Here’s a short summary of what happened in the world of mobility, logistics & transportation this week:
First Tesla accounced that they were cutting 3.000 workers (7% of their staff) in an effort to cut costs, then came the news that local production of Model 3s in China should begin by the end of 2019 (considering there is no plant built yet this will be interesting to watch), and finally Tesla starting with the sale of cheaper Model 3 cars in China in an effort to accelerate its local sales in light of the trade friction between Washington and Beijing. And there is apparently no end to the constant up and down of the Tesla news cycle: now it has surfaced that the company is missing its profit targets and that the CFO Deepak Ahuja is leaving.
While Tesla is in a somewhat negative news tornado, the US – and the nation’s various agencies such as NASA – has struggled with the government shutdown. But now Elon Musk’s SpaceX has delivered some good results: The company’s Falcon 9 rockets achieved testing milestones crucial for NASA and spacefaring in the months ahead.
Every autonomous vehicle is just as good as its software. And oftentimes the vehicles’ AI still struggles with complex and unexpected manoeuvers such as making room for ambulances that are coming from behind. That’s why Microsoft and MIT teamed up to reduce these so-called ‘blind spots’ within the software and bring AI for autonomous vehicles into the next level.
Since the automotive industry has had to radically change the way it has operated for years in light of the digital transformation and new technologies such as AI spilling into mobility services, various digital players such as Google, IBM, or NVIDIA have also emerged as unlikely contenders in the market. This new competition has shaken up the old automotive institutions, changing the dynamic and complexity of the industry. But how will this development continue – and can classic automakers catch up with the drastic changes?
It is a simple question with major consequences: Who is at fault when an autonomous car crashes? The drivers, the manufacturers, the software developers? Every party involved needs to have a definitive answer to this problem if they want the technology to succeed. A German expert commission consulting the German government has offered up a solution (In German).
Image: MIT news