Has Andrew Yang been so right about automation is slowly taking over more jobs, especially for the trucking industry? Well, check out CNBC video right after the break to see how customer focus of retailers like Amazon has driven more people into developing self-driving trucks!
Why China is so intense in promoting electric cars over gasoline guzzled cars? I think there are more than a few incentives for China to promote electric cars over gasoline guzzled cars! The first incentive is so obvious that I don’t even need to talk about but I’m going to anyway.
Firstly, China has a very big pollution problem! Although China is no longer having the most polluted cities in the world since India is now taking over this top spot, nonetheless China is still seeing Chinese big, busied cities are being polluted by coal and gasoline heavy usages. The Chinese government has continually battled pollution by shutting down companies’ plants that rely on coals. Now, China pushes the pollution war ahead by promoting electric cars over gasoline cars. Meanwhile, China is heavily building more renewable energy sources such as wind farms, nuclear power plants, solar farms, and whatnot.
Secondly, China wants to control the auto industry market better since China got a bigger middle class than anyone else. This means China wants to see homegrown champions in car making and other automobile vehicles. This means China wants to have a stronger foothold in producing automobile vehicles, but the United States and Western countries are expert in making traditional automobile vehicles such as gasoline and diesel ones. Since China cannot compete directly against the West in making traditional vehicles, and so China is promoting electric vehicles to push homegrown automobile vehicle making companies to leapfrog the Western automobile companies in automobile technology through electric vehicles.
Thirdly, China knows that when there are more electric vehicles on the roads and highways, the transportation system needs to be upgraded to become more futuristic. For example, electric vehicles of the future could be driverless and so each of these vehicles needs to communicate with each other and also to the transportation system itself. This is why China is heavily pushing for 5G. With 5G technology through homegrown companies such as Huawei, China can push for electric, driverless vehicles and smart transportation systems without worrying about the feasibility of vehicle safety since 5G will speed up the data communication between the nodes/vehicles on smart, futuristic transportation systems.
I think China is using the 5G opportunity to push its transportation systems toward electric but also using the electric proliferation opportunity to fight pollution and dominating the telecom industry of tomorrow which is 5G. It’s a marriage that pushes the Chinese economy to higher ground in the coming months and years. This is why I think China is so protective of Huawei. Huawei is a leading 5G company in the world, and so I don’t think China will take it easy at all if anyone is going after this company. After all, China got a goal to meet — electrified Chinese transportation and telecom industries.
Africa got 1 billion plus people and yet the whole continent’s economy is only about the size of South Korea. This means the whole African continent is still very poor and needs to be developed a lot so the Africans can have some hope for a better future. Unfortunately, as cheap labor is moving out of China to China’s neighbors such as Vietnam, the whole world is now all the rage on how to rely on the automation of machines so even cheap labor cannot compete. If this is the case, I don’t think the Africans will have a chance of mobilizing their 1 billion plus people to industrialize the African continent.
So, the question is if Africans cannot rely on cheap labor to develop and industrialize the African continent, then what else could the Africans rely on to develop Africa? If Africans tries to rely on the aids of the Western countries, then Africans will never be able to develop their own industries that are necessary to pull the African continent out of poverty for good. Although the Chinese are building the infrastructures inside Africa to better the livelihood of the Africans, without a staple of strong industries the Africans will still face the problem of not being able to industrialize the African continent.
Although I don’t know much about Africa, in my humble opinion, Africans should try to go for automation themselves to leapfrog the cheap labor phase. This means Africans have to develop a very entrepreneurship mentality so they can come up with business models that need automation as a necessary ingredient for their business. Furthermore, instead of only relying on aids from the West and the infrastructures from China, Africans should demand the Chinese to teach them how to develop and incorporate Artificial Intelligence in their businesses. I think the machine learning and higher AI will definitely be able to help the Africans to automate the needs in their entrepreneurship businesses and leapfrog the cheap labor phase.
In the video right after the break, David Harvey said that it seems the Chinese will become the top dog of capitalism which would dictate how the future of capitalism would become. This is the first time I’ve heard of the man and so I don’t know much about him. Nonetheless, much of what he says in the video seems to make a lot of sense. Near the end of the video, he argues China, as a top dog capitalist, decides that the future of capitalism is all about Artificial Intelligence. Then he goes on to say that AI is all about removing the labor from the production process.
Let’s say that David Harvey is correct about how the Chinese will push the world to speed up the development of AI, then we have to ask ourselves how many more jobs we will see the world will lose? Furthermore, it’s not only in the United States that we will see people who are not going to be able to work to support themselves, but people of the whole world will experience the same dire situation! This means even if whoever in the United States decides to move across the sea to find a job won’t be able to do so! Basically, even if you have the mean and the will, you still won’t make it in a future where hardware and software will overtake human labors through AI developments!
Lyft has filed S-1 for IPO on March 18th of this year (2019). Since Lyft isn’t yet a public company, we can’t really know the true numbers of Lyft’s finance. Nevertheless, leaked information tells us that although Lyft revenues are increasing tremendously it is also losing a lot of money on operational and R&D costs. Leaked information may not be accurate at all, but if the information is accurate Lyft may have to struggle a lot before it can become a profitable company.
According to the information we have Lyft is operating at a loss of $911 million net loss in 2018. Net loss is very important because a net loss tells us that Lyft isn’t a profitable company yet. It seems Lyft’s revenues are not able to cover the operating and R&D costs. The general definition of a net loss is that a total of expenses is bigger than a total of revenues.
Nevertheless, Lyft seems to boost its revenues very fast! In 2016, Lyft’s revenues were totaled at $343 million, but if the information is correct in 2018 Lyft’s revenues are totaled at $2.2 billion. If one looks at this closer, it seems Lyft has a chance of making it if the revenues are going to continue to go through this positive, exploding trajectory for some time to come.
Lyft is considering to invest more in R&D in regards to rolling out a self-driving fleet. If Lyft can get behind a self-driving fleet enormously and get the technology to work for real, then I think Lyft has a big chance to cut costs tremendously. If revenues continue to pick up, eating away Uber’s market share, and cut costing measures are going to be effective — Lyft could very well become a profitable company.
Lyft and Uber are competing for the same market, and both of these companies are driving Taxis out of business. Since Lyft and Uber are able to do this to Taxis, we can tell that companies like Amazon, Google, and even the car rentals and car dealerships themselves could get into the same act as Lyft and Uber when self-driving becomes a reality. This could be a very crowded market, and if my intuition is accurate it could mean Lyft and Uber may have a very tough market to operate in as time goes on. So the profits/revenues Lyft is having now could very well dwindle in the future!
Self-driving will change how people commute in the future. Car dealerships can jump into the act of allowing people to hail for self-driving cars. Perhaps, people of the future will not buy cars as much since they can just hail for a self-driving car? Google and other big tech companies can also create apps to allow the sharing of self-driving cars like how we have bike-sharing now. This could mean companies like Google don’t have to own a fleet of self-driving cars to be in the business of self-driving car-hailing. It’s like people to people self-dealing business but using a futuristic app of a huge tech giant where the tech giant gets to keep a small portion of the profit.
In summary and in truth, I’m not very sure if Lyft could be a good investment or not. Leaked info tells us that the company got a good chance of becoming profitable since the revenues keep on exploding to the positive territory — but the company has to be able to keep the operating and R&D costs down eventually! Nevertheless, the market which Lyft is operating in is possibly getting very crowded because of the self-driving car technology. If by the time the market gets so crowded and yet Lyft isn’t becoming profitable, then Lyft could find itself in a world of hurt! Personally, if I ever want to invest in Lyft, I won’t make it as one of my long term investments! If I ever invest in Lyft, I may have to watch out for the actions of other companies in the car-hailing market very closely. I may also have to watch out for new players that could enter the car-hailing market because new players could dilute the profitability of car-hailing market.
Tesla announces that it will close most dealerships to cut costs and to mainly sell cars online. To know more about this new development on Tesla’s online car sale only you can read this article “Tesla Online Sales — Bigger News Than $35,000 Model 3.” What I think about this?
So, I don’t own any Tesla car, but I’m driving a Toyota! My Toyota is a hybrid car, and so I don’t trust auto mechanic from auto mechanic shops. I’ve always brought my car into the Toyota dealership. Of course, sometimes I think I do have to pay a little bit more in the dealership than at the auto mechanic shop. Nevertheless, I’m pretty lucky because the Toyota dealership I go to never upsells me. Sometimes, I even persuade them to help me maintain my car, and this is really an ironic thing to do.
For an example, two weeks ago, I carelessly drove over a curb in Dunkin Donut! Yep, that was a stupid thing to do, but it could happen to the best of us. I brought my car into Toyota dealership to have a quick check. They ask me how the car was driving. I said it felt alright, but I need a quick check anyway. They gave me a free check and told me everything was alright. I had to persuade them to do a car alignment anyway.
Now, it seems I have digressed but I assure you I’ve not! How? Let’s say I currently own a Tesla and want to do something similar to the situation above, but how am I going to do so if all Tesla’s dealerships are closing?
I think it’s a bad move for Tesla to sell cars online only! Furthermore, if Tesla is in a good financial position, it does not have to do this! Perhaps, it should close only the dealerships that do not perform in selling cars, but it should not close all stores. I’ve heard that model 3 is not that great since many sought after options do not make into Tesla model 3. One example is that Tesla model 3 does not carry leather seats! Am I wrong on this? If I’m not then Tesla model 3 isn’t that appealing!
Tesla is trying to cut costs, closing stores/dealerships and reducing prices for Tesla models. All these measures could be a good thing for prolonging Tesla’s lifespan. Nonetheless, this does not mean Tesla is in a healthy condition! Some cost-cutting measures such as closing all brick and mortar stores are quite dubious in my opinion!