Solar-power uptake has been doing very well recently due to falling costs in producing it. In any contest, there are events that can seal the victory. In the energy contest between fossil and renewable, I believe that Tesla has won a major battle. And it all happens in the country that is the world’s top exporter of the dirtiest fossil fuel (Australia, coal).
A respected investigative journalist has recently penned a rather worrying piece about Tesla Motors’ progress with its high-stakes Model 3 vehicle. Things are far from going according to plan. What is even more disturbing for me are some of the recent shock & awe declarations of CEO Elon Musk. For example his unrealistic plans for colonizing Mars or sending people around the world aboard modified ballistic rockets, both of which would be a complete waste of critical resources and a mockery of the critical situation in other parts of the planet. The following Seeking Alpha article pours some cold water on all the Musk hype.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Musk. He’s done great with Tesla Motors. In fact, he’s done so great that now Big Motor is out to get him. It’s amazing how much competition he managed to ignite and thus has done the world a great favor. He’s done even better with Space X given how much the enterprise has helped our extra-terrestrial research and development. But some of his statements are scientifically unsound and that devalues him in the eyes of those that matter a lot for his ventures’ future. I have no problem with idealism, but I do have a problem with cheap PR tactics.
The self-driving vehicle revolution is upon us and it brings with it some serious challenges. One such conundrum is just how much control will we give over to our vehicles. Recently, we’ve had the first fatality resulting from the use of this family of technologies. However, it’s important to note that the car wasn’t really self-driving.
The person died due to the (presumably) improper use of the Autopilot feature. Before we rush to blame Tesla, we’ll see why this sort of half-measure is quite dangerous. Let’s take a look at what another industry that has been using autopilot features for decades has learned during time.
What is the word “forget” doing in the same sentence as the name of this rising star in the world of automobiles? It all starts with an article I read on Wired a couple of weeks ago. The author is busy praising General Motors for beating Tesla in creating the “first true mass-market electric car”.
The article is far from being objective. It reads like a standing ovation for GM and its CEO, with very little regard for the full picture. There are two glaring mistakes. I’ll perform a little experiment and demonstrate how easily the author of the article could have improved upon the objectivity of his work, just by adding the following two paragraphs.