At Matka we are fascinated with technology. The pace of which the self-driving cars will be a reality will surprise many. Basically in few years we can call our cars like Michael Knight. Tesla has figured out how to build a powerful platform which is capable of full-autonomy in most of the conditions we face on our roads and parking lots.
Now it is only a matter when countries, states, and authorities will allow this technology shift to happen. Of course we hope Switzerland will be among the first, but are aware of the cautious nature of Swiss politics. We think that regions which allow self-driving cars will be much more attractive for high tax payers. Dear Swiss politicians please hurry.
First, we want to thank Waymo, GM, BMW and co. for building the future but it seems that Tesla won the first round. It looks like Tesla could be the Apple of autonomous-driving industry. Perfectly integrated soft- and hardware, outstanding user experience, and status symbol brand. While Waymo could still become something like Microsoft is to the PC industry. Not as sexy but still very useful and very valuable.
Elon Musk is predicting fully self-driving cars are upon us sooner than we think, basically this year. Usually statements on deadlines from Musk should be taken with a pinch of salt but it seems that Tesla is actually far ahead of its competition when it comes to fully-autonomous driving. As full self-driving it is merely a data game, Tesla claims the score is currently 99 to 1 for Tesla. We sumarized the key messages from the interview with Elon and Lex Fridman, an AI researcher at MIT, for you here:
- In future any car which does not have autonomy will be as useful as a horse. There is still use for normal cars but it is just rare and idiosyncratic.
- An autonomous car is worth about 5-10 more than a normal car.
- We are approaching about 500’000 (Tesla) cars that have the full sensor suite. I am not sure how many other cars on the road have this sensor suite but I would be surprised if it’s more than 5000, which means we have 99% of all the data. (Deep learning gets better with data)
- The (Tesla FSD) hardware currently being produced is capable of full self-driving.
- Buying a car today is an investment in the future. If you’re buying a Tesla today I think you’re buying an appreciating asset not a depreciating asset.
- The car can come and find you even if it is a total maze of a parking lot. It can just drop you off a find a parking spot by itself.
- It requires detecting hands on wheel at least for 6 month from now…(probably by the End of 2019 not required anymore)
- How much safer than a person does autopilot need to be? (Main question regulators should ask. 2 to 3 times more is probably the right answer)
- Maybe towards the end of this year but I’ll be shocked if it’s not next year at the latest that having a person intervene would decrease safety.
- The rate of improvement is exponential.
- Eventually self-driving cars will be much safer than cars driven by humans.
- I’m confident that Tesla can build the world-best self-driving car. To me right now it seems like game, set, match. It appears that Tesla is vastly ahead of everyone.
On April 22nd Tesla hold an Investor Autonomy Day where more details have been shared with the public.
Unfortunately for Tesla customers, the FSD option will increase in price tough that is probably good news for investors. Our prediction is that Tesla will be at least 5 times more valuable as a company in 5 years from now, from 46bn$ to 230bn$. We don’t want to elaborate our investment thesis further in this blog post but we’re happy to accept bets.