Can a self-driving car be useful in the aspect of becoming a backflow of power to a grid solution? In the video right after the break, the duo presenters like to think so as they profess Tesla could have huge fleets of robotaxi cars frequently charging up the grid and earning Tesla the bucks on the side. In such a scenario, Tesla could be doing both things such as selling extremely expensive cars to the rich while providing robotaxi cars to the everyday people while earning real money on the side as these robotaxi cars would charge up the grid when idling. What do you think?
Why do I think new energy vehicle makers such as Tesla will be the biggest winners in the race of selling more cars in the near and longer future? Just think about it! Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) has had been around forever, and it’s as good as it gets! Before Tesla introduced EVs (Electric Vehicles), a self-driving car wasn’t even a big deal until Tesla pushed hard on introducing self-driving levels onto its own EVs. As new energy vehicle makers eager to compete against ICE, they want to prove that their vehicles are more modern, longer-lasting, faster, stronger, and smarter — thus innovation is going to be unstoppable in the new energy vehicle sector which is a sub-sector of the auto industry. Eventually, this sub-sector could overtake ICE one day for good because after all — driving EVs and other new energy vehicles helps the world stops the global warming phenomenon.
Disclaimer: I have an investment in a stock that belongs to an EV maker. Thus, I tend to be more biased with a positive attitude toward the EV industry.
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!
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.
A few days ago, a taxi man engaged me in a conversation. He asked if I was ubering someone because he saw me was waiting near his spot. I told him I was not and was only waiting for a friend. The conversation carried on to the point in which he confessed Uber has taken away too many customers from him. He told me once he was making something like thousands of dollars in a week, but now this is pretty much gone.
I didn’t want to make him feel worse, and so I kept my mouth shut about automation. Basically, China is heading this way. More self-driving buses are now out and about in Shenzhen, China. Check out the video on this right after the break.
I think even whoever relies on Uber for driving customers around will eventually lose out to self-driving Uber cars. In fact, I can even imagine up some self-driving car services such as self-driving taxi cabs will be able to mimic a human touch by installing smart, sexy robots that can pretend to drive but could carry on a real conversation with the human customers.
I think the future is all about automation. I think this trend will speed up fast. I think people will lose jobs to automation for sure.
China’s leading truck manufacturing, FAW Jiefang, just finished testing three self-driving trucks on the highway. Basically, this is a sign that in the future we will see fleets of self-driving delivery trucks, taxi cabs, and rental cars everywhere, and people who use these vehicles will not need a middleman human factor to be in the way. For an example, owners of businesses can deliver products between warehouses and to customers through self-driving delivery trucks. Of course, the owners of these companies can also stuff robotic laborers inside self-driving delivery trucks to carry stuff back and forth between the trucks and the premise that the products need to go to or to be picked up from. The self-driving rental car factor will also be interesting. Imagine you never have to own a car again, but you get to rent the nicest cars in town at the cheapest cost and on the top of this you don’t even have to drive the car itself (duh! self-driving man). You can just enjoy your ride in style and let the self-driving supercar takes you around town. Imagine, when such a car gets into an accident, you don’t even have to worry about the insurance cost, because you’re not the one who is doing the actual driving. Anyhow, sorry for the rant as my imagination took over. Back to the main topic, check out the video right after the break to see Chinese self-driving trucks in action.