* Posts by thenitz

5 posts • joined 27 Nov 2017

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt

thenitz

Re: Wasn't the Ottoman empire allied with Germany in WWI?

If Wikipedia is to be believed, Britain seized the ship early on, while Turkey was still neutral, thus pushing them closer to enter the war on the German side.

Brit transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

thenitz

This. The scenario that everyone talks about, where your car can drive you to work, then come back by itself, picks the kids from school, and maybe moonlights as a taxi afterwards - that's the famous Level 5 - is not going to happen soon.

What is going to happen is twofold. You'll get better and better driving aids to the point where the car can essentially let you check Facebook on the phone during most of your commute on motorways and main roads, with plenty of time for warnings when it needs a handover. That's Level 3. Of course we'll hear stories of people asleep at the wheel, their cars stopped in the middle of the road with warning lights on and horn blaring - but it will work for most of us.

This will be sold the same way cars are sold now, just another option package when you buy the car. The thing is there's only so much people are willing to pay for such a feature so you can't afford expensive hardware like lidars, and at least initially it will be limited to easy tasks like motorway driving and maybe fully automated valet parking in selected, participating parking lots.

The second scenario that will happen is the revolution - where you make money and create new kinds of services by getting read of the human driver. The famous Level 4. It will first only be used by businesses and fleets - because it is very expensive and you need a clear ROI to break even over that big initial investment.

Think taxi fleets on big streets in well mapped areas, big trucks going motorway-only between warehouses, smarter buses and shuttles restricted to well-known routes but with a more flexible schedule. These will be soon feasible with the current tech. It won't replace all cases where a driver is needed, and services may shut down in heavy snow, but sometimes trains get canceled too in bad weather, if you think about it. The company that owns the cars will still hire a handful of people to service the cars, wash and refuel (recharge?) and operate them, perhaps remotely, if something goes bad. But not as many as before.

Even a very restricted Level 4 has the potential to change whole industries. The fact that the book says "it's not possible to make 100% perfect self driving cars" doesn't mean that people won't make lots of money using lesser vehicles that are good enough.

Germany says NEIN to purchase incentive for Tesla Model S

thenitz

Well, the plug-in versions of the Mercedes S-Klasse and BMW 7-series are not on the list. Neither is the Porsche Cayenne or Panamera. The 5 series and the E-Klasse are the most expensive cars on that list.

It makes sense, if you have that much money to pay for a car, the subsidy won't affect your choice much.

Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price

thenitz

Re: The Cult of Tesla

Yes, Tesla did wonders for the perception of electric cars and turning them into objects of desire.

But let's not forget that Nissan Leaf was on the market for 2 years when the Model S came out. And Toyota had been selling the Prius for 15 years already.

thenitz

Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

There's nothing stopping Tesla to sell their vehicle in Europe in 2 or 3 years when production of the semi starts. But they had to launch the vehicle in the US because that's the best place to create hype.

Their priority is now gathering funds to sustain their growth. They can't get those funds by selling cars and trucks because they aren't able to produce them on a large scale. So they keep announcing products even if they know very well they can't build them in the near future. Hype helps increase or at least maintain the stock price and make funding easier.

Eventually, if the gamble pays out, they'll get to build those trucks and sell them to whoever is willing to pay. If Europe is a better market, they'll sell a lot of them there. Same as they do now with their Model S and Model X.

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