Auto-pilot

I want my car to drive itself. I really do. I’d love to say “take me to the ski park, robot-driver!” and arrive there safely after a smooth and quiet drive.

But it’s not going to happen. Autonomous vehicles are here, and here to stay, but they won’t make it on America’s roads any time soon. Mining companies use self-driving trucks, for example, but they drive around where there aren’t a lot of people or other hazards. That’s not the case in American cities or on American roads. The self-driving car in the typical American driving setting is a futuristic fantasy. Oh, it will happen. Just not fast enough for any of us to really care.

This is a blow to America’s Biggest Blow-hard Elon Musk and his army of Twitter-Bros who lap up all his idiotic utterances. Tesla just announced they won’t be upgrading their latest Autopilot software. Why? Because it is a piece of shit. Tesla’s cars don’t self-drive and their “driver-assist” features are no better than ones from any other car manufacturer.

Speaking of car manufacturing, Tesla makes 500,000 vehicles per year. They just agreed to sell 100,000 Model 3s to Hertz and that caused their stock price to jump and the company valuation to briefly top one trillion dollars.

VW sells over nine million vehicles per year, Toyota sells about seven million, GM about the same, and Ford about four million. Yet Tesla is more valuable! Why? Because people love the bullshit Musk and minions are spewing. Elon says he will grow the business by 50% every year and will soon be selling twenty million cars per annum.

Bullshit. There’s not enough copper in the world to make that many EVs. There’s probably not enough nickel or cobalt or lithium either, but I’ll stick with what I know. And there isn’t enough copper for that many cars. And 50% growth is unsustainable. It may in fact be un-achievable in that industry.

But people are still “betting on the come” with Musk and Tesla. Hey, it’s their money. If they think that fatuous jerk can make them rich they’ve missed the point. Musk is really good at getting people to give him money. In fact, he’s the best in the world at that skill. But the money goes to HIM. He doesn’t distribute that wealth. His companies don’t pay dividends, for example. You’d think a trillion-dollar company would reward its shareholders with nice payouts, but you’d be wrong. Elon cares about Elon, and his worshipful followers can go fuck themselves.

A Tesla looks like a pretty nice car. I’m sure it is a decent value for the money. But it is not going to transform the world. I’m reminded of Apple Computer and their early Macintosh ads. They were going to change the world, too. We were all going to “think different.” But then we found out that a Mac is still just a computer, nothing more.

And a Tesla is just a car.

I’ve been told Elon Musk is a “visionary” and I figured out what that means. It means someone who ignores basic physics. And engineering. And accounting. It means someone who says fantastic things and has followers who accept them unconditionally. Sounds like a great job!

If you want your car to run on auto-pilot, hire a chauffeur.

4 thoughts on “Auto-pilot

  1. OK……Sing along with me!

    Meet George Jetson
    His boy Elroy
    Daughter Judy
    Jane his wife

    Now there’s a version of auto-pilot! Orrrrrrr……………………..
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo

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  2. Well if the Dems get their way Musk will have to pay which is good. But, I think Apple did change the world with making personal computing more affordable and easy so now there is nowhere where a computer is not being used. Maybe, not an Apple but the ad campaign was correct in things were going to change – and they did.
    I agree about Musk but you really don’t like him much do you? I drive a hybrid which I think is a much more practical change at this time, good mileage. low polluting engine at time zero pollution and you don’t need to find a charging station then wait an hour or more to get it charged.

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  3. No I don’t like Musk, I wish he would stick to building batteries and whatnot and shut the hell up. People who are successful at one endeavor seem to think they are experts at everything else. Kind of like celebrities who pontificate about their favorite political issue–they don’t really have anything to add to the debate, they just have a forum that most folks don’t.

    Apples cost more than PCs and always have. Apple did not make computers affordable. They made nice, slick, easy-to-use (“consumer-friendly”) machines, with overall good quality, and I say “bully for them.” But Macs are only about 5% of the market, maybe 15% if you only look at laptops. That’s hardly a game-changer. But they are superb at marketing and the “cool” factor is off-the-charts, kind of like Tesla.

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