Simanaitis Says

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YESTERDAY, WE FOUND Teslas inexplicable stopping at Burger Kings and the automaker’s stock doubling. (I hasten to add, there’s no obvious causal relationship in this.) Today, in Part 2, Automotive News cites Elon Musk’s enthusiasm for full vehicle autonomy and others who feel rather less optimistic. We conclude on a happy note.

Vehicle Autonomy: How Soon? In an interview in Automotive News, August 1, 2020, Musk is quoted as saying, “If you go 10 years into the future, probably all cars or almost all cars will be fully autonomous, although sometimes I think the industry’s going to move faster that it does.”

Image from Automotive News, July 20, 2020.

Others Beg to Differ. In Automotive News, July 20, 2020, Pete Bigelow wrote, “Tesla’s Plan for Level 5 Not Feasible, Experts Say.”

Level 5, by the way, is the fully autonomous status predicted by Musk.

Bigelow quotes Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights, saying, “The cars they are building will never be level 5, period. It’s nonsense.”

Musk’s Creed. On the other hand, in the interview cited above, Elon Musk said, “At the end of the day, if you make great cars and the company’s healthy, investors will be happy. My advice to corporate America, or companies worldwide, is spend less time on marketing presentations and more time on your product.”

Elon Musk. Image from Automotive News, August 1, 2020.

And don’t forget peddling regulatory EV credits.

In a Way, Though, We’re Already Autonomous. To conclude on an upbeat, Automotive News, July 27, 2020, offered examples of “Driving Change” not in 10 years, but right now. “From tiny autonomous robots in the United Kingdom to a city bus in Germany and vans in metro Detroit, vehicles are playing a major role in the coronavirus fight.”

Above, Cruise has used its self-driving cars to make more than 50,000 grocery and meal deliveries from San Francisco food banks, Below, in Jacksonville, Florida, a fully autonomous Beep shuttle is used to transport Covid-19 tests between a drive-through testing site and a nearby Mayo Clinic laboratory. Images from Automotive News, July 27, 2020.

It’s a fascinating time for the automobile. I look forward to reading what the next issues of Automotive News have to offer. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2020

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