The big automotive news in early April was, first that pre-orders were starting for the Tesla 3 on March 31, which was quickly overtaken by the news that pre-orders hit 325,000 within the week. This is reportedly double the number the company was anticipating. And this is all for a car that no one knows what the final model will even look like and won’t be delivered until late 2017.
Or maybe Tesla isn’t really surprised. This is, after all, the model created for the mid-market. At $35,000 (although that could change), the car’s price is comparable to popular models like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord (if you take into account the $7,500 incentive). Getting on the pre-order list meant putting down a deposit of $1,000. This is part of Elon Musk’s and Tesla’s master plan to create environmentally sustainable transportation solutions.
But to fulfill these orders and make Tesla 3 accessible to the average U.S. car buyer means scaling up production and ensuring quality while not running out of money. This from a company that has a history of delays.
There’s also the matter of the competition. GM’s Chevrolet Bolt is direct competition (without the Tesla wow factor). And there are less expensive cars from established companies that already have technology to help make driving easier. By the time the first Tesla 3 models hit the road, they might not be so special.
Or maybe you’ll build your own self-driving car. Enter Comma.ai (although the site will tell you practically nothing), George Hotz’s artificial intelligence automotive company. (His first claim to broad fame came when he became the first to jailbreak an iPhone.) He basically built a self-driving car in his garage – using off-the-shelf components, no less – and then unveiled it via a much-discussed Bloomberg article. Since then, his company has gotten over $3 million in investment money from Andreeson Horowitz. The primary aim is to take on established auto industry companies, but the other goal is to create an inexpensive kit that enables anyone it make a self-driving car.
Even Sebastian Thrun, the guy who founded the Google X lab, where the company’s driverless car project began, is helping to make driverless tech accessible. He’s since left Google and created the course “Artificial Intelligence for Robots: Programming a Robotic Car” on Udacity (which he co-founded).
Graduate from the program, and get a job at Comma. They’re hiring.
The IoT is in charge of the cars we drive and so much more. Who’s in charge of making the IoT happen in your organization? If you’re not sure, read How to Rewire the Organization for the Internet of Things.