Live from Autonomous Vehicles 2019!
An estimated 40,000…
That’s the total number of vehicle-related deaths in the U.S. in 2018.
Air bags, crumple zones and seat belts can only do so much to protect errant drivers.
Human error is something that we can’t control.
At any given day in the U.S. there are 200–300 million cars on the road.
And some of those folks will make bad decisions that result in a bad accident, potentially harming themselves or others, or worse.
If you want to know the No. 1 reason engineers, programmers and car designers champion the driverless car… it’s because autonomous vehicles could one day eliminate the very notion of an auto accident.
And in the process save millions of lives.
The autonomous driving trend is an inevitable one. One day soon, driverless cars will be the norm.
But before we get to this coming reality it’s important to know how we got to this point in automotive history. Then we can examine where we’re headed.
Autonomous Vehicles 2019 in the Motor City
Over the next few days Ray Blanco and I will be in the epicenter of the American auto industry attending this year’s Automotive IQ autonomous driving convention just outside of Detroit.
Detroit is a fitting setting, and I’m looking forward to bringing you along with me on a deep dive into the history and future of cars and trucks.
Autonomous Vehicles is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s nothing like CES. This is all about industry insiders talking shop with other insiders. It’s exactly where you’d want to be if you’re looking to find great, under-the-radar opportunities in this fast-growing auto sector.
We’ll be speaking to industry experts, engineers, software designers and sensor equipment manufacturers to find the latest and greatest tech fueling the driverless car revolution.
We’ll also be on the hunt for great new investment opportunities.
But we’ll get to that later this week as the conference rolls on.
Today, let’s talk about the current happenings (and how we got to this point) in driverless car tech.
Major Moves in Autonomous Driving
When you think of a self-driving car, you’re probably thinking of Tesla’s Autopilot system that’s on the whole lineup. However, Tesla is not the only player in the game by far. It’s just the loudest.
Major car manufacturers are testing new tech — and in some cases working together — to bring about our automotive future.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise system, for example, uses a combination of lasers, radar and cameras to make highway driving relaxing and essentially hands-free. It’s even equipped with head-tracking technology to ensure the driver isn’t falling asleep or distracted.
Super Cruise is a $6,000 option on the Cadillac CT6 sedan, which already costs well over $60,000, so it isn’t cheap. According to Cadillac, Super Cruise-enabled cars have driven over 3 million miles safely.
But There’s More…
The next time you see a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, pay close attention to the grille. That blacked-out portion in the middle houses lasers, radar and cameras for the car’s on-board semi-autonomous features. Sure, the car costs over $100,000 with all the features equipped, but using advanced AI and all those sensors, it’s able to slow down, speed up, stop and steer away from danger.
Daimler, the owner of Mercedes, is using an S-Class equipped with lidar to test urban driving in San Jose. Together with Bosch, Daimler is testing the feasibility of both future ride-hailing services and urban automated driving. Through testing like this, manufacturers could help build a future when citywide traffic congestion is a thing of the past.
The potential benefits of this tech are groundbreaking. We can’t wait to see what the next iteration of this tech is at Automotive IQ later this week…
These semi-autonomous features are paving the way for fully autonomous cars. It isn’t limited to luxury sedans, either.
Whether you like it or not, autonomous driving will be here in the future. We aren’t too sure when you’ll be able to hop in a pod and be whisked away through traffic during your commute.
But tech companies and auto manufacturers are constantly innovating to find out what does and doesn’t work for autonomous driving.
Tomorrow we’ll do a deep dive on those innovations and break down what they mean for us drivers… as well as us investors.
For Technology Profits Daily,
Managing editor, Technology Profits Daily