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SMT and Tesla
Micawber
Posted: 02 November 2017 10:36:13(UTC)
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King Lodos
Posted: 02 November 2017 13:48:47(UTC)
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Stephen B.;52762 wrote:
I don't see why there would ever be legislation to ban private ownership, so if that happens it will be a matter of choice. It may be that at some point there will be legislation to ban human-driven cars on safety grounds, but that wouldn't be for quite a while, I'd expect at least a decade and probably two of mixed-mode use. It's also worth considering that horses have never been banned, in practice horse use declined naturally and the few that remain aren't a significant problem.


I'd just imagine private car ownership becoming prohibitively expensive and impractical – with motorways one-by-one going driverless-only (because that and inner-city driving is where the biggest efficiency and safety improvements will come).

A generation growing up with that, and before long manufacturers will stop putting manual drive options in cars .. Maybe restricted to some agricultural vehicles
King Lodos
Posted: 02 November 2017 13:51:04(UTC)
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Timely topic by the way:

Goldman Throws Up On Tesla Earnings: Reiterates Sell, Cuts Price Target To 36% As Stock Tumbles

One day after Tesla announced its worst quarter in history, in which it burned a record $1.4 billion in cash, Goldman has guaranteed it will not be an underwriter on the next Tesla stock offering - which at the current cash burn will take place in less than 2 quarter - by reiterating its Sell rating on Tesla, and cutting its Price Target to $205, or 36% downside.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-02/stormy-weather-muskville-tesla-drops-below-300-enters-bear-market

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/11/01/20171102_tsla_0.jpg
7 users thanked King Lodos for this post.
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jvl
Posted: 02 November 2017 14:33:08(UTC)
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King Lodos;52748 wrote:

You can envisage problems .. If someone vomits all over the seats, you obviously want that cleaned up .. But if it were too good, it would be the perfect place to commit murders and have your evidence quickly destroyed.

I'd assume there would be some kind of CCTV. But that's a nice train of thought for advertising cleaning products/robots!

Quote:

Maybe a more down-to-earth solution would be that you rate the cleanliness of your interior on an app, and the system uses the data to work out who's consistently making a mess, and they get sent the worse condition cars (and possibly fines for vomit/urine/smoke)

That's what I was thinking of. Some kind of rating system, a bit like the first episode of Black Mirror's last season. I guess a kind of tiered system would evolve where proven messy scuzzters would only be allowed in rubbish cars or none at all.
Stephen B.
Posted: 02 November 2017 15:59:32(UTC)
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King Lodos;52778 wrote:
I'd just imagine private car ownership becoming prohibitively expensive and impractical – with motorways one-by-one going driverless-only (because that and inner-city driving is where the biggest efficiency and safety improvements will come).

A generation growing up with that, and before long manufacturers will stop putting manual drive options in cars .. Maybe restricted to some agricultural vehicles


I don't see why it would be any more expensive than it is now - cars are fairly expensive things already but still in a few decades we've gone from roughly one per household to one per adult. If the taxi/hire car option gets cheaper and easier that may push things back the other way to some extent, but I'll be surprised if it goes all that far - but I could easily be wrong, we'll have to wait and see.

Your comments above seem to be conflating "driverless" with "non-owned", but they're completely different things, it's quite possibly that cars will be completely driverless with no option for manual control but still individually owned.

I would also expect some level of continued demand for older cars to be usable as we have now - you still see various kinds of vintage cars on the road at times. It may be that they'll have to be retrofitted with transponders to integrate them into the system to some extent but that shouldn't be especially difficult. I was recently in the cab of the Tornado, a newly-built steam engine, now qualified for mainline use up to 90 mph. It has GPS, radio communication and the train protection system that stops trains from going through red lights.
King Lodos
Posted: 02 November 2017 16:14:23(UTC)
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jvl;52783 wrote:
I'd assume there would be some kind of CCTV. But that's a nice train of thought for advertising cleaning products/robots!

That's what I was thinking of. Some kind of rating system, a bit like the first episode of Black Mirror's last season. I guess a kind of tiered system would evolve where proven messy scuzzters would only be allowed in rubbish cars or none at all.


It would too be easy to cover the CCTV with masking tape – suspicious, but the lack of evidence would still make it the perfect crime.

And the rating system would encourage people to up their rating by taking cleaning products in with them and showering more – perfect
King Lodos
Posted: 02 November 2017 16:22:40(UTC)
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Stephen B.;52788 wrote:
I don't see why it would be any more expensive than it is now - cars are fairly expensive things already but still in a few decades we've gone from roughly one per household to one per adult. If the taxi/hire car option gets cheaper and easier that may push things back the other way to some extent, but I'll be surprised if it goes all that far - but I could easily be wrong, we'll have to wait and see.

Your comments above seem to be conflating "driverless" with "non-owned", but they're completely different things, it's quite possibly that cars will be completely driverless with no option for manual control but still individually owned.

I would also expect some level of continued demand for older cars to be usable as we have now - you still see various kinds of vintage cars on the road at times. It may be that they'll have to be retrofitted with transponders to integrate them into the system to some extent but that shouldn't be especially difficult. I was recently in the cab of the Tornado, a newly-built steam engine, now qualified for mainline use up to 90 mph. It has GPS, radio communication and the train protection system that stops trains from going through red lights.


Classic cars can be extremely expensive by today's standards .. I used to spend thousands a year keeping Capris roadworthy.

I think driverless taxis could be extremely cheap – you'd pay an annual subscription for a level of use – because you're not paying drivers .. Plus the cars themselves are working 24 hours a day, and aren't generally hitting each other, so there just aren't many expenses to cover – and companies like Amazon would probably run it at a loss to gain market share.

Their use makes city commutes more practical, which means inflated city housing costs ease but spill into town and rural areas, possibly making everything more expensive .. It may be that driverless roads are so accident-free that a human driver carries a huge insurance premium

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The Spanish Inquisition on 03/11/2017(UTC)
Stephen B.
Posted: 02 November 2017 16:54:36(UTC)
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Taxis can be cheap already, and I don't see that driverless taxis would end up any cheaper than buses are now. I think the cost is largely not the point - many people could already save money with public transport, taxis, hires or car shares, but mostly don't because most people put a high value on having their own car. I only do a few thousand miles a year and it may well be that financially I'd be better off using taxis or hiring, but in practice I wouldn't even begin to consider it - I doubt I'd do it even if taxis were free, and certainly not if buses were free. If I lived in central London it would be a different set of tradeoffs and I probably wouldn't own a car, but as it is I find it hard to imagine any circumstances which would change my mind. Even with low mileage the amortised cost of owning a car (as opposed to the cost of a journey) is only a few hundred pounds a year and that just isn't enough to apply any pressure to change.

Saying that cars would be working 24 hours a day is not going to be remotely accurate; if you have enough cars to cover the commuter demand then most of them will be idle the rest of the time. Maybe you'd get 10-20% use overall. Have a look at how full trains are in the middle of the day. (A few years ago I got a very cheap 1st class ticket - I found out why it was cheap when I got on, I had an entire carriage to myself!)

I also don't see that insurance rates would be any worse then they are now, and probably better because the presence of driverless cars is probably going to make things safer for everyone including the driven cars. And driverless cars will still have accidents, if only due to mechanical failure or external events like branches falling on the road.
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Mickey on 03/11/2017(UTC)
King Lodos
Posted: 03 November 2017 00:22:04(UTC)
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I had a phase where I was using my car little enough that it would've been cheaper to use taxis .. But it would've been like giving up a symbol of adulthood – plus we prefer not to think of each car trip as an expense.

Real change takes a societal shift .. You wouldn't be the first one to give up having a phone line, but once you've got a generation who never use it, it becomes easier to question whether you do need one.

The reason I think it'll be very cheap is because it gets rid of Uber's main expense (the driver) and the fight for market share would likely drive costs as cheap as possible, then a bit cheaper still – they might even monetise the snack and drinks machines, and run the cars at cost.

And true, you wouldn't have them all in use around the clock – but you also wouldn't need more cars in the system than at the busiest point of the day .. If we say the average car now spends 1.5 out of 24 hours on the road? I think the average here would be closer to 6.

I think insurance would go up because you've now got 99% of drivers not paying insurance (and much lower premiums on driverless) .. So there wouldn't be the same statistical slack to absorb worst case real driver scenarios .. Imagine an example of extremes: a single human driver on the road who could cause £5m of damages, but only pays £200 for insurance – the company covering him is really taking all the risk
The Spanish Inquisition
Posted: 03 November 2017 08:38:28(UTC)
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We seem to have gone off into science fiction rather than the here and now of investing, driver less cars are IMHO way into the future, major car companies are going down the driver aid route. Think about all the situations where the vehicle needs pinpoint manoeuvring, building sites, farms etc. SMT as others have said only holds a little Tesla, why not complement with ROBO or BOTZ.
As for Tesla, its still the go to brand if you want all electric with an eco ethos, I wouldn't bet against them on a hunch or gut feeling.
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North Star on 03/11/2017(UTC)
colin overton
Posted: 03 November 2017 09:52:56(UTC)
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Some companies will make a lot of money out of electric cars, be that lithium miners, battery manufacturers or car manufacturers; or indeed other companies involved in the supply chain.
Will this "bonanza" be rapid, perhaps, perhaps not. Will it be Tesla? Well they are getting experience at sell cars, both to the rich and now the less rich. Toyota have many more hydride cars on the world's road than Tesla's electric ones. However with the tax benefits of hydrides beginning to disappear they look heavy, expensive and in a year to two will only be favoured by people who fairly regularly travel more than 150miles per day or who have bought them already.
The converse is also true, companies only involved in the supply chain of hydrocarbon cars will in the medium term have to find something else to do to make money.
The Spanish Inquisition
Posted: 03 November 2017 10:57:34(UTC)
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Just had a terrible vision of the future, the Google taxi that forces you to watch ads the whole journey or takes you to Tesco instead of Asda because it was paid to. The Apple taxi that takes you straight to a police station because you have a similar name to a wanted felon in the US. Then my blood runs cold at the thought of the Microsoft taxi that when you have to get to the airport decides to update itself and is unusable for the next 4 hours and there's nothing you can do to stop it...Arrrgh
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Micawber
Posted: 03 November 2017 14:34:28(UTC)
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The Spanish Inquisition;52831 wrote:
Just had a terrible vision of the future, the Google taxi that forces you to watch ads the whole journey or takes you to Tesco instead of Asda because it was paid to. The Apple taxi that takes you straight to a police station because you have a similar name to a wanted felon in the US. Then my blood runs cold at the thought of the Microsoft taxi that when you have to get to the airport decides to update itself and is unusable for the next 4 hours and there's nothing you can do to stop it...Arrrgh

You've been watching Black Mirror, I can tell.....
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The Spanish Inquisition on 03/11/2017(UTC), foxy ron on 17/11/2017(UTC)
King Lodos
Posted: 03 November 2017 18:52:54(UTC)
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I think this is a situation you can see playing out quite clearly.

I wouldn't bet on lithium miners – it might be a different technology powering things in 10 years .. I wouldn't bet on car manufacturers (owning a car that drives you around doesn't look like a great business to bet on).

I'd bet on Apple, Amazon, Google, and I think the biggest winner will be the economy – we waste billions due to traffic, pollution, accidents, etc
Micawber
Posted: 17 November 2017 08:56:31(UTC)
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I see that Musk has announced two new models - a large truck (which might make economic sense for hauliers) and a superfluous sportscar. All this before the Model 3 has got properly into production..... Meanwhile VW invests $10bn in a programme for innovative vehicles in China. I think I'd back VW rather than the Martian, although Musk seems a genius at getting investors to part with money..
Ludditeme
Posted: 17 November 2017 11:50:03(UTC)
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Micawber;53358 wrote:
I see that Musk has announced two new models - a large truck (which might make economic sense for hauliers) and a superfluous sportscar. All this before the Model 3 has got properly into production..... Meanwhile VW invests $10bn in a programme for innovative vehicles in China. I think I'd back VW rather than the Martian, although Musk seems a genius at getting investors to part with money..


They should work out how to deliver Model 3's before any other diversions (no pun). I suspect they need to keep the exciting news flowing to keep the cash coming in from investors. They may have been better served partnering with an established vehicle production company or staying niche. If I was looking for a safe; self-driving; eco car; I would wait for the likes of BMW/Volvo/Audi. I know Volvo have been working in this for a long time, and it will be right first time when coming to the market.
Freefall Junkie
Posted: 17 November 2017 13:14:28(UTC)
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Interesting article in this week's Autocar mag about Tesla's production woes and its haemorrhaging of cache. The more I read the more I think there is a very real possibility of the entire Tesla venture going spectacularly belly up.

On the other hand James Anderson and Tom Slater at SMT are hard headed investors who won't be taken in by Tesla's media hype, and they have a track record of not being shy about dumping large holdings if they think it is appropriate. They must have some very good reasons to continue to hold Tesla but I must admit my faith is being stretched a little!
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Freddy4Skin on 17/11/2017(UTC)
Ludditeme
Posted: 17 November 2017 13:27:26(UTC)
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Freefall Junkie;53364 wrote:
Interesting article in this week's Autocar mag about Tesla's production woes and its haemorrhaging of cache. The more I read the more I think there is a very real possibility of the entire Tesla venture going spectacularly belly up.

On the other hand James Anderson and Tom Slater at SMT are hard headed investors who won't be taken in by Tesla's media hype, and they have a track record of not being shy about dumping large holdings if they think it is appropriate. They must have some very good reasons to continue to hold Tesla but I must admit my faith is being stretched a little!


I think the holding is around £400m. Quite a lot to offload!
jvl
Posted: 17 November 2017 18:19:14(UTC)
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Micawber;53358 wrote:
Meanwhile VW invests $10bn in a programme for innovative vehicles in China. I think I'd back VW rather than the Martian..


Would that be the VW that couldn't manage to engineer their cars within emission guidelines and, instead of trying to fix that problem (others managed) or admit it, tried to cheat and got caught?

That VW? The incompetent and crooked one that couldn't do normal cars properly?

I hope that if the UK part (mistakenly in my view) with any money to the EU, afterwards they get billions of it back by fining the hell out of VW. It's a mystery to me why the US stood up for its consumers and we haven't. A misplaced sense of European solidarity?
Micawber
Posted: 17 November 2017 18:30:23(UTC)

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After getting caught, they're the least likely to do it again.....

But I guess some investors might factor moral vengeance into their investment decisions? In which case, there's a long list of companies they'll exclude from their portfolios.
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