Trending March 2024 # Tesla Level 5 Autonomy “Very Close” Musk Insists But The True Roadmap Is Murky # Suggested April 2024 # Top 3 Popular

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Tesla Level 5 autonomy “very close” Musk insists but the true roadmap is murky

Currently, Tesla sells a “Full Self-Driving Capability” package on its vehicles, including the latest Model Y crossover. Despite the name, however – and the $8,000 upgrade price – the system does not leave the EVs actually capable of driving themselves in anything above Level 2.

At Level 2 autonomy, the human at the wheel is expected to still be in place and attentive, so as to take over control of the vehicle if any driver-assistance system stumbles. Tesla’s Autopilot gauges that readiness via the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. Level 3 is defined as “conditional automation,” where the car can operate itself in certain settings or road-types, but the driver must be ready to take over when given notice.

Level 4 – “high automation” – and Level 5 – “full automation” – effectively see the “driver” relegated to passenger most or all of the time. The car can operate itself, either under certain conditions in Level 4, or all conditions in Level 5. Manual control is optional, but not necessary. Currently there are no production vehicles available for sale that offer Level 3 automation or above.

Tesla’s promise with the Full Self Driving Computer that it includes in the “Full Self-Driving Capability” package has always been that, with software updates, it will gradually add automation features on the way to those higher levels.

“The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” the automaker warns buyers as they order a new EV. “The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions. As these self-driving features evolve, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.”

The big question has long been just what sort of timescale to true Level 5 autonomy Tesla is working to. Musk has remained aggressive in his predictions on that topic, promising last year that, by 2023, the automaker would have a fleet of self-driving robo-taxis in operation on the road. Rival companies developing their own autonomous vehicles, in contrast, have been far more conservative in their roadmaps.

Speaking at the World AI Conference in Shanghai this week, Bloomberg reports, Musk was upbeat about Tesla’s progress. “I’m extremely confident that Level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen, and I think will happen very quickly,” the CEO said in a prerecorded Q&A session. “I think, at Tesla, I feel like we are very close to Level 5 autonomy. I remain confident that we will have the functionality, or the basic functionality, for Level 5 complete this year.”

As Musk sees it, the biggest hurdles have already been overcome. “I think there are no fundamental challenges remaining for Level 5 autonomy,” he suggested. “There are very small problems, and then there’s the challenge of solving all those small problems and then putting the whole system together, and just keep addressing the long-tail of problems.”

“You’ll find that you’re able to handle the vast majority of situations, but then there’ll be something very odd. And then you’ll have to have the system figure out, train, to deal with these very odd situations,” Musk explains. “And this is why you need kind of a real world situation – nothing is more complex and weird than the real world. Any simulation we create is necessarily a subset of the complexity of the real world. So we are really deeply enmeshed in dealing with the tiny details of Level 5 autonomy.”

Musk’s predictions for when he believes the system will be sufficiently capable of full autonomy aren’t, of course, the same thing as a timeline for when full autonomy will be delivered to Tesla vehicles. Even if the hardware offered in its current EVs – which Musk says he’s “absolutely confident” is up to the job of self-driving, despite criticism from some quarters that it’s impossible without sensors like LIDAR which Tesla does not include – is technically capable of driving the vehicle itself, legal and regulatory hurdles still present as much of a challenge as the technical side, if not more.

Overall, though, even if Musk’s predictions were to be taken at face value – itself something not everybody in the car and tech industries would necessarily agree to – a Tesla theoretically capable of driving itself by the end of 2023 would still almost certainly not be able to do so in practice. That’s before you get to whatever Musk’s definition of “basic” Level 5 actually is, given any system which is unable to deliver full and complete unsupervised autonomy is, by nature, not really Level 5 at all.

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5 Ways To Take Your Small Business Marketing To The Next Level

Here are five reasons a small business owner should consider partnering with a marketing agency:

1. Free Up Valuable Time & Resources for the Business

The CallRail survey revealed that the two greatest roadblocks for business owners to create a marketing plan were time and budget:

44% of respondents said they were too pressed for time, overwhelmed with running the business, and had no budget to hire anyone.

74% said they would rather spend their time on primary business responsibilities than on marketing.

Many entrepreneurs operate with a DIY mindset and try to juggle too many tasks on their own.

A marketing agency brings more experience to the table while also freeing up an owner’s invaluable time for other important tasks that may have fallen by the wayside.

2. Monitor Trends & Make Experience-Based Recommendations

COVID-19 took the market by storm. Most businesses didn’t know what to expect, and then they found themselves floundering to navigate the new market.

While a professional marketing agency would still face those same challenges, they have the added benefit of years, even decades of marketing experience to help them make strategic decisions.

81% of small business owners said that having a marketing strategy was critical to the success of their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. A strategy grounded in long-term experience can mean the difference between survival and demise.

If businesses aren’t focusing on smart marketing, they’re missing out on revenue.

3. Reduce Extra Payroll Costs While Gaining More Resources

67% of survey respondents said they wish they’d hired a marketing agency rather than hiring internally.

A common misconception is that hiring in-house is cheaper and solves an immediate need. But that isn’t usually factoring in the added costs for recruiting, onboarding, training, and then retaining the employee with extra expenses such as health insurance, retirement plan matches, vacation and sick days, payroll taxes, life insurance, disability coverage, tuition reimbursement, and more.

When it’s all said and done, hiring a new employee usually totals 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary range, plus the time invested in training the new person and familiarizing them with the business.

And if the employee ends up leaving? There goes a huge investment.

Even if an outside marketing agency seems more expensive based on their hourly rate, it’s often a more cost-effective solution than hiring in-house, not to mention the added benefits of having an expert team on call with many additional resources and manpower available.

4. Modernize the Marketing Strategy

We live in a fast-paced market. New apps, trends, SEO updates, and best practices are constantly coming and going.

Are small business owners able to stay on top of it all and maintain efficient conversion rates?

Today’s marketing strategies cover a broad range from keyword research, to graphic design, to omnichannel campaigns, to social media, to call volume, to email, and everything in between, all leading up to data measurement and analysis.

To be successful, the person in charge of the marketing efforts needs to be up to date with the most recent marketing techniques. What worked last year or even last month might not be effective today.

5. See Long-Term Results

71% of CallRail’s survey respondents felt that their business was currently positioned for long-term growth and success. But 25% did not feel fully confident about the future of their business. And 4% admitted that if their business continued on its current trajectory, it would eventually fail.

Building and maintaining a business requires a long-game strategy in addition to the flexibility needed to overcome short-term problems.

Marketing agencies bring the outside, objective expertise needed into a business strategy. They look at the big picture and study the market niche to see what competitors are doing and what direction the industry is trending in order to make informed decisions.

They also provide vital analytical data so small businesses can better understand and target their audience, see which marketing campaigns resonated, and strategize future campaigns based on past performances.

The Right Tools & Resources: Small Business Marketing with CallRail

As small businesses move forward into the recovering post-pandemic marketing landscape, many business owners are taking a closer look at their marketing strategies. 94% said they were highly or somewhat likely to hire a marketing agency or professional in the future.

In order for those partnerships to be successful, it’s important for agencies to understand what their clients need.

The greatest areas for improvement that small business owners identified after having a negative experience with a marketing agency include:

Helping to improve customer service: 55%

Vetting and recommending new technology to help the business grow: 51%

Improving workflows between marketing and sales teams: 43%

Helping to refine value proposition: 40%

Going above and beyond the scope of work to help a business better understand its customers: 29%

Offering business improvement services, such as sales training or brand coaching, as add-ons: 25%

Agencies that are able to successfully identify and repair these pain points for their customers are well-positioned to become a critical asset that can help their small business partners with short-term survival in addition to long-term growth and success.

Most small business owners (96%) are willing to pay more for additional services.

Analytics play a critical role in successful partnerships between a business and marketing agency. Not only does the data drive personalized marketing strategies, but it’s also vital to show a client exactly how much ROI they’re gaining from the relationship.

CallRail offers a variety of tools for successfully tracking analytical data that is crucial for measuring ROI and strategizing campaigns:

Conversation Intelligence: Highly efficient AI-powered software analyzes your calls and provides recordings, transcriptions, and actionable insights so you can troubleshoot common website issues or other problems, compile frequently asked questions, improve your service, train staff, and be more efficient with your marketing budget.

While the future is still uncertain for many business owners, having the right tools, resources, and partners by your side drastically increases your chance for success.

Adding CallRail’s smart tools in addition to a marketing agency’s expertise is a powerful combination that will give small businesses priceless insights into marketing campaigns so they can make sure every dollar is being spent wisely.

But before you invest even a penny, give CallRail a try for free.

We’re all facing the “new normal” together. It’s a brand-new era and marketing frontier for businesses large and small.

Are you interested in the future of small business marketing in the pandemic’s wake? Read the full CallRail report to learn how other business owners have adapted and strategized

Security Management At A Higher Level

It was no surprise to hear Brian Snow, the senior technical director of the National Security Agency’s Information Systems Security Organization, tell an audience of security tool developers that a lot of the products they make are an “attractive nuisance.”

Propelling this mushrooming growth in security protection development is new ICT earning potentials. Market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) projects the security market for managed security services to grow to $2.24 billion by 2003 from $512 million in 1998. IDC also expects the market for content security to grow from $66 million in 1999 to $952 million by 2004. Another market research firm, Frost & Sullivan, values the 1999 European Internet security marketplace at $489.9 million, and predicts it will reach $2.74 billion by 2006.

ASP then, MSP now

ASPs provide the applications and IT infrastructures to service subscribers. Potential corporate benefits include substantial reduction in security software costs, decreases in resources required to continually update security capabilities and knowledge, and lower staffing growth for security-related duties. ASPs can also accomplish the challenge of incorporating proprietary security applications into an integrated security shield.

But as the Internet evolves, complexity and specialization continue to complicate straightforward ASP security solutions. Some ASPs are full-service firms, while others partner with organizations that contribute missing components and capabilities, such as encryption and public key infrastructure (PKI).

In response, a new form of ASP is budding in the ICT protection arena: managed services providers (MSPs). Rather than offering traditional application access, security MSPs supply both security technologies and the management of it all to assure optimal protection 24×7.

These MSP providers are so new to the online security market that security services should be outsourced incrementally, service-by-service. MSPs can be evaluated more easily in a step-by-step relationship, and control and protection pressures can be more adequately managed internally. The “all-or-nothing” approach sounds easy but too often ends in disaster.

Can security MSPs become bulwarks of protection to the nonsecurity ASP services sector and to corporations seeking reprieve from ICT assault? To help you make the first MSP cut, ask yourself the following questions:

What are the dividing lines between your security responsibilities and those of the security MSP?

How can you validate the MSP’s security services (e.g., online reports including incident, incident response, and downtime)?

Does billing reflect security protection performance instead of services time periods?

What staff savings can security outsourcing accomplish?

How does the MSP manage data backup and disaster recovery?

Four major issues are central to developing effective relationships with security MSPs:

Capability–Your company must be able to efficiently outsource certain security functions and closely oversee MSP security services on an ongoing basis.

Competence–The MSP must have the skills to maintain information assurance, infrastructure protection, and telecommunication oversight.

Trust–Trust is a must for the security MSP to gain and maintain clients. Longevity, integrity, growth, capitalization, reputation and internal security all build the foundation for adequate credentials.

Responsiveness–Considering that corporate survival is at the core of these services, MSP staff responsiveness, in addition to technology excellence, is mandatory.

Who’s out there? The early MSP entrants

Front-runners in the new security MSP space are touting their services. Unfortunately, services at this stage aren’t comparable and offer overlapping or narrowly targeted options. Here’s a brief overview of some of today’s participants:

One of the new MSPs offering partial through end-to-end security services is chúng tôi chúng tôi presents a flexible mix of human value-added services (e.g., centralized management and monitoring) with online, real-time security technology to match small to mid-sized corporate needs. A subsidiary of Network Associates Inc. since January 2000, this startup has access to the expertise and research development inherent in this lineage. Once its service models gain experience and fine-tuning, chúng tôi could scale to high volume integrated security services for large organizations. While capability requirements may be less an issue since chúng tôi can assist with security infrastructure evaluation via technology and services consultation, competence and trust are primarily via the parent relationships. Time will tell if this fledgling can fly using its own wings.

In this new MSP industry where revenue flows if security services produce protection and client savings, it’s clear we’re seeing budding business models in what previously has been a technology-intensive field. And, quite frankly, focused market strategy implemented with solid service delivery is what’s mandatory in this market.

I’ll be following this trend. Be sure to check back for more details and MSP developments.

Dr. Martin Goslar is principal analyst and managing partner of chúng tôi an e-security research and analysis firm. He is also on the editorial board of the International Journal of Electronic Commerce and can be reached at [email protected].

Making Sense Of Astronomical Valuation Of Tesla

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.

Opinions on Tesla Price ($672, $677B Market Cap)

It is fair to say that Tesla is one of the most polarizing stocks of our time. On TipRanks, the 1-year prediction of the stock price ranges from a low of $67 to a high of $1,200. That is a staggering difference of about 20x. Even when looking for guidance from the most esteemed analysts of our time, we get extremely polarized views.

・”What do $TSLA, $BTC, option gamma traders have in common? Rhymes with Rubble” —  Michael Burry (Legendary Big Short Investor), 11/2024

・”Our confidence in Tesla has been rising. With their improvements and leadership in autonomous vehicles, battery technology, AI.” —  Cathie Woods (ARK Invest CEO), 02/2024

Yet, Tesla continues to be a company that is difficult to grasp due to its unpredictable moves: shocking purchase of $1.5bn Bitcoin, continuous controversial tweets from Elon Musk, and news about their blowout earnings in Q12024.

This made me want to look at the actual key metrics of Tesla’s valuations and how it compares to other companies. I aim to explore how exactly outrageous Tesla’s stock price is compared to other companies.

Methodology (Scraping with Python Finance API)

I have decided to use a list of 60 companies from the Healthcare, Technology, and Automotive Industry. The market capitalization of these companies is mostly over $100bn, making them large caps.

I wanted to include both the Technology and Automotive Industry, because Tesla is always argued to encompass both sectors, and I also wanted to add another unrelated industry (Healthcare) to give it some more ground for comparison.

The full list of the ticker symbols used for the analysis is below:

['AAPL', 'MSFT', 'MSF.BR', 'TSM', 'NVDA', 'ASML', 'INCO.BR', 'INTC', 'ADBE', 'ASML.AS', 'ORCL', 'CSCO', 'CIS.BR', 'CRM', 'AVGO', 'ACN', 'TXN', 'SHOP.TO', 'SAP', 'QCOM', 'SHOP', 'SONY', 'IBM', 'AMAT', 'INTU', 'SQ', 'NOW', 'UBER', 'MU', 'JNJ', 'UNH', 'RO.SW', 'PFE', 'ABT', 'MRK', 'NVS', 'ABBV', 'TMO', 'LLY', 'DHR', 'MDT', 'NVO', 'MRK.PA', 'AMGN', 'BMY', 'AZN', 'SNY', 'SAN.PA', 'ISRG', 'CVS', 'SYK', 'TSLA', 'F', 'GM', 'VWAGY', 'TM', 'HMC'] 2. Comparing key valuation metrics of Tesla with other companies

To understand Tesla’s valuations, I have decided to use market capitalization and PSR (Price-to-sales ratio). PSR is calculated by taking a companies’ market capitalization divided by its revenue.

I decided not to use the P/E (price to earnings ratio) because some high-growth companies do not yet have earnings.

To extract the metrics, I will use a great finance API called fmpcloud. You can get a free API for a daily limit of 250 calls.

After you create a list of the stocks you want to analyze, you can iterate over each stock to get the key metrics using the code below. I have used Jose Manu’s code as a reference that he introduces in this article.

With the below code we can get various key metrics

・Operational metrics (all annual): Gross Profit Ratio, Operating Income Ratio, Net Income Ratio, Revenue, Revenue Growth, EBITDA Growth

・Financial metrics: Market Capitalization, Price-To-Sales Ratio

import pandas as pd import numpy as np import pandas_datareader as web from matplotlib import pyplot as plt %matplotlib inline from datetime import datetime from pandasgui import show import requests import json database = ['AAPL', 'MSFT', 'MSF.BR', 'TSM', 'NVDA', 'ASML', 'INCO.BR', 'INTC', 'ADBE', 'ASML.AS', 'ORCL', 'CSCO', 'CIS.BR', 'CRM', 'AVGO', 'ACN', 'TXN', 'SHOP.TO', 'SAP', 'QCOM', 'SHOP', 'SONY', 'IBM', 'AMAT', 'INTU', 'SQ', 'NOW', 'UBER', 'MU', 'JNJ', 'UNH', 'RO.SW', 'PFE', 'ABT', 'MRK', 'NVS', 'ABBV', 'TMO', 'LLY', 'DHR', 'MDT', 'NVO', 'MRK.PA', 'AMGN', 'BMY', 'AZN', 'SNY', 'SAN.PA', 'ISRG', 'CVS', 'SYK', 'TSLA', 'F', 'GM', 'VWAGY', 'TM', 'HMC', "TWTR", "FB", "GOOGL"] demo = yourapikey pricetosales = {} #database includes the list of companies mentioned above for item in database: try: IS = IS.json() Revenue = IS[0]['revenue'] grossprofitratio = IS[0]['grossProfitRatio'] operatingprofitratio = IS[0]['operatingIncomeRatio'] netincomeratio = IS[0]['netIncomeRatio'] #most recent market capitliazation MarketCapit = MarketCapit.json() MarketCapit = MarketCapit[0]['marketCap'] #company sector Sector = Sector.json() Sector_Name = Sector[0]["sector"] Industry = Sector[0]["industry"] Symbol = Sector[0]["symbol"] Beta = Sector[0]["beta"] #growth rate Growth = Growth.json() Rev_growth = Growth[0]["growthRevenue"] EBITDA_growth = Growth[0]["growthEBITDA"] #Price to sales p_to_sales = MarketCapit/Revenue pricetosales[item] = {} pricetosales[item]["Symbol"] = Symbol pricetosales[item]["Beta"] = Beta pricetosales[item]['revenue'] = Revenue pricetosales[item]['Gross_Profit_ratio'] = grossprofitratio pricetosales[item]['price_to_sales'] = p_to_sales pricetosales[item]['Market_Capit'] = MarketCapit pricetosales[item]['sector'] = Sector_Name pricetosales[item]['industry'] = Industry] pricetosales[item]["Operating_Profit_ratio"] = operatingprofitratio pricetosales[item]["Annual_Revenue_Growth"] = Rev_growth pricetosales[item]["Annual_EBITDA_Growth"] = EBITDA_growth except: pass

After collecting the necessary information about Tesla’s valuation in comparison with other companies, I wanted to use operational metrics (profitability, size, and growth) to make sense of Tesla’s valuations.

Analysis and Drawing Insights Insight #1: Tesla’s valuation is definitely on the hefty side. But so is the semiconductor industry.

Typically a SaaS company has a revenue multiple of 10, which is where Apple, Google, Facebook all lying around.

In comparison, you can see that Tesla’s PSR is over 20 (PSR of 23.1), which is twice GAFA’s. Looking down the list, however, you can see that Nvidia (NVDA) and ASML also have a PSR close to the 20s.

This shows that the semiconductor industry also enjoys high valuations. On the other hand, healthcare is valued quite low.

The below graphs compare a company’s PSR with Gross Profit and Operating Profit Margin. Each bubble represents a company.

You can see the positive correlation between profitability and PSR, suggesting that the higher the profitability, the higher the valuations.

However, Tesla goes against this trend, as an obvious outlier. Other automotive companies (blue) have similar profitability but their PSRs are 1/20th of that of Tesla.

By the way, there is one company with a whopping PSR of over 50. It is Shopify, which is absolutely incredible.

The below graphs compare a company’s PSR with Revenue and Operating Profit.

When looking at revenue (left), you can see that Tesla’s PSR is high compared to other companies with a similar revenue (~$30bn). Also, Tesla has a high PSR considering its market cap of over ~$500bn.

Created by Author, PSR vs Revenue/Market Cap, Bubble Size = Market Cap (Left), Revenue (Right)

Insight #4: Tesla’s high growth rate (in profits & revenue) starts to justify the valuations.

The below graphs compare a company’s PSR with Revenue Growth and EBITDA Growth.

When looking at Revenue Growth (left), you can see that Tesla’s revenue growth is quite high compared to other companies. In the automotive industry, they have all experienced negative revenue growth while Tesla is growing at about 30%.

It is quite remarkable to see Tesla’s growth despite the pandemic and semiconductor shortage.

Also when looking at EBITDA Growth, you can see Tesla’s growth is by far the highest. I believe that Tesla’s valuation soared to a great degree due to it reaching a profitable business model (I understand there is debate about this too due to the revenues in regulatory credits).

On a small note, you can see that Shopify’s valuation is truly the one that is the most astronomical.

                            Created by Author, PSR vs Revenue/EBITDA Growth, Bubble Size = Market Cap

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I believe the charts help to show the degree to how Tesla’s valuation stands out in comparison to other companies. With its current profitability and growth, Tesla’s valuation is definitely high. Which makes it a difficult buy for investors, especially for institutions.

But you cannot deny that Tesla’s growth is nothing short of remarkable. When looking at the overall picture, Tesla is still at a very early stage of its lifecycle with most of its growth and technology yet to unfold.

Ramp-up of vehicles, autonomous technology, solar energy business, and the development of an AI platform, are all still in the making.

I believe upcoming earnings will continue to blow out expectations. An interesting quote is hidden in the 10-Q of their FY2024 Q1 earnings:

During the first quarter of 2023, the operational milestone of annualized revenue of $55.0 billion became probable of being achieved and consequently, we recognized a catch-up expense of $116 million.

This suggests that Tesla is fairly confident to reach a revenue of $55bn in 2023. This is a revenue growth rate of 77% from $31bn in 2023. Wow.

However, value is truly in the eye of the beholder. You can walk away from the hefty valuations or buy into the disruptive growth promised by Elon. For this reason, Tesla is and will continue to be a company with strong disagreements.

The media shown in this article are not owned by Analytics Vidhya and is used at the Author’s discretion. 

Related

Download Nvidia Quadro/Tesla Display Driver 275.65 Whql

NVIDIA and AMD have a habit of offering new and improved graphics drivers pretty much every month, and it looks like the former took its turn, serving the professional market in this particular instance. Software makes up half of the performance of any technological product with any degree of automation and sophistication. As such, refining a driver can always lead to smoother performance and, naturally, brings fixes to certain issues that previous versions may have missed. It so happens that this sort of move is precisely what NVIDIA did not long ago, when it released the latest, WHQL-certified iteration of the NVIDIA Quadro/Tesla Display Driver. Named version 275.65 WHQL, it does several things, like updating the list of APIs that the supported video cards and computing modules are compatible with. High-quality text and 2D, for instance, can now be rendered in high quality with OpenGL, thanks to the OpenGL path rendering API. Meanwhile, the package installs the ODE river, which grants long-term stability for ISV certification, Enterprise customers and OEMs, via the e R275 drivers (the first ‘Optimal Drivers for Enterprise’). Furthermore, the driver comes with updates to the NVIDIA Control Panel, allowing users to, among other things, override scaling and preview desktop size and positions in a new window. NVIDIA also threw in 10-bit Grayscale display support, through DVI, for Windows 7 (10-bit Grayscale monitors, like proprietary medical displays, are an example). A final addition worthy of mention is the G-Sync, which synchronizes the back buffer presents of Direct3D applications across multiple GPUs in one or more systems.

NVIDIA and AMD have a habit of offering new and improved graphics drivers pretty much every month, and it looks like the former took its turn, serving the professional market in this particular instance. Software makes up half of the performance of any technological product with any degree of automation and sophistication. As such, refining a driver can always lead to smoother performance and, naturally, brings fixes to certain issues that previous versions may have missed. It so happens that this sort of move is precisely what NVIDIA did not long ago, when it released the latest, WHQL-certified iteration of the NVIDIA Quadro/Tesla Display Driver. Named version 275.65 WHQL, it does several things, like updating the list of APIs that the supported video cards and computing modules are compatible with. High-quality text and 2D, for instance, can now be rendered in high quality with OpenGL, thanks to the OpenGL path rendering API. Meanwhile, the package installs the ODE river, which grants long-term stability for ISV certification, Enterprise customers and OEMs, via the e R275 drivers (the first ‘Optimal Drivers for Enterprise’). Furthermore, the driver comes with updates to the NVIDIA Control Panel, allowing users to, among other things, override scaling and preview desktop size and positions in a new window. NVIDIA also threw in 10-bit Grayscale display support, through DVI, for Windows 7 (10-bit Grayscale monitors, like proprietary medical displays, are an example). A final addition worthy of mention is the G-Sync, which synchronizes the back buffer presents of Direct3D applications across multiple GPUs in one or more systems.

Tattletale Tesla Is The Big Brother Future Of Motoring

Tattletale Tesla is the Big Brother future of motoring

Tesla’s systematic take-down of New York Times car writer John Broder’s Model S review proves one thing: tomorrow’s cars are going to be so smart, we’ll probably trust them more than we will the driver. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO, relied on the Model S’ own performance logs in order to challenge Broder’s cynicism, raising questions as to why the NYT car journalist did battery-sapping donuts in a parking lot, took the EV off the Superchargers well before it was topped up, and fudged on his cruise control settings. That makes for an entertaining media spat, certainly, but it raises questions about how increasingly intelligent cars may one day soon undermine some of the “freedom” of the open road.

Broder’s review of the Model S pulled up the car for its supposedly unreliable range, forcing drastic energy-saving driving styles and, eventually, a rescue on a low-loader when the Tesla couldn’t finish the journey. Unsurprisingly, Tesla wasn’t too impressed; however, unlike most cars, the Model S doesn’t just put its technology front-and-center, in the shape of the dash-dominating touchscreen, but in the on-board computer that keeps track of just about every element of the driving process.

So, Musk was able to point to battery charge statistics to show exactly what sort of range Broder experienced – and what the estimated remaining range displayed would be – as well as his average speed and driving style. The Model S even tattled on its cabin comfort settings, with the NYT writer supposedly turning up the heating even when he wrote that he reduced it to save power.

[aquote]Top Gear incurred the wrath of Musk back in 2011[/aquote]

In a vehicle that’s one part car, one part motorised computer, that sort of tracking isn’t perhaps unusual. For the moment, Musk says, “data logging is only turned on with explicit written permission” in customers cars, with the policy to activate it by default in media loaners stemming from the Top Gear debacle. Nonetheless, it’s not hard to see the climate around driver privacy evolving toward a world where the default is quite different.

Schemes that exchange driving anonymity for other benefits already exist, though they’re generally targeted at new, young, or at-risk motorists. Several insurance companies now offer discounted plans for drivers willing to install a “black box” to track their usage: that ensures no driving at night, for instance, outside of a specific area, or in unsafe ways. For the target audience, who could be facing typical insurance costs running to thousands of dollars, it’s a tempting proposition.

Regular drivers, however, have grown used to the idea of the car – bar being stopped by the police or snapped on a speed camera – being a silent accomplice for their road habits. That anonymity is likely to be short-lived, however, particularly as onboard systems become more complex, self-driving technology grows in popularity and mainstream penetration, and human error becomes the biggest flaw in the mobility story.

It’s a generally-accepted inevitability that, when self-driving cars such as those in the pipeline from Google finally hit the road in earnest, they’ll be an insurance nightmare. If they crash, or run someone over, or if the occupants are hurt in some way, who’s to blame: the driver, or the car manufacturer? When the sort of mesh networks Toyota and others are experimenting with – which will allow self-driving cars to communicate between themselves – appear, that will have a big impact (cutting the meat factor out often does that), but it’s not likely to happen for a good few years yet.

Still, the cars don’t need to be entirely autonomous in order to demand logging. Intelligent cruise-control and traffic following technology which can maintain dynamic distances from other cars; assisted accident avoidance which boosts braking effort; radar guided self-parking: they all take some of the responsibility of the person in the driver’s seat, and give it to the computer under the hood instead. And, where computers go, logging comes hand-in-hand, and it’s not hard to envisage a time when comprehensive, Tesla-style record keeping will be mandatory from insurers, not optional.

[aquote]Maybe it’s time the fallible meat-pilots did their part too[/aquote]

A cynic might well be justified in their pessimism, however, whether that might actually take place. Instead, expect a tug of war between expectations of individual rights and demands of group responsibility, helpfully confused by the mercenary ambitions of insurance firms. Nonetheless, just as smartphones get faster and tablets get skinnier, the move toward intelligent cars is likely to be inescapable. Today, that’s giving a New York Times writer a headache; tomorrow, it’s going to be us that the car is talking back to.

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