Musings From the Oil Patch April 3rd 2018
Comment of the Day

April 03 2018

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Musings From the Oil Patch April 3rd 2018

Thanks to a subscriber for this edition of Allen Brooks’ everinteresting report for PPHB. Here is a section on autonomous vehicles:

Eoin Treacy's view

Here is a link to the full report.

Hee is a section from it:

The NYT also pointed out, based on records they examined, that AV developer Waymo  was averaging nearly 5,600 miles before the driver had to take control of the vehicle away from the computer to steer it out of trouble.  Cruise, another AV developer, reported to California that its vehicles were traveling 1,200 miles per intervention.  Uber, on the other hand, was struggling to meet its target of 13 miles per intervention in Arizona.  At this point, we have not seen details about the differences in the various AV technologies being developed, but we suspect this will become a focal point for state and federal regulators.  

 We think the long-term impact on the development of AVs may be similar to the disruption of the Apollo space program following the fire that occurred during a pre-flight test of the space capsule on January 27, 1967, which killed all three crew members—Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee—and destroyed the Command Module.  Apollo 1, as it was officially designated after the accident, was scheduled for lift-off on February 21, 1967, for a 14-day, low Earth manned orbital flight.  That manned test flight was completed 20 months later in October 1968, following a complete redesign of the command module.  

 In 1961, President John F. Kennedy had begun America’s effort to send a man to the moon and return him safely.  The effort had not gained much support, so, in a September 12, 1962, speech at Rice University in Houston, he said. 

 “We choose to go to the Moon!  We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Google’s Waymo is obviously the leader based on the above statistics in what is likely to be a transformational technology; once commercialised. Nevertheless, this is still an emerging technology that, despite its potential, needs further innovation to reach the point where drivers are optional.

Tesla’s autopilot feature has resulted in more than one death while the company also engages in the race to be the first company to achieve an autonomous vehicle. The share bounced today from the $250 region but a sustained move back above $300 would be the minimum required to signal a return to demand dominance beyond short-term steadying.  

Alphabet (Google) has steadied in the region of the psychological $1000 level and will need to hold its recent lows if the medium-term uptrend is to remain intact.

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