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  • Brett Schafer

Remember, Nobody Else Thinks Full Self-Driving is Close to Possible

Note: I’m writing this while the live stream is still going on, so if an Elon bomb drops don’t yell at me for not mentioning it

Like anyone interested in the high-stakes reality drama that is Tesla, I decided to tune in and watch the hyped “Autonomous Investor Day” on YouTube. And, after two hours of highlight tapes and engineers talking about neural networks, I was extremely underwhelmed. Remember, this was supposed to be an event that would “free investors from the tyranny of having to drive their own car.” In reality, it didn’t do much more than free them from their lunch breaks.

The live stream started with a highlight video of Tesla cars zooming around on sunny highways, and was so cropped up I’m surprised they didn’t release it on HUDL with the title “2019 Spring Preview #blessup.” If we want to compare it to a high school recruit’s highlight tape (which is the high-level analysis you were definitely looking for when clicking this link) this is like when a 5-star running back dominates 180-pound linebackers. Sure, he looks awesome on film, but that doesn’t tell us anything about how he will perform at the next level (i.e. the real world).

After 30-minutes of highlights, investors were treated with an hour lecture on how the neural network and machine learning will work on Tesla vehicles. That would have been cool to see, but, like 99.9% of the people watching, that shit flew right over my head. I bet it’s advanced tech and all, but why bore people with an hour of technical speak unless you are going to launch something truly transformative. Oh wait, that’s because full-self driving (FSD) cars don’t exist yet.

Be Cautious With Elon’s Claims

If you’re a Tesla bull and read the last few paragraphs, you’re probably very angry at me for taking a stance against the Lord-and-Savior Elon Musk. I sympathize with all the bulls out there, because that used to be me, defending Elon like some EV king who could do no wrong. Like followers of some 1970’s cult, I wish you all would stop drinking the Kool-Aid and start thinking rationally about your investing decisions.

If you came out of the investor day thinking “wow, Tesla has mastered FSD, they are light-years ahead of the competition,” consider reading the generous amount of material refuting that notion. Here is a list to get started:

  1. Ford CTO talking about the challenges of self-driving

  2. Why Lidar (which Tesla does not use) is essential for full and safe FSD

  3. A different piece talking about why LIDAR is important for FSD

  4. Another piece talking about why LIDAR is the best option

  5. Why Waymo is selling LIDAR sensors (another sign it is the best way forward for FSD)

  6. Why selling FSD before it is ready could backfire

  7. Why Tesla is behind in FSD

Every single one of Tesla’s competitors thinks that they are behind and going about self-driving the wrong way. How likely do you think it is that they (the top experts in the field) are wrong and Elon Musk is right?

Lastly, as an investor, how could you possibly bet on Tesla when it is highly likely that FSD is not ready? With vehicle demand down the drain, this looks like one of the last Hail Mary’s Tesla had in its arsenal. The only thing that I can guarantee is that there are still some fireworks to come, and I for one cannot wait to see how this thing ends.

Disclosure: The author is not a financial adviser, and may have an interest in the companies discussed.

#Bear #FSD #Tesla #ElonMusk #Bulls #Investorday

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