After watching a YouTube video on how the Japanese built Toyota Mirai, fuel cell car, I must say that I’m surprised to see humans are still involving in building such a complicated beast/machine. I was thinking that nowadays, building cars should have all been done by robotics mainly, but I guess I’m dead wrong on this. Perhaps, other car companies may deploy all sorts of robots to build their cars, but it seems Toyota is still using a lot of human technicians to manually guide machines that do heavy lifting auto parts into place so the same technician or other technicians can begin to bolt these auto parts together to form a more complete car.
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.
I imagine that the future of transportation is all about automation. I don’t think this is at all a guess because one just takes a look at China’s huge population and see why right away. I can’t imagine that all people in China, each and every one of them, own a car because there won’t be enough space on the roads and highways — the traffic would be stupidly horrendous than ever before. This is why I think China may lead in the race of AI and car automation!
In order for the automation of cars, I think AI needs to be improved tremendously so accidents won’t occur so frequently. At least, the AI should be a lot better than the human drivers. Once the AI part of the automation of cars got nailed down, I can see that a car service such as Lyft would try to deliver cars to whoever needs ’em. This is when 5G comes into the picture to facilitate the communication between cars, cars and the transportation system, and so forth.
Anyhow, in this blog post I want to concentrate on the Lyft part of the whole automation of the transportation equation. I’m wondering, how Lyft and Uber would fare in a world where all cars are driverless? Imagine, car companies could actually get into the Lyft game themselves. Why would they allow Lyft and Uber to be the middlemen?
Nonetheless, I can see those car manufacturers like Toyota may not want to join the Lyft game because of additional costs. Perhaps, car manufacturers rather manufacture cars only and let the costs of the logistic of delivering cars to the user through car services such as Lyft and Uber. Then I’m still wondering how the dealerships would fare, right?
I can see those car manufacturers would prefer to deal directly with car services such as Lyft and Uber and let go of their dealerships entirely in a world of driverless cars! The dealerships would become rather redundant unless the car manufacturers prefer to allow the dealerships to become a car service like Lyft and Uber. But we have to ask who got more experience in delivering a car to a user in a taxi manner? Of course, the answer would be Lyft and Uber and not the dealerships!
In summary, I think if we’re heading in the direction of all cars to be driverless, then I can see the fading out of car dealerships in favor of Lyft and Uber. Of course, I could be wrong and the car manufacturers like Toyota decides to join the Lyft/Uber game and turn their dealerships into Lyft/Uber service. Nonetheless, I still can’t see car dealerships to be around when driverless cars become proliferated. I see car making companies may rely on Lyft/Uber sort of service or just jump into the game themselves delivering cars through an app and not relying on a costly dealership.
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!
Car parking is getting more creative, and especially in country such as China since 1.35 plus billion people are driving more than ever before. This is why I think country with so many people are going to have to be more creative as the world is moving into the future. The future when scarcity may be very real. In this case, car parking spaces in China are scarce, and so China uses robots to manage car parking spaces. Hopefully these robots are more efficient in time saving and space allocation when it comes to parking cars. If this car parking system is working out rather well for China, I would love to see it comes to United States. If nothing else, I like the futuristic aspect of it all. Check out the video right after the break to see robots park cars in China.
Just another episode of my gameplay for DiRT Rally in 4K resolution. Enjoy!!!