Tesla Autopilot: Miles Ahead In Autonomous Race Due To Data

Tesla Autopilot

SEP 3 2017 BY EVANNEX 20

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot 2.0


What will the self-driving automotive world of the future look like? Nobody really knows although a lot of people seem convinced that they do. Predictions are all over the place and, in a few years we’ll see that some of them were right, and some were wrong. The only thing certain is that autonomous vehicles will trigger huge changes that will disrupt every automobile-related line of business, and then some. Another point that the pundits all seem to agree on: Tesla is poised to be one of the major players.


Inside the Tesla Model S (Instagram: teslamotors)

ARK Invest Analyst Tasha Keeney, appearing on DisrupTV, makes a number of predictions about the shape of tomorrow’s transportation system.

Above: Ark Analyst Tasha Keeney joins a panel on DisrupTV and discusses her views on the future of transportation (Youtube: DisrupTV Show)

Most analysts agree that autonomous taxis will greatly reduce the cost of getting around. Keeney estimates that they will cost around 35 cents per mile or roughly half of the total cost of owning a car. She also agrees with conventional wisdom that auto travel will become much safer, predicting that accident rates will decline by over 80%.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.


Auto Accident Rates Should Decline By Over 80% with the introduction of self-driving cars (Image: Huffington Post via Ark Invest)

Ms. Keeney does make one contrarian prediction: she believes autonomous vehicles will cause automobile traffic to increase threefold by 2030. Such an outcome could have catastrophic effects on urban planning and the environment.

Fortunately, most observers expect that autonomous technology, along with the rise of new ownership models, will have the opposite effect: it will allow vehicles to be used more efficiently, ending the cycle of ever-expanding roadways and freeing up urban space currently devoted to parking lots.

A recent report called Three Revolutions in Urban Transportation chimes with ARK’s view, in a way: it predicts that, if consumers embrace autonomous technology, but not vehicle sharing, traffic will indeed increase, and the potential environmental benefits of electric vehicles will not be realized.

Above: Ark Analyst Tasha Keeney explains why autonomous vehicles could increase traffic threefold by 2030 (Youtube: Ark Invest)

And what companies will lead the way to the future? Ms. Keeney cites a long list of reasons why Tesla is the clear front-runner in the autonomous vehicle (AV) market. The first reason is that Tesla’s position vis a vis the legacy automakers is looking more and more like a classic disruption scenario, of the kind that doomed manufacturers of typewriters, film cameras, and other quaint devices.

“The price per mile of car travel hasn’t changed in 100 years, and it’s about to significantly drop with autonomous technology,” says Keeney. “[The auto industry is] undergoing two monumental transformations – the shift toward both autonomous and electric vehicles. This requires an entirely new business model, and may be an insurmountable task.”


Price per mile of a self-driving taxi will be an order of magnitude lower the today’s average US Taxi (Image: Huffington Post via Ark Invest)

Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model gives it another big advantage.

“The dealership network hinders sales of electric vehicles because lower maintenance costs give dealers less incentive to sell electric cars. ARK believes that EV sales are going to surpass expectations in the next 5 years, and Tesla will be well positioned to take [market] share.”


Tesla sells direct-to-consumer via company-owned stores

Tesla’s true ace in the hole is its Autopilot hardware, now included on all its new vehicles. Tesla will be able to implement ever-more-capable self-driving capabilities as they become available – something no other automaker can do. Furthermore, its fleet of vehicles is generating an enormous trove of data. This data is not only valuable to Tesla as it improves its Autopilot system, but it could also have a substantial cash value – one that ARK believes has not been considered by stock analysts.


Autonomous taxis could add roughly $2.3 trillion to annual US economic output by 2035 (Image: Huffington Post via Ark Invest)

“Data is a huge opportunity for Tesla, and it’s not being talked about at all today,” Keeney says. “To give perspective on how much this data is worth…a new startup called Lvl5 [has] created a camera product that Uber and Lyft drivers can mount onto their cars to collect autonomous data. In return, the driver gets paid up to 5 cents per mile by Lvl5. Lvl5’s system is one camera. Tesla has 8 cameras on each car plus many other pieces of hardware for [data collection]. By the end of 2018, ARK estimates that Tesla could be collecting data worth over $2 billion in sales on an annualized basis.”


New Autopilot suite of eight cameras standard on all Tesla vehicles, including the Model 3

According to Keeney, “no analysts are actually accounting for this opportunity, so you can think of the data opportunity as additional value on top of today’s valuation.”


Source: Huffington Post

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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20 Comments on "Tesla Autopilot: Miles Ahead In Autonomous Race Due To Data"

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How much T3 was producet by August??

Traffic will increase because any time something is cheaper and easier to aquire, you get more of it. Ride sharing won’t be enough to compensate.

Glad to see that at least one other person gets this. It’s simple and straightforward. No unicorns or rainbows needed to understand this.

It is going to take more than data for autonomy.

And all the data is real world using actual production equipment…GM’s autonomous Bolt’s have huge equipment arrays, hardware that takes up the majority of the cargo area, probably cost tens of thousands…GM finally stated to get a supercruise equipped CT6 it’s $71K (ICE, not available on the PHEV)…So for MY19 where will supercruise trickle down to? Probably a couple other Caddy models (top trims of course)…GM can help their cause, offer supercruise into the Bolt platform Buick CUV…

Those Bolt’s are collecting a lot more information than Tesla give the Lidar arrays. The production equipment would be a lot smaller. Right now it’s about testing the system not miniaturization.

Sensor packed instrument cars using LIDAR (for example) driving around a tech campus, isn’t collecting data of marketable data. Any student group accross the country can do this.

The valuable data are airport parking areas, shopping malls, private school carpool lines, private roads in gated communities, etc. This is Tesla’S natural environment.

Oh, look, it’s this old bit of propaganda again. As much as Tesla would like their talking points to be true, they are wrong.

Regulatory data on autonomous safety events in California shows that Tesla is almost dead last.

It’s a about the sensors and the algorithms, not the 100th car to re-drive the same street.

Watch Cruise’s autonomous videos driving through the streets of San Francisco for a real look at autonomous leadership.

Leading from the rear, while claiming otherwise.
Yeah that’s marvelous, though typical of GM.

GM’s Cruise play with specially modified $100K Bolts.

They still look like a university science project.

Nobody can buy one, they are not production ready. They can’t get on the freeway.

From that, you conclude they are leading???

He didn’t actually “conclude” anything, he’s just copying some anti-Tesla FUD he read somewhere, as usual.

Isn’t “Four Electrics” the anti-Tesla troll who recently claimed that Tesla cars with Autopilot actually have a higher accident rate than those without?

Gosh, the NHTSA says the accident rate is nearly 40% lower with Autopilot + Autosteer; an anonymous Tesla hater says it’s higher. Who to believe, who to believe? What a dilemma! …NOT! 😀

Cruise automation are the real leaders?

This statement is so ridiculous, I’d think you were actually a pro Tesla concern troll. 😀

It’s only just occurred to me after reading this article, that Autonomous Taxis could potentially destroy public transit (or at least street-level transit), if they truly are as cheap as predicted.

Who would want to trudge out to, and then wait at, a bus stop in all weather for who knows how long – and then repeat that process at the end of the day – when they could sit at home/work and wait for an AT instead, which would presumably be significantly less crowded than a bus, cost a similar amount per trip, and drop them off directly at their destination?

This scenario would indeed increase the amount of traffic dramatically, although with road-train type technology it may reduce that congestion somewhat.

Not to mention sick people. It is winter over here and you can always hear coughing in the public transit. Not pleasant.

I’m very gratified to see people exercising their critical thinking, and refusing to swallow the unicorns-and-rainbows propaganda about autonomous cars reducing the number of cars on the road.

Rather the opposite!

One of the highest costs of public transit are bus drivers. A driverless and smaller city bus can be provided with no fare cheaper than current driven, (mostly subsidized anyway), buses.

Traffic will be worse, agreed.

Yep, autonomously driven small buses on more frequent and wider coverage routes will enable a big upgrade in bus service for those who can’t afford to hire a private ride.

Same for vans or cars that give door-to-door service while sharing the ride with other passengers. These will all significantly undercut single-passenger rides. Where the balance will fall? Who knows, it’s all just speculation right now.

Keys to reducing traffic congestion include accident avoidance and routing vehicles in less congested routes to their destinations. As a general rule, I find unusual off-peak congestion is due to accidents, both due to reduced number of lanes in the direction of the accident, and looky lus in both directions of traffic. Fully autonomous vehicles Will accomplish both of these.

“Ms. Keeney does make one contrarian prediction: she believes autonomous vehicles will cause automobile traffic to increase threefold by 2030. Such an outcome could have catastrophic effects on urban planning and the environment.” How refreshing to see someone suggesting a scenario that’s not filled with unicorns-and-rainbows wishful thinking! A threefold increase in cars on the roads sounds too high to me, but certainly the predictions of falling costs of car ownership, significantly lower insurance cost, and ease of access by no longer needing a driver’s license, will lead to an increase in people riding in cars. How could it be otherwise? People who claim all this will lead to a decrease in the number of cars… well, they are ignoring the economic realities pretty firmly indeed! “…most observers expect that autonomous technology, along with the rise of new ownership models, will have the opposite effect: it will allow vehicles to be used more efficiently, ending the cycle of ever-expanding roadways and freeing up urban space currently devoted to parking lots.” The generous helpings of wishful thinking (and going back for seconds!), and lack of logic, shown by those claiming that autonomous cars will reduce traffic is rather shocking. In fact,… Read more »

Lockheed Engineer/Whistleblower

Tesla is not remotely done. Elon is incorrect. It is ONE TRILLION MILES of Shadow/Safety Driving not 6B

Autonomous Levels 4 and 5 will never be reached without Simulation vs Public Shadow Driving for AI.

Level 2+ and L3 should not be used at all.

Public Shadow Driving is Dangerous. Thousands of accidents, injuries and casualties will occur when these companies move from benign and easy scenarios to complex, dangerous and accident scenarios. And the cost in time and funding is untenable. One trillion public shadow driving miles would need to be driven at a cost of over $300B. The answer is to use aerospace level simulation.

There is also the issue of NHTSA’s 2015 L3 Report being negligent. Its test methods were extremely flawed and misleading and so was the conclusion that L3 and shadow driving can be made safe.

Details can be found in my articles here

Letter to Congress – Handling of minimum standards for Autonomous industry

NHTSA, several automakers, academics and others are misleading us about the safety of L3 autonomy and shadow/safety driving