piece, car radars cost up to 200 USD a piece, car camera censors cost up to 20 USD a piece, and ultrasonic sensors up to 5 USD a piece. Nobody use LIDAR for production vehicles. Not a single production car in the world has Lidar because of the cost. We need fully autonomy capable hardware in production cars by next year so that the software can start its development and be rolled out using OTA so that in turn fully autonomous cars are a reality by 2019 and documented to be much safer than human drivers by 2020 so that we can change the law and allow autonomous vehicles without human driver controls. We also need 360 degree vision, redundancy and low air drag meaning no sensor racks on top of cars. All that means at least 8 camera, radar or lidar sensors per car and possible 12 or 16 per car. Lidar is prohibitively costly currently and will be so for many years ahead. We need fully self-driving cars in 2 to 3 years from now not in 10 years from now so using Lidar is currently a wrong decision for the R&D teams.
I think the most interesting news is that Tesla and Mobileye is parting. I admit I did not see that coming. It could have been really bad news with regard to Tesla’s ability to launch Model 3 on schedule. However, the following statement from Musk has convinced me it is not. I quote “This was expected and will not have any material effect on our plans. MobilEye’s ability to evolve its technology is unfortunately negatively affected by having to support hundreds of models from legacy auto companies, resulting in a very high engineering drag coefficient. Tesla is laser-focused on achieving full self-driving capability on one integrated platform with an order of magnitude greater safety than the average manually driven car.” Other news I have read have said that Tesla has hired top talent for chip design from AMD among others. Apparently Tesla is designing some of its own sensors and processors for the next generation autopilot hardware that will go into Model S and X first and then Model 3 at launch. Another, thing I read at electric is that the Giga factory will use a unique new cell format. Instead of the standard 18650 they will use a new cylindrical form factor and unique chemistries as well. What all this tells me is that Musk is unhappy with the speed of how traditional suppliers work. Musk wants the innovation to go much faster and using standard components will just slow down the development of Tesla’s products. So Tesla does it alone for the key technologies that will enable the transition to a zero carbon economy on a global scale. If others will not do it Tesla will do it and they are not waiting for anyone to get on board. Also I read that Tesla’s autopilot version 8 should enable Tesla cars to automatically exit highways along with major interface improvements. Tesla goal with autopilot is to make it 10 times safer than manual driving in all situations and achieve that goal as fast as possible. Tesla believes they are currently twice as safe (It is a belief because the data are not yet extensive enough to prove it with regard to the death statistics. We need at least 50 deaths to prove it). The beta designation for the auto pilot will not be removed until the autopilot is fully autonomous and conclusively documented to be 10 times safer than the average human driver. That would translate into 1 death per 900 million miles versus 1 death per 90 million miles as it currently is in the US.
Problem is that nearly nobody wants to buy the current plug-ins. They are less than 1% of total sales. Only the Tesla Model S and Model X are in demand with over 20% of total sales in their market segment at the places they are for sale and can be serviced. All other plug-ins currently sucks when compared to similar priced gassers and that is why they don’t sell. Everybody should copy Tesla’s Master Plan especially the piece about making long-range fully autonomous BEVs that the owners can rent out to others using a Smartphone app when not using the vehicles themselves. That will make it easy to get 100,000 miles per year on your BEV and benefit fully from the BEV’s very low marginal cost per mile driven. Long-range BEVs are expensive to buy but cheap to drive in terms of fuel and maintenance and they last much longer than gassers. So you need to get as many miles on a BEV as possible to minimize the total cost per mile driven. This is why full autonomy tech is needed before BEVs can become mass market. It is the only way to get enough miles on the BEV to make it hugely economical versus the gassers.
CE88 fully self-driving tech will become the key enabler for BEVs of any sort and the argument is easy to understand. Long-range BEVs cost more to make than gassers but they cost less in fuel and maintenance and they also last longer than gassers (and diesels) so the more miles you can put on them the more economical they get versus the gassers. Fully autonomous BEVs will make it as easy as a click on a Smartphone to rent your BEV to others thereby making money when you do not need the vehicle yourself. Light duty vehicles should easily be able to do 100,000 miles per year for the average BEV car owner when it is fully autonomous and commercial vehicles should be able to do at least 150,000 miles per year and potentially 300,000 miles per year when the Semi is fully autonomous.
EP diesel will cost more than 2.5 USD. Current oil prices cannot support the development of new oil fields so the production will eventually fall as it already does in the US and then the price of diesel will go up to between 3 to 4 USD per gallon. Also the 13 mpg is an aspiration goal by Wallmart it has not yet been achieved on the fleet level if it ever will be. I would be surprised if the US fleet average for heavy duty tractor-trailers is much better than 7 mpg. Moreover, the Middle East will collapse within a few years if the US stops its war against IS and AQ in that area. The free world may pursue another strategy and build walls to keep unwanted people out and save the money and lives of our troops to maintain stability in the Middle East. The people in the Middle East do so not deserve our help anyway. When AQ and IS take over their economies will go back to the stone age and they will no longer be a military threat to the free world as long as we build some walls to keep them from entering our world. My point is without Middle East oil the price will be higher and that will speed up the transition to a zero carbon economy and we also need that to stay independent and safe from countries with fascist religious belief. Tesla has of cause done the detailed math and they know that in the commercial market only economics matters. A cool looking tractor-trailer is irrelevant for whether it sells. I quote from Tesla’s Master Plan “..heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.” Even at 2 USD a gallon I believe an electric semi will have significant fuel cost savings versus a diesel semi if it can be operated with over 100,000 miles per year. It will not be economical with just 50,000 miles per year and 2 USD a gallon. For a super good economy for BEV semis fully autonomous drive is needed so we can operate them 24/7 and over 150,000 miles per year and also not need to change tractors at the charger stations. They just drive one hour and charge 30 min nonstop all year round. In that way they could actually approch 300,000 miles per year.
So let us do the math for the cost of changing semi tractors versus the savings from not using diesel on a typical 700 miles transport. We need to spend 5 min more changing the semi-truck at the charging station. It can be done fully automatically by the Jost KKS system see link below for video. We need to change tractors 7-1 = 6 times so 5min*6=30 min. A truck driver is paid about 20 USD per hour so the extra cost is 10 USD for the time spend changing the semi. A heavy duty Semi gets at most 7 miles per gallon so 100 gallons of diesel is spend driving 700 miles and at 3 USD per gallon that is 300 USD spend. Electricity will be 150 USD at most assuming 0.1 USD per kwh and 1500 kwh spend to go 700 miles. So we save 150 USD on diesel and must pay the driver 10 USD more for 30 min of extra work. That is obviously not a problem. However, we also need a fully charged semi to be available always at all of Tesla’s charging stations. This will cost extra and the BEV semi will be more expensive than the diesel semi for sure because of that 400kwh battery pack. But the electric semi can also be made to last at least one million miles and I suspect the diesel semi is worn out at 500,000 miles. Tesla has done de detailed math or they would not make this BEV Semi. I assume Tesla will need to make their first generation BEV Semi with a human driver because that driver is needed to oversee an autopilot that is not fully autonomous until a few more years of development. I expect Tesla to make a fully autonomous semi without the need for a human driver no later than 2025 if Tesla can launch a BEV semi with a human driver by 2020. EP if it requires special infrastructure it will only be used where that infrastructure is available. The beauty of an electric semi is that it will only require the electric semi and a network of superchargers that Tesla has build already. It is just as flexible as a diesel semi. You can transport stuff from door to door.
I think the Tesla pickup will be comparable to the F350. However, it will start at 80k USD and not 40k USD as the F350. So Tesla needs their pickup to be fully autonomous before they launch it or it will not be the economic choice for the American heartland. When it is fully autonomous it will be easy to rent out to others when you don’t need it yourself. It also needs to do more than the F350 can do and working as a noise and smokeless generator that could deliver 100kwatt for one hour or 20k watt for five hours would be a useful thing for many and will also make it more attractive for renting out to others via Tesla’s fleet services.
It is still a conventional diesel program. We need zero emission solar powered trucks like the Semi Tesla is also developing. I expect the Tesla Semi to look very much like a diesel powered heavy duty Semi truck and it will have a cabin with a human driver. The problem is that Tesla needs to make a conventional looking Semi with a human driver to develop the special Auto Pilot system for that heavy duty truck. Driving a heavy duty truck is a very different experience than driving an ordinary car like a Model X. I know because during my military duty I got a driver license for a heavy duty truck with trailer. The autopilot for the Semi will be based on quite different algorithms. So Tesla needs to start with a conventional design with a human driver and that also can be used with existing infrastructure for semi trucks. I also expect the semi-truck to come with a 400 kwh battery that can transport a standard 12 ton semi-trailer for about 100 miles before a new semi-truck with a fully charged battery is required. The business model is that Tesla will make the supercharger stations available and service the vehicles and the Transportation companies will buy the trucks and operate them. Once the semi-trucks gets fully autonomous Tesla will take over the operation of the trucks but they will still be owned by the transportation companies that now uses Tesla’s system to book the transport for their customers. If a transportation company cannot book their autonomous trucks 100% of the time they can make them available for Tesla that will used them for other transportation companies that need capacity beyond their own fleet and so forth. Again the beauty of this business model is that Tesla does not need to tie up precious capital in their own fleet of trucks but can spend the capital they make to expand production for their battery electric and autonomous semi-trucks.
A few thoughts about the heavy duty Semi truck that Tesla is also developing. I expect it to look very much like a diesel powered heavy duty Semi truck and it will have a cabin with a human driver. The problem is that Tesla needs to make a conventional looking Semi with a human driver to develop the special Auto Pilot system for that heavy duty truck. Driving a heavy duty truck is a very different experience than driving an ordinary car like a Model X. I know because during my military duty I got a driver license for a heavy duty truck with trailer. The autopilot for the Semi will be based on quite different algorithms. So Tesla needs to start with a conventional design with a human driver and that also can be used with existing infrastructure for semi trucks. I also expect the semi-truck to come with a 400 kwh battery that can transport a standard 12 ton semi-trailer for about 100 miles before a new semi-truck with a fully charged battery is required. The business model is that Tesla will make the supercharger stations available and service the vehicles and the Transportation companies will buy the trucks and operate them. Once the semi-trucks gets fully autonomous Tesla will take over the operation of the trucks but they will still be owned by the transportation companies that now uses Tesla’s system to book the transport for their customers. If a transportation company cannot book their autonomous trucks 100% of the time they can make them available for Tesla that will used them for other transportation companies that need capacity beyond their own fleet and so forth. Again the beauty of this business model is that Tesla does not need to tie up precious capital in their own fleet of trucks but can spend the capital they make to expand production for their battery electric and autonomous semi-trucks.
After a little more thought I think Tesla will sell the minibuses to the cities directly and also sell a service plan where Tesla’s Transportation Services Division operate and service the autonomous busses on behalf of the cities. Tesla needs to use all the money they make to build new factories and expand production of their vehicles and not to tie that capital up in a fleet of minibuses or other Tesla vehicles. There may be some places where Tesla will own their own autonomous vehicles but wherever possible they will be owned by others but serviced and operated by Tesla.
I think the new pickup truck will share the same chassis as the minibus Tesla will also make. So Tesla will have three chassis sizes. One for the model 3 and a new compact SUV (with falcon doors). A larger one for model S and X and the largest one for that pickup truck and minibus. 15000 lb towing capacity might be possible especially because it will not be geared for high speed driving but for high towing capacity. I expect a larger battery also (at least 110 kwh). I also expect the pickup truck to be able to supply power at a construction site. It can do that without the noise and smell from a diesel generator. It could drive autonomously away to get charged at a supercharger station near the construction site while another Tesla pickup truck take over the power supply at the construction site again autonomously. However, the autonomous pickup truck will be expensive (cost more than the model X) and therefore it will not be a high volume car. The minibus that will share its chassis will be the volume vehicle. I expect Tesla to “sell it” to a new Transportation division in Tesla that could provide public transportation services for cities using that minibus. I expect the fully autonomous minibus to have falcon doors for each seat. It may possibly only have 6 or 8 seats and a large luggage compartment. I don’t expect to see either the pickup truck or the minibus for sale until Tesla has made a fully autonomous autopilot because these vehicles will need it to make economic sense. So 2020 at the earliest.
Global warming will be stopped by technological progress like self-driving BEVs and affordable solar power. Politics will not be important in that regard. On that issue it will not matter whether Hillary or Trump takes office. There are too many interests for anything material to happen. Nevertheless, IMO Trump may protect the free world from the global rise of fascist Islam whereas Hillary obviously cannot. When self-driving vehicles are a reality in 2 to 3 years from today BEVs will become the most affordable way to transport people and goods because BEVs unlike gassers and diesels can be build to last a million miles and electricity is by far the cheapest type of fuel. For BEVs to make economic sense they need to do at least 50,000 miles per year and preferable 100,000 miles per year and we need self-driving tech to do that for all vehicles made. Tesla new Master Plan will allow Tesla owners to add their fully autonomous cars and Tesla Trucks to Tesla’s coming autonomous transportation fleet when the owner is not using his own vehicle. In that way the owner can do the usual 15,000 miles on his car by himself and another 85,000 miles can be done by making it available for Tesla’s transportation services. If the Tesla owner is just paid 10 cents per mile and gets refunded for electricity and extra service for interior maintenance (like new seats for every 200,000 miles) he could make 8,500 USD per year (85,000*0.1=8,500USD).
Another interesting comment by Musk is that I quote “We expect that worldwide regulatory approval will require something on the order of 6 billion miles (10 billion km). Current fleet learning is happening at just over 3 million miles (5 million km) per day.” On this issue I think Musk is a bit optimistic. It is more likely that it will be about 6 billion miles for each unique driving regime like 6 billion miles for USA, another 6 billion for Europe and another 6 billion for China. On a global scale one traffic death occur for every 60 million mile so driving 6 billion miles should generate 100 deaths in an average car. If Tesla can make it with only 50 deaths for 6 billion miles they can say that their cars will save lives with certainty when operated with Autopilot on. That could trigger an approval by the regional authority for Tesla to operate their cars with full autonomy i.e. no driver oversight whatsoever. You need 50 deaths minimum to make a good statistics that is representative for the entire population. In order to generate 6 billion miles in one year you need 400,000 cars doing 15,000 miles per year each. You also need to make a fresh 6 billion miles every year because you can expect the autopilot software to be significantly improved during the year so we need to redo the statistics. Musk makes it clear that their goal is to make a fully self-driving autopilot that is ten times safer than a human operated car or only 10 deaths per 6 billion miles. I expect such a system to be done and documented by 2025. Tesla is the only auto maker in the world that systematically gathers accident data on all of their cars both online and by means of black-boxes that collect the info and store it in case the traffic accident destroyed the cars online data gathering system. Google’s 50 test vehicles is going nowhere in terms of the needed 400,000 cars per region. Tesla is getting their fast with an expected production of 500,000 cars for 2018 and perhaps a 1,000,000 cars for 2020. I expect all of Tesla’s cars to come with the needed hardware for fully autonomous driving by end of 2017. It will take 2 years more to get the software fully autonomous. I expect Tesla will get the first authorizations to operate their cars fully autonomously by 2020. I guess the US will be first because this is the country they will have 400k Tesla cars first with the tech that makes them fully autonomous.
That Tesla would expand into heavy duty transport and public transportation was predictable. It is a no brainer when you have a global supercharger network and are making fully autonomous vehicle tech as Tesla has and do. Once that tech is ready for one vehicle type it is not difficult to make it work for other vehicle types and the battery cells will mostly also be the same across different battery electric vehicle types. So Tesla will be able to scale production even more by doing more vehicle types using much of the same tech. To be sure, in the auto industry scaling production is essential for decreasing production cost. If you read Tesla’s announcement I also find it interesting that Musk say that his company now is mostly about developing machines (factories) that make other machines (cars and power systems). The engineering challenge is not so much about developing the product (the vehicle or power system) but mostly about developing the factory that makes the vehicles or solar-battery panels. This is very different from a company like Apple that only design products like phones and leave it to others to make the factories that make those products. In transportation costs per mile is extremely important and the only way to get lower cost per mile is to make better and bigger factories that can produce the vehicles at lower cost and to be more durable so that they can log a lot of miles before breaking down. Interesting that Tesla is now also working on “a new kind of pickup truck”. No mention of a roadster successor as he has promised will come in other tweets. I think a new roadster (a Porsche 911 killer) will come but that Musk deliberately omitted mentioning it in order not to bring attention to secondary objectives’ which a new roadster is when compared to the rest of the new master plan. It is a truly brilliant idea to make all Tesla cars fully autonomous and make Tesla vehicle owners able to add their car to a Tesla taxi fleet when not using the car themselves. So Tesla owners will be able to make serious money renting out their cars to Tesla and Tesla can operate a huge global fleet with millions of Tesla Taxis without needing to finance that fleet themselves. Service like cleaning the vehicles could be done by the Tesla vehicle owner and technical service is done by Tesla’s service centers of cause. Retrospectively that is an obvious idea but I did not predict this coming prior to this announcement.
Tesla already has scientific proof that their autopilot increases driver safety I quote ”…the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving.” It is therefore totally irresponsible and disrespectful for the victims of traffic accidents to ask Tesla not to use their Autopilot and cripple its usefulness by requiring people to hold the steering wheel at all time without a break. Tesla has implemented a system that triggers an alarm when not having touched the steering wheel for some seconds and it even slows down and stops the car should you keep ignoring the alarm. That is enough. Sure there will be idiots that despite crystal clear warnings from Tesla still use the auto pilot in the wrong manner and pay less attention to driving than they should. A name change is not going to change that behavior. However, these drivers are a minority because the net effect of all Tesla drives that use autopilot is less accidents when AP is on versus when it is not on as shown by the already extensive driving data gathered by Tesla’s system. Some people tend to believe that driver distraction and inattention is a brand new phenomenon introduced by Tesla’s autopilot. However, the phenomenon is of cause not new and has been part of human behavior since the very first autos arrived some 100 years ago. Tesla’s auto pilot addresses that problem by steering the cars safely in the many situations when people do not pay attention as they should and that would have resulted in accidents had it not been for the auto pilot. This is why auto pilot in general reduces the number of accidents despite also inducing some idiots to pay less attention because the auto pilot is doing so well in most situations. The net effect is more safety with autopilot on. Apart from Tesla there are no other auto makers in the world that are gathering data on accidents and driving behavior on a real time basis for every car they make for every minute of the day all year round. If we should do something good here it would be to require all new cars to be equipped with the data gathering system that Tesla has in all of their cars and require all auto-makers to update and publish these data every month on their web pages so that the public has free access to these data in order to investigate the safety of their cars independently.
In Europe VW get away with no material fines and no serious punishment as expected because the so called independent European authorities that decide on this are all paid off by VW. It has even emerged that the fix VW has made for its grossly polluting diesels about 10 million cars is causing these cars to pollute even more. The European Union is corrupt and dysfunctional and this is a really good reason for breaking it up. It does not work and it creates more trouble now than good such as allowing terrorists and emigrants with deep rooted anti-democratic culture to enter Europe. Break EU up and make a free trade pact instead nothing more than that.
Brian Volvo, Nissan and MB’s autopilot function the same way that Tesla’s AP does when it comes to adaptive cruse control. Tesla has just added more features than their competitors such as summon and cruse control also adapt to vehicles from the side and behind not just in front. Tesla has made minor errors in how they rolled out their AP system like at first not requiring the driver to hold the steering wheel for more than a few sec without a warning being heard or felt. However, the problem of inattentive drivers is not a new one. It is as old as the auto-industry itself. One solution may be a camera and an artificial intelligence that could see if you pay attention to driving the car or not and warn you to pay attention if it thinks you do not. I do not think I personally want such a solution with a machine telling me what to do even if it was right. It will also take a few years to get the AI software right with a low probability of warning you to pay attention when it is not relevant. We will solve the problem with distracted drivers by making fully autonomous AP systems that does not need driver intervention ever. These cars are a reality by 2020 for some car makers and they will therefore get all the demand for new cars and the other car makers will bankrupt. No one especially the taxi and trucking companies will want to buy vehicles that can’t drive themselves and save them the cost of human drivers.
Nissan is making an advanced autopilot (AP) for a car that sells for only 3 million yen or 28k USD. That is good. It may be a new low price. It cannot do as much as Tesla’s AP but it is a step in the right direction. We need AP systems in all new cars ASAP and they should be required to collect accident statistics and upload it automatically every day to the automaker that in turn also should be responsible for publishing the anonymous raw data every month on their webpage. Tesla and Google are the only auto –makers/testers that have such a system that collects data on a daily basis. If this becomes law I for my part would like to access and analyse these data free of charge and blog about it. It would be a grate way to check that these systems and the automakers are making cars that actually reduces the change of accidents. Unsafe cars are one of the biggest problems in the world as 1.3 million people are killed every year in car accidents. AP systems could reduce that enormously.
CE88 in the US you get one death per 94 million miles on average and in the world it is one death per 60 million miles. The US has about 30,000 traffic deaths per year and the world has about 1.3 million traffic deaths per year. Tesla so far has only one death per 130 million miles on autopilot but it is only one death and you need about 50 deaths to be able to calculate an average and say with a high degree of certainty whether that average is representing a general picture of death on average or is just a coincidence. In order to get about 50 deaths you need to drive 5 billion miles. So Google, Tesla or any other automaker will need to log 5 billion miles of detailed accident statistics before they can document in a scientifically correct manner that there auto-pilot systems are safer than humans behind the wheels. CE88 you should trust me on this one I have a PhD in data analysis it is what I do. So there is no way around it. Google or any other auto-company must get their auto-pilot system into minimum 300,000 vehicles that will start producing about 5 billion miles per year of accident statistics. The tech race in the auto-industry is all about being first with fully autonomous vehicles. That is Google’s goal and that is Tesla’s goal but as I explained above they are approaching that goal differently. The Tesla AP is already much more than a sophisticated cruise control. It can change lanes, auto park and it can be summoned. An upgrade next month (AP version 8) will enable it to do off-ram exits on high-ways. It does operate both on highways and on ordinary roads but it is not yet capable of handling intersections and crossroads. These features will not arrive until after a hardware upgrade sometime in 2017 that will see Tesla apply 8 cameras instead of the one camera on the current Tesla AP system in addition to 12 ultrasonic and one radar sensor.
Musk has said Tesla will do fully autonomous in two years time and if anyone he should know and mobileeye think their sensors have what it takes by 2017 but software will take longer. Some of my arguments for the 2020 deadline can be found here
Herman you are making up your own nonsense by “quoting” me wrongly either out of stupidity or because you are trying to manipulate. I expect you are just stupid so to make it crystal clear for you “they” refer to old auto industry not Google as is quite clear if you cared to read what I actually wrote. Also Herman you don’t get that Google and Tesla have two opposite approaches to developing AP systems. Tesla makes an AP that works everywhere globally one feature at a time and Google makes an AP system that works with every feature accounted for one geographic place at a time. Tesla will do the traffic lights feature when they have the hardware and software that can do that feature on a global scale and they are not there yet as it is a really hard problem to solve on a global scale. Google’s main problem is that they need at least 5 billion miles and 50 death accidents on the record before they are allowed to launch a driverless taxi service. So Google needs 300k data collecting vehicles to do 5 billion miles per year and they need to hurry because Tesla will get 300k AP data collecting vehicles by the end of 2017.
I gave it a little more thought. I think Google’s approach will flop if they try to get the old automakers to use their AP system because they will not. None of the old automakers are interested in being dependent on Google to deliver their AP system because it is too important for them and their survival to outsource that tech and they know it. So the old automakers will go it alone by developing their own AP systems much like Tesla is doing. So far they are all behind Tesla as they lack a useful AP user interface (apart from Tesla’s UI it is all very confusing and too complicated for anyone to use on a daily basis) and none of the old automakers’ AP systems can be updated OTA. Nor do they collect accident statistics as Tesla’s AP system does and therefore they can’t develop their AP systems as fast as Tesla does. Currently the old automakers are not catching up to Tesla they are falling more behind and that will continue until OTA AP system updates and automatic statistics collection is implemented. I expect Google at this time has realized that trying to sell their system to other automakers is mission impossible and therefore have made another business plan about making the system and the cars themselves. How that is going to happen I have no clue. They will need hundred of thousands of cars to prove that their system is working and currently they have less than 100. I see no other alternative for Google than to buy an existing automaker and then start outfitting their combustion cars with their AP system and also go full speed making BEV power trains. Volvo would be a good fit for Google but I do not think they are for sale at the moment.
Tesla will have nearly about 300k vehicles with autopilot on the road by the end of 2017. Assume each do 10k miles per year in autopilot mode and 5k miles in manual driving per year. However, Tesla is logging all miles to analyse if the AP mode could have prevented accidents when not used and an accident occurs. So effectively Tesla will be logging accident statistics for 4.5 billion miles in 2018 (4,500,000,000=15,000*300,000) just from the cars that they sold before dec 31, 2017. Then you add the miles from the possibly 350k other cars they will sell in 2018 and Tesla will have the needed accident statistics to prove that their AP system is ready for large scale deployment as a driverless BEV taxi service. I can’t see that Tesla can’t do this before 2020. However, the AP hardware system that will enable fully driverless BEVs will first deploy sometime in 2017 and there will not be enough of these cars on the road to make billions of miles of statistics until the end of 2018 so we need 2019 for data gathering as well so that full deployment of driverless taxi systems can begin in 2020. @mahonji we need to ensure the privacy of people when publishing data. They have to be anonymous out of respect for the dead and the injured. So no video feeds just anonymous data. Also Tesla should not IMO be forced to give out their data until there are at least one more of their competitors that can also be forced to publish an equal amount of data. To ensure that will happen sooner rather than later I would support legislation that compelled all new cars to have autopilot by 2019 and also be compelled to log all accidents and publish the data on a monthly basis. If Tesla is the only one being forced to publish meaningful amounts of data because no other automaker including Google has got them it will evolve into a witch hunt where Tesla’s data is used to make accusations that are false and without scientific basis and where Tesla will not be able to compare their data with others in order to defend themselves.
Juan I have had the exact same thoughts and like you I believe competition is preventing any corporation. No cooperation between the two may not be a bad thing after all because they are perusing very different ways toward the same goal and that may lead to faster development of the tech should one of the ways be a total flop. Google is making something that works nearly flawlessly in a geographically limited area that is mapped in high detail whereas Tesla is making a system that from the start works everywhere, and does not use highly detailed maps but that also is far from flawless. Google will expand their system by mapping more geographic areas and Tesla will keep eliminating the many situations that their AP system still cannot handle. Tesla is using maps but these maps are simple crowd-sourced maps generated from Tesla own vehicles and comparatively simple sensors whereas Google use a separate vehicle with highly sophisticated sensors like their high definition LIDAR to do some high definition mapping at first. I think Tesla’s approach is the right one because Google will not be allowed by any authority to start a self-driving taxi service until they can document that it is safer than the average human driver by a significant margin like 10% safer. You need 5 billion miles and about 50 death accidents to prove that and google not even haing 2 million miles on the log is a real problem for Google. How does Google go from where they are now with 2 million test miles and to the needed 5 billion test miles? And they need to do it by 2020 because that is when I expect Tesla to be ready with their driverless taxi service. Musk has said that only one company keeps him up at nigh without saying which one. I say it is Google. The old auto industry seems aimless and paralyzed about driverless BEV services and Apple has nothing to show yet and therefore zero experience so far in this business. Also read that Tesla’s next AP system (probably for summer 2017) will get 8 cameras, 1 radar and 12 ultrasonic sensors. Current AP has the same but only 1 camera.