Now you can buy your own DIY self-driving car!

Now you can buy your own DIY self-driving car!

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The recent GM acquisition, OSVehicle, today unveiled the EDIT DIY self-driving car significantly lowering the barriers to entry for start-ups to develop autonomous vehicles. GM acquired OSVehicle in March 2017 for $1.1 billion in a bid to develop a self-driving “Vehicle-as-a -Service” (VaaS). OSVehicle had its debut at Y-Combinator in Silicon Valley where it introduced the TABBY EVO exposing the OSVehicle team to many conversations which they incorporated in the development of the EDIT. 

Being 100% modular allows companies to repair, replace and adapt different components resulting a tenfold longer product lifetime, lower total cost of ownership and recyclability. Companies can also upgrade the connected car & self-driving modules as technology improves over time without discarding still viable components. EDITs modular technology allows you to easily embed several autonomous driving technologies from level 0 to 5 or add your own self-driving code and custom hardware stack of lidars, sensors, CPUs, etc.

EDITs friendly shape, which easily transformable according to the needs of the customer that could help the transition towards a different layout of the autonomous driving cars of the future. Being modular makes the EDIT easy to repair and upgrade, disrupting many sectors as we transition faster to a zero emission and zero fatality mobility. The body is divided into five primary parts, four molds (front, rear, roof and double symmetrical door), optimizing production and decreasing costs. The interior can provide different settings depending on the level of autonomous driving. In a level 5 version, there is a “vis a vis” seating layout with a comfortable table in the central area without steering wheel where you can work while commuting.

Barriers to entry as a result of cost and time to develop exclude many great start-ups and ideas from the self-driving sector. EDIT is a ready-to-use technology that saves years of R&D and millions of dollars. There is no need to reinvent the wheel for startups that are struggling with reverse engineering and to cost-effectively integrate the newest technology into the closed design of cars already in the market. EDIT allows start-ups to employ a “lean and distributed” manufacturing principle thereby avoiding huge investments in factories resulting in a reduction of more than 80% in initial costs. OSVehicle claims its IKEA like approach saves up to 70% of logistic costs and hacks import taxes by shipping ‘EDIT’ in components as opposed to complete vehicles. OSVehicle uses the example of Nepal where import duty on assembled vehicles is 238% compared to 3% for ‘EDIT  components. OSVehicle did not provide any other guidance on the cost of the EDIT.

The disruption caused by the first ever ready-to-use Self-Driving EV will be felt in various sectors, including:

  • Ride and Car Sharing fleets don’t last more than two years due to heavy use. Vehicles that are modular, customizable and upgradeable prevent obsolescence, extending the life of a vehicle up to 20 years;
  • EDIT can be efficiently customized with heating and cooling components, disrupting commercial applications such as the Food Delivery Services;
  • Self-Driving Vehicle start-ups struggle with reverse engineering and to cost-effectively integrate new technology into the closed design of the traditional car. By adding non-integratable hardware to existing production vehicles, the interior and exterior designs of these vehicles could seem compromised. ‘EDIT’ is a production vehicle, future-proofed and designed specifically to be modular and always upgradeable.

EDIT is a white label platform for branding purposes whereby a brand can customize the exterior body and interior, still keeping the road legal certification. By being a Vehicle-as-a-Service solution companies can use EDIT to quickly deliver models tailored for each service and country. OSVehicle states that with the rise of food delivery, ride and car sharing, vehicles should focus on the service brand and its needs, not the car brand.

‘EDIT’ is designed in Italy by the OSVehicle team in collaboration with the design company Camal. EDITs design is compliant with European, US, and Asian safety regulations.

If you are only a hobbyist or ultra lean start-up wanting to build a self-driving car and find that the cost of EDIT is still too high, follow our advice in the earlier post. Just buy the OSVehicle TABBY EVO from as little as $12,000 and add to that George Hotz’s self-driving car kit which he plans to market through his company comma.ai at a price of $1,000.

The future is already here. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the EDIT DIY autonomous vehicle with the community in the comment section below or the OSVehicle forum on our app, that is if you have swiped right to “like” the EV.

vaas-EDIT_Self_Driving_Car_modular_exterior_OSVehicle

vaas-EDIT_Self_Driving_Car_modular_exterior_OSVehicle

vaas-EDIT_Self_Driving_Car_modular_exterior_OSVehicle

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Tesla’s market value more than Ford, GM in it’s sights

Tesla’s market value more than Ford, GM in it’s sights

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Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares broke through its $280 resistance level on record sales for the first quarter 2017, leading investors to re-evaluate their outlook for the company. The results showed that Tesla could deliver above market expectations. The sentiment is supported by a decrease of vehicles in shipment, of around 1,800 units. Investors are now reconsidering the poor market guidance for the company to deliver on its Tesla Model 3 promises. The Q1 sales of 25,418 units show a growth of 12% on the previous quarter, which is a massive 69% on year-on-year basis. The Tesla Model X was the star, showing around 22% growth at 11,550 units, while the Model S sales grew by nearly 6%.

Today’s intraday share movement makes Tesla’s market value more than Ford (NYSE: F) and sees it gaining on General Motors (NYSE: GM), officially making it the number two in the sector. The electric vehicle manufacturer, which some still sees as a start-up, intraday market capitalization stood at around $47.95 billion, while Ford’s value dropped to $44.91 billion, on the back of a share price that was down 5%, caused by a decrease in March sales of 7%. GM shares also suffered a sell-off of around 4% on a marginal growth of just over 1%, bringing the companies market cap well within reach of Tesla at $50.78 billion.

Both GM and Ford have missed the opportunity in electric vehicles. The automakers recently wrote to President Donald Trump, in an attack on EV’s, through the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, asking him to relax emission targets as they did not see consumer demand for electric vehicles justify such stringent EPA standards. Maybe investors are taking a cue from Hyundai’s shareholders, who revolted, resulting in the company changing its electric vehicle strategy in 2016.

The strong resistance of $280 which held since September 2014 saw the stock retreat after creating a double top formation at the level in July 2015. After testing the resistance for the second time, Tesla’s shares retreated to a low of $151 in Feb 2016. The first count on the breakout of the channel, which broke in January at $230, can see Tesla’s shares trade at around $320 in the near future. If all else remain equal, it will equate to a market cap of $52,2 billion, well above that of GM.

Share data, Google and Marketwatch

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GM buys OSVehicle in rush for electric car technology

GM buys OSVehicle in rush for electric car technology

wattev2buy electric car myths debunked

wattev2buy electric car selection tools

wattev2buy electric car mobile app

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GM buys OSVehicle in rush for electric car technology

Today GM acquired its second Y Incubator company, the Italian based OSVehicle, for $1.1 billion in a bid to develop a self-driving “Vehicle-as-a -Service” (VaaS).

OSVehicle provides an open-source platform to hobbyists and other start-ups. Customers can have a full EV platform, the Tabby EVO, shipped between $12,500 and $19,500. OSVehicle claim start-ups can save $2 million and 3-years in Research and Development by going the open-source route. The open-source platform enables for larger disruption in mobility options using electric vehicles. Imagine adding George Hotz’s self-driving car kit which he plans to market through his company comma.ai at a price of $1,000, and you can build your own “ai-chauffeur” driven zero emission vehicle.

GM aims to use OSVehicle to develop its EDIT modular self-driving car based on the Chevy Bolt M1 platform. The decision was influenced by the ability of modular platforms to extend the lifespan of heavy use vehicles, such as ride sharing and hailing applications. OSVehicle‘s Yuki and Tin Hang Liu claim that through the use of modular architecture, car fleets can last ten times longer by enabling seamless hardware upgrades of self-driving and connected car technologies.

The current rush for electric car technology, autonomous vehicle technology, and mobility solutions has created some billion dollar transactions as automakers try and gain an edge over competitors. GM’s other recent investments include a strategic move into “Mobility as a Service” by investing $500 million into Uber competitor Lyft and autonomous vehicle company, Cruise Automation. GM also launched its own car sharing service, Maven.

Below are a few of the projects already developed on OSVehicle DIY electric vehicle platform. Please comment on what applications you would include in your own electric vehicle.

GM buys OSVehicle in rush for electric car technology

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Disruption draws world’s richest to the auto sector

Disruption draws world’s richest to the auto sector

The barriers to entry into auto manufacturing became ever higher over the last 100 years before the disruption caused by technological advances in electric vehicles and self-driving technology. Most of the auto brands that were around at the turn of the century have been around for 50 years or longer; the only newcomers was a spate of Chinese brands backed by the government. For an individual to reach the top 50 position on the Forbes list from vehicle manufacturing was only possible if your parents left you a trust fund with a bunch of 100-year-old stock in a big brand. In fact, the only Forbes Top 50 billionaire from the auto sector was the German’s, Herbert and Johanna Quandt who owned nearly 50% of BMW and Georg Schaeffler (Number 39 on Forbes 2016 list) who inherited the automotive parts company, Schaeffler Group. After their passing of Johanna Quandt, the children, Susanne Klatten (Number 38) and her brother Stefan Quandt (Number 48), became the beneficiaries. Mrs. Klatten invested her fortune in pharmaceuticals, helping her to gain over her brother.

Come to the turn of the century and along came Elon Musk, risking it all on a technology that has been shunned for 100 years by big auto. Being a start-up in a market controlled by a couple of dinosaurs was not easy at first, Mr. Musk had to back himself in the first couple of rounds of fundraising for the electric vehicle company, Tesla. The table below shows that Elon Musk pretty much up until late 2008 lead fundraising and loan rounds. The risk paid off as Elon Musk became by far the richest person in the US auto sector and at the time of going to press Elon Musk jumped to the 83rd position, up from 94 in the official 2016 Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

Source: Crunchbase
Date Amount $M Round Lead Investor Investors
May, 2016 1,460.0 Post Ipo Equity 5
Oct, 2012 10.0 Grant California Energy Commission 1
Nov, 2010 30.0 Post Ipo Equity Panasonic 1
May, 2010 50.0 Post Ipo Equity Toyota Motor Corporation 1
Sep, 2009 82.5 Series F Al Wahada Capital Investment 4
Jun, 2009 465.0 Debt Financing US Department of Energy 1
May, 2009 50.0 Series E Daimler 2
Nov, 2008 40.0 Debt Financing Elon Musk 5
May, 2008 40.2 Debt Financing Elon Musk 5
Feb, 2008 40.0 Series E Elon Musk 8
May, 2007 45.0 Series D Elon Musk, Technology Venture Partners US 10
May, 2006 40.0 Series C Elon Musk, VantagePoint Capital Partners 11
Feb, 2005 13.0 Series B Elon Musk, Valor Equity Partners 3
Apr, 2004 7.5 Series A Elon Musk 2

Other early billionaires in the technology include the savvy investor Warren Buffet and Vincent Bollore. Warren Buffet, the world’s 3rd richest individual through his Berkshire Hathaway, controlled company, Mid-American Energy Holdings in 2008 bought 10% in BYD, a Chinese battery company, now the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. The Investment at the time was $230m. Berkshire Hathaway is also a significant minority shareholder in GM.

Vincent Bollore, France’s 10th-richest person with an estimated personal fortune of $6 billion dollars, started manufacturing batteries in his company Bollore Blue Solutions. The firm, situated in Brittany province, who’s batteries are cheaper than lithium-ion cells used in other electric cars, allows it to hold down the cost of his small vehicles.

Suddenly investing in electric vehicles became sexy. Chinese billionaires, mostly from the technology sector, were the first to climb into the auto sector, some more successful than others. The Chinese electric vehicle boom is fuelled by government incentives targeting that 8% of all new vehicles should be EV’s by 2018.

The tech billionaire and founder of BitAuto, an online vehicle sales platform, William Li started the Shanghai-based NextEV.  The company raised $500M of an expected $1Bln already, sporting shareholders such as Tencent, who is also invested in Future Mobility, Hillhouse Capital, who also invested in UBER,  Sequoia Capital and Joy Capital. The company invested C¥3Bln in Nanjing High-Performance Motor Plant to produce 280,000 electric vehicles per year. NextEv also signed a partnership with one of the largest Chinese auto companies, JAC Auto which will see them share technology, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, and capital.

Tencent mentioned above is owned by the world’s 46th richest person, Ma Huateng of China, also know as Pony Ma. Tencent, which applications include the popular WeChat app, aims to leverage its tech experience in a world where connectivity and the Internet of Vehicles will drive the auto industry. The development of electric vehicle technology provides a perfect platform for tech and vehicles to meet. To this end, Tencent created a company Future Mobility and targeted an autonomous vehicle by 2020.

The Chinese billionaire, Jia Yueting, founder of LeEco which owns LeTV, the Netflix of China invested in two electric vehicle companies, LeEco, which developed the acclaimed LeSee concept vehicle and Faraday Future, developer of the disastrous FF91, unveiled at the 2017 CES. Both businesses are known for making bold statements and big ticket announcements just to be followed by press reports of cash flow and funding problems.

The Chinese internet giant, Alibaba, owned and founded by Jack Ma who is 33rd on the 2016 Forbes list, invested $160M in a fund where it partnered with SAIC, one of the largest Auto manufacturers in the China to develop internet connected cars. The first car to come from the partnership is the Roewe OS RX5, where OS stand for Operating System and using SAIC’s luxury brand Roewe as a platform. The software runs on Alibaba’s YunOS operating system. Jack Ma unveiled the car in July 2016. The Alibaba Connected Car will have its own Internet ID, not needing WiFi or GPS services, enabling it to connect and identify drivers wattev2buy alibaba os rx5 internet carthrough their smartphones and wearables. The RX5 has four cameras providing it 360° vision and is voice controlled. The vehicle’s starting price is around $15,000 or C¥100,000.

Alibaba beat other carmakers and tech companies to the finish line with the 2016 release of the RX5. In 2015 Toyota invested $1 billion in artificial intelligence research, while Apple invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing app, Didi Chixing. BMW went into partnership with technology firms Mobileye and Intel, providing the automaker with operating systems and driving assistance software while Kia and Google partnered around the search engine’s Android Auto operating system.

Robin Li, number 90 on Forbes List and owner of Chinese search engine Baidu, partnered with chipmaker Nvidia in September 2016 to develop a computing platform for self-driving cars. Baidu recently received approval from the Californian Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous vehicles, in Googles back yard. Baidu also partnered with BMW on creating an autonomous car.

Now that the floodgates are open, billionaires from around the world are looking to enter the electric vehicle and self-driving sectors. The world’s fourth richest man, Carlos Slim of Mexico, announced this early this year that he would back the development of a Mexican-produced electric vehicle through his company, Giant Motors in a joint venture with Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread maker. The strategy plays off in an environment where many US based automakers are contemplating bringing production back to the USA amidst President Trumps America First policy environment. Mr. Slim said the electric vehicle would be designed specifically for Mexican conditions.

Bloomberg reported that the JSW Group’s owner and Chairman and India’s 19th richest man, Sajjan Jindal, announced in Davos, Switzerland his intention to enter the Indian Electric Vehicle market by 2020. The metals tycoon expects the Indian government, like many other governments, will promote EVs once it’s more affordable. 

It is clear that some of these businessmen are purely opportunistic, targeting to profit from regulation and subsidies for the promotion of electric vehicles.The majority, however, leverages their passions to bring better and more advanced options to the consumer at a much faster pace than what big auto ever moved in the last 50 years.

Although not mutually inclusive to electric vehicles, self-driving cars, deployable on combustion vehicles also, will drive the second phase of disruption in the auto sector over the next ten years. Self-driving car’s poster child is Google, owned by the 12th and 13th richest individuals in the world, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. The company started testing it’s quirky autonomous vehicle as far back as 2009. Google recently spun the project into a standalone brand, named Waymo, meaning “a new way forward.” The company aims to partner with vehicle manufacturers instead of developing its own car. The first of such efforts was the conversion of 100 Chrysler Pacifica’s Plug-in Hybrid vehicles. Google, in many’s eyes, has lost the lead to Tesla, who’s progression was much faster and already has active Level 2 autonomy available in its production vehicles.

It will be interesting to compare the Forbes list of wealthy individuals ten years from now to one at the start of the century; we expect much more fresh faces who made their money from disrupting the auto sector. As a footnote, the lesson learned time and time again by dinosaurs in an industry are that they become too big, arrogant and slow, creating opportunities for new hungry entrants.

Picture: Source www.technewstoday.com

A summary of autonomous vehicle testing in 2016 on California’s public roads

A summary of autonomous vehicle testing in 2016 on California’s public roads

The race for self-driving cars began in all earnest in 2015 with Tesla aggressively leading the pack at the end of 2016. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is of the opinion that current hardware is already sufficient to allow Level 5 automation (full automation) as set by SAE International, an engineering association. KPMG in its 2017 Global Automotive Executive Outlook found that 37% of auto executives rated the self-driving trend as extremely important. The initial front-runner for the technology, Google Auto (now Waymo) has changed strategy from developing a car to developing systems and rather partnering with automakers than building its own car. Other than Tesla, who develop and test on the go with incremental software upgrades. Google and most other contenders are developing solutions in closed environments while being permitted to test on public roads in States such as California, Michigan, and Illinois. By late 2016 a total of 20 companies has received permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV).

According to the regulations, each permit holder must annually file a disengagement report, reflecting the number of events where a driver essentially has to take over from the vehicle’s autonomous mode to either prevent a traffic incident or where the system fails. These submissions allow the public who is interested what is happening in the automaker’s self-driving test some insights, outside from what the marketing departments feed the media. Although a total of 20 permits have been granted by the end of 2016, only ten companies have conducted public tests or filed reports for the period. Here follows a summary of the reports filed by the various companies for their testing on Califonia’s public roads for the period December 2015 to November 2016. For comparison purposes, we converted the result to indicate the amount of disengagements per 1,000 miles, a measurement used by Waymo in a recent post by its Head of Self-Driving Technology, Dmitri Dolgov.

Comparing disengagement results per 1,000 miles above shows, bar Tesla’s customers who have clocked over 300 million miles on Autopilot (Level 2 Automation) as at November 2016, it is clear that Waymo is aggressively accelerating its learning and showing the results for it compared to the other brands with projects on Californian roads. One must, however, take into consideration that comparing the different disengagement reports is not truly comparing apples to apples. Ford’s testing, for instance, was only on the stretch of Interstate 10 between Los Angeles and Arizona. The companies also have different strategies. Tesla aims to have level 5 automation as soon as possible while companies such as Ford aims to have autonomous vehicles for ride-hailing and sharing services only from 2021 onwards, influencing the difficulty grade of testing. To further try and unravel each company’s testing program we delve deeper into their submitted reports below.

 READ THE BLOG FOR A COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF DISENGAMENTS REPORTS

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