Uber’s Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost

 

Uber appears to be stepping into a steaming pile. First came revelations from Sarah Fowler that forced out apparent uber-harrasser Amit Singhal. Next it was revealed that they refused to pay a $150 permit to test self-driving cars in California (really, who DOESN’T want to cover their ass over something that could go horribly, horribly wrong?), and the self-driving technology itself is the subject of a lawsuit filed against them by Alphabet-owned Waymo.

I think Lyft heard the rumors, and moved on it with their commercial that was released this past December.

Alison Griswald at Quartz also sums it up nicely: “Corporate values were always an afterthought for Uber.”

 

Tesla’s Grandiose Plans

If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In the Tesla analyst’s call yesterday, Musk spent time discussing future plans. Underpinning these plans, and something I have been pondering for quite some time, is Elon’s conviction of concentrating efforts on “building the machines that builds the machines”.

Teslerati’s Kyle has a good rundown on the plans. A few excerpts:

The addition of newly minted Tesla Solar production to the Gigafactory model means Tesla will be producing all three of its core product families – Motors, Energy and Solar – in a single factory footprint. Vetting this concept out in Gigafactory 2 will provide a nice blueprint for future Gigafactories as Tesla looks beyond the borders of the U.S. towards international expansion.

Can these devices be designed and built to be so flexible as to be able to build anything? Musk thinks there are orders of magnitude of improvement yet to come from automation and robotics.

Gigafactories 3, 4, and 5:

Tesla casually dropped news that the locations of Gigafactory 3, 4 and possibly 5 would be finalized later this year. The obvious location for #3 is Europe with strong Tesla vehicle sales in the region supported by an ever growing fleet of Superchargers in the area.

To put a final point on the ability to think big, Kyle sums up with this:

Building on just the core need for batteries, a modular Gigafactory allows Tesla to move its production into a region in a single step, establishing local supply chains for raw materials while also cutting costs on shipping batteries, vehicles and solar products at the same time. Batteries and cars are not cheap to ship and this move makes sense on many levels.

Great summary.

I’m thinking at this point, Elon Musk is the machine that builds the machines that builds the machines.