By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario -- August 12, 2016 -- In this week’s autonomous report we take a look at one US man’s claims that his Tesla AV saved his life, while also delving into the business end of the market with Bloomberg reporting there has been an influx of car-supplier takeovers over the past two years.
-Just a few weeks ago auto industry media reported heavily on the death of a driver using Tesla's Autopilot mode. A flood of articles appeared, wondering if the hype around AVs would temper in the wake of the accident. Now, a couple of weeks later, a counter-story appears: The owner of a Tesla Model X apparently used the Autopilot feature to drive 20 miles to a hospital as he suffered intense chest pains that left him “near death.”
Online web magazines Slate reports on the story of Joshua Neally, a 37-year-old attorney in Springfield, Missouri who “claims that his Tesla Model X’s autopilot feature saved his life. Neally was driving home in late July when he suddenly felt something like 'a steel pole through my chest.' Neally was stuck in highway traffic as the pain mounted rapidly. In the moment, Neally tells Slate he calculated he could reach the hospital faster by Autopilot than if he had stopped and called an ambulance. So he let his Model X take over for more than 20 miles, until reaching an off-ramp near a hospital in Branson. Neally steered the car the final stretch himself, and made his way to the emergency room.” That is how a self-driving Tesla can save your life.
-A report from major business news source, Bloomberg, this week notes that the “self-driving revolution” has spurred, “the biggest two years of car-supplier takeovers in a decade, with more coming as parts makers struggle to keep up with the pace of technological transformation.... The total value of automotive-supplier deals in 2015 and 2016 was $74.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with each of those years far exceeding the $17.7 billion annual average in the previous 10 years. The number of transactions valued at $500 million or more also skyrocketed to 18 last year, triple the level of the previous decade. There have been 11 such deals so far this year.”
The arrival of AVs is said to represent more change in just a couple years than has happened over the last several decades. These numbers seem to prove that. The deal making is said to be driven by the need of companies that supply the OEMs to have the “know-how” that allows cars to “see”. The companies being acquired are ones that “help cars see their environment much as a human pilot would, which means sensors, cameras and radar, plus the computing power to comprehend the waves of data and share some of it, like traffic conditions, from vehicle to vehicle.”