The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.
That was my thought when I saw the title. I'm pretty good at putting things together, I started building plastic models at 3, Ikea doesn't intimidate me, I even built a 3m X 6m greenhouse kit, and I build my computers from parts. I really don't want to build my car from parts though.
Your list of baddies is out of date we have a lot more to worry about from Bond villains like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, not to mention some of the people running for president this year. Some of the organizations lobbying legislatures (state and federal) make the threat from the Mafia at its worst look like a paper cut.
The laws preventing direct sales of cars in some states is a mild example of laws going to the highest bidder that is going on all over the place. Back in the early days of the US auto industry, the car makers decided to push off some of the risk to independent car dealers who bought franchises and took the risk of getting stuck with a lot of cars nobody wanted. A lot of those car dealers became very rich, especially the ones that opened multiple dealerships across a region. Now because they are rich they hire lobbying firms who do nothing but pressure legislators to do the bidding of their masters.
I've thought for years the US would be better off if paid lobbying was illegal. I think it's a good idea if someone goes to their legislator to plead their own case. But taking any kind of compensation for lobbying should be a felony like bribery. Of course the people who need to pass such laws are the same people who are being lobbied by the paid lobbyists who are getting rich doing it.