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Market/Economic Impact of Tesla Robotaxi Network

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by ggr, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

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    Mod: Please use this thread for further discussion of this topic. --ggr
     
  2. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

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    #2 ggr, Jul 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    Mod: copied from main thread for context.

    Mod:

    Yes, I must agree. But here's the problem, there are (at least) three different kinds of posts about FSD:
    1. posts about the economics of Robotaxis, Tesla Network, etc. I consider these on topic, although I think we would all prefer that they were in the right (that is other) thread: Market/Economic Impact of Tesla Robotaxi Network
    2. Posts about timing and/or feasibility of FSD. As of this instant these are banned as off-limits.
    3. Would you put your car in, how much should you make, how will it be run? Also banned as off-topic.

    The problem for the moderators is that it's extremely difficult to winnow out the grain from the chaff and then move it when there is so much and such a mix. We just don't have that kind of bandwidth. So @schonelucht's worthy suggestion is adopted... take the good posts over there, don't bother rehashing the other issues, and we'll all be happy and unpunished.

    --ggr.
     
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  3. waterloo42

    waterloo42 Supporting Member

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    This is a solved problem for the past several years. At my company we had a side project to do exactly what you're describing -- taking satellite images and classifying them. Not only did we get > 92% accuracy (technically f1 score of 0.89) to detect clouds, roads, rivers, vegetation and to some extent buildings. This was loaded into a Raspberry Pi (i.e. cheap $35 computer) and $100 Intel Movidius stick. The team of about 4 people that did this took about 3 weeks working part-time and were relatively new at machine learning.

    BTW, Karpathy was a pioneer in this area and ran the Imagenet competition since 2010. He is solving far more challenging problems than this right now at Tesla.
     
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  4. abasile

    abasile Conscientious investor

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    Why do you feel that's wrong? Robotaxis, which we expect will be heavily utilized, should displace a larger number of mostly idle, personally-owned vehicles. The total number of vehicle miles traveled, however, is likely to increase.

    Tesla, under Musk's leadership, has proven adept at learning quickly when it's essential. While Tesla's support infrastructure has been less than ideal for vehicles and home energy, it hasn't been bad enough to kill sales. When the time comes, I think they'll find a way to make Tesla Network work.

    I'm assuming that Drew Baglino is very sharp and willing to learn quickly. Good technical management skills are certainly transferable across domains.

    As long as Tesla continues to make demonstrable FSD progress, and as long as they remain at least competitive with Waymo and Cruise, I think it's unlikely that they'll ever have to return deposits. To prevail against Tesla in an FSD refund lawsuit, I think a plaintiff would have to make a very strong case that Tesla acted in bad faith in accepting those deposits, which I firmly believe has not been the case.

    Q1 was a huge factor, but I agree that Autonomy Day left many investors with the idea that Musk is delusional. To most people, the idea of FSD being ready in less than two years just seems so "out there". Personally, I see Elon as extremely optimistic, but not to the degree that I'd call him delusional. It seems to me that there is a small chance of Level 4 autonomy actually being achieved in 2020, though I wouldn't be surprised if FSD takes another five years. Elon's extreme optimism has been critical in getting us this far, both with Tesla and with SpaceX.
     
  5. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    Never going to happen. I, however, will relish Musk's admission that he massively underestimated the difficulty of full self driving and that it's "really really hard" (like he says about manufacturing). I think Musk having this realization is a prerequisite for actually getting full self-driving, so once it happens, watch out, I will become a full-self-driving bull. ;)
     
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  6. tander

    tander Active Member

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    Imo the moon landing was a much harder problem in the context of 1969 technology v FSD today. But the standards and stakes are a lot different. And unfortunately there hasn't really been a national or international effort for FSD, which is a shame if you consider how many lives it could have saved if Obama or Bush had made a "we choose to go to the moon..." type speech for FSD. I think you could probably consider FSD a solved problem today or even several years ago by moon landing standards if it was only going to risk the lives of a handful of men that had already signed their lives away. The difference is FSD puts millions of people instantly at risk, as well as whatever company is selling it, and it has to be signed off by insurance, regulators, municipalities. So the margin of error has to be tiny before FSD is released for public use, while I would guess the moon landings probably had a much lower standard.
     
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  7. tander

    tander Active Member

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    That sounds a lot like how you solve FSD too. Not saying it's not hard but going to the moon fifty years ago was a pretty different ball game than FSD today.
     
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  8. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Active Member

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    Um, no. You don't seem to know what a "first principle" is. It's not heuristics or best practices. It's stuff that if you fail to pay attention to you simply fail. Stuff like gravity and speed of light in a vacuum.

    There is nothing like that in software. I can totally ignore the two things you pointed to and write working software. In fact, I have no doubt that 99.999% of all working software falls into that category.

    There are some few things related to hardware which are first principles for software running on that given hardware -- things like how fast an interrupt can be serviced. But if that's a problem, in many cases you can just use different hardware.
     
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  9. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    OK. I'll bite. Limited robotaxis in a few tightly-geographically-bound areas with particularly well-marked street grids... will have zero positive financial impact on Tesla.

    Insignificant at best... financially dangerous if Tesla assumes the insurance risk. Since Tesla routinely overestimates how good their systems are (they're still the best on the market, but they have excess optimism), there *will* be accidents, even in the geofenced case (probably due to really weird stuff happening), and the liability *must* not be Tesla's if Tesla is to remain financially stable.

    The availability of "best in class driver assistance features" worldwide for car *buyers* will be substantially more meaningful than some geographically limited (and still unreliable) robotaxi scheme. But all it really does is allow Tesla to raise prices; since Tesla's production limited, it doesn't increase car sales.
     
  10. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    To set the record straight, I said it will take significantly more than 2 years, and with the wrong-background people they're currently hiring, probably 10. But I also said that the Tesla approach is *correct*. It's just going to take a long time.
     
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  11. tander

    tander Active Member

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    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time it works every time!
    surmountable?
     
  12. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    FFS, we should have our own thread to explain transportation economics. This is textbook stuff.

    Common belief. Also totally false.

    I really do not want to rehash this for the umpteenth time, it's actually *textbook* transportation modeling. It just flat out doesn't. Things like carshare sometimes displace at *less* than 1 for 1, and never much more than 1 for 1.

    The two-word explanation for why is "rush hour". I do not want to repeat the long explanation why because I said it within the last week. If you get rid of rush hour (the Soviets tried, but failed -- but there are some communities which naturally lack rush hour for weird reasons), or serve it with high-capacity trains (which is often done), you can change this. However, in places with high-capacity trains, there are often a lot of people with no car at all, so when you introduce carsharing and they use it, it ends up increasing the number of cars on the road. Robotaxis would do the same.

    Yeah. Tesla Network is thankfully not essential, which is probably why they haven't learned quickly.

    Maybe it'll never come. I mean, demand for Tesla purchases will keep being very high indefinitely. Who needs Tesla Network? Certainly not Tesla.

    Sure. Who knows. He'll have the learning curve of realizing how hard the problem is, though, and he's probably starting from zero there.

    OK. That sounds wrong to me, though. Do you know the law in this area?

    What I know is that you can get refunds from a company even if the company was acting in good faith, if they simply never delivered the promised product. (Generally without interest or penalties.) The question would be, what was the promised product, which would involve reading the marketing text carefully.

    I don't really see the value of delusion-level optimism, but other people tell me that it's motivating for them. Personally, I can be (and usually am) pessimistic and motivated simultaneously, but I am told that a lot of people don't work that way, so maybe the optimism is valuable for such people. Interesting Human Resources question there. You could be right.
     
  13. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    OT

    Personally, I think replacing our carbon-emitting concrete infrastructure with carbon-negative magnesium concrete would be the biggest bang for the buck.
    Trees are great but with the climate changing it's hard to plant trees that will survive. :-(
     
  14. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    Sure, yeah, certainly. But then none of this "Tesla Network" robotaxi financial modeling makes any sense. It's a driver assist system, not a driverless car.
     
  15. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    No, it's absolutely not. Read what I wrote again. This is the *test suite* for whether the car is working properly. This is the instructions for how to *tell* whether the NN is giving the correct answer. This is how the people designing the system *label* the situations. Am I making myself clear?
     
  16. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    How long will it take to solve FSD? Consider two scenarios:

    FAST: FSD is solvable within few years
    SLOW: FSD is solvable in a few decades

    Under the SLOW scenario, Tesla make disappointing progress on FSD for many years, but continues to bring new models to market and scale up production. Tesla share prices grows toward $1000 over next 10 years.

    Under FAST scenario, two possibilities arise:

    FAST COMPETITOR: competitor beats Tesla to FSD
    FAST TESLA: Tesla beats competitors to FSD

    Under FAST TESLA scenario, Tesla dominates robotaxi business and disrupts the rest of the auto industry. Tesla share price goes to $10,000.

    Under FAST COMPETITOR scenario: Other competitor dominates robotaxi business and disrupts Tesla. Share price goes to $1.

    Given these scenarios and their consequences for Tesla shareholders, I conclude that Tesla must vigorously pursue any approach to FSD that could give rise to a FAST scenario. The stakes are simply too high to risk a FAST COMPETITOR scenario. Thus, Musk must lead the companies as if a FAST scenario has very high probability. Going slow carries an unacceptable level of risk.

    Furthermore, the best way to know if potentially fast approach is unworkable is to actually pursue it with enthusiasm. Otherwise, stones left unturned become opportunities for competitors to learn things first that can best be learned by actually turning stones. The premium should be placed not on ideas with a higher probability of success but on ideas a promote a higher rate of learning when attempted.

    As Musk has pointed out the only defense is to innovate faster than competitors. Go FAST or risk disruption. Let's hope that FSD is really, really hard to solve because that gives Tesla the greatest expanse of time to scale up.
     
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  17. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    OK, fair enough.

    I think the odds of FAST COMPETITOR are zero.
    I think the odds of FAST are pretty close to zero.
    Frankly, I think the odds of SLOW COMPETITOR are pretty low too.
     
  18. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    Mods, could you please move my posts on robotaxi economics to the other thread :sigh:
     
  19. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    Doesn't Tesla have a substantial amount of FSD revenue that can't be booked until they roll it out? So, as features become useable and are released, they will add revenue to each quarter in which the features are delivered? In other words, a lot of people have already paid for FSD but the money hasn't been recognized as income yet?

    I've always avoided accounting so I'm no expert!
     
  20. tander

    tander Active Member

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    That would be interesting to know how much unaccounted revenue there is for that, they've been selling it for ? years now. It's called the revenue recognition principle, cash can come in whenever, but the revenue doesn't get booked until the product/service is delivered.What is the Revenue Recognition Principle? - Definition | Meaning | Example
     

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