Tag archives for We Hear
Tesla Motors may collaborate with Google to develop autonomous cars, Bloomberg reports. CEO Elon Musk reportedly wants his car company to develop driverless technology, which could be created in partnership with Google.
Tesla CEO Musk said he believes the driverless or autonomous technologies are the next big development for the car because they could dramatically improve road safety. “I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self-driving,” he told Bloomberg. “Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.”
Although Tesla has been in “technical discussions” with Google about its driverless cars, Musk believes the roof-mounted laser-scanning system used by Google is too costly and inefficient to make sense for production cars. He reportedly favors a cheaper camera-based system, “with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things.” Musk told Bloomberg that although it is possible that Tesla will cooperate with Google, it’s more likely that the startup will engineer its own unique autonomous-car technologies.
Google has a fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids (pictured), as well as a Lexus RX450h, that can drive without a human’s input. Lawmakers have granted the Internet company permission to test its autonomous cars in Nevada and California. Lexus demonstrated a semi-autonomous LS sedan at the Consumer Electronics Show, where Audi also showed off self-parking systems.
Self-driving Teslas are some time off, however: Musk says Tesla will focus on launching electric cars, including the Model S sedan and upcoming Model X SUV, before focusing on bringing autonomous technology to production. “Autopilot is not as important as accelerating the transition to electric cars, or to sustainable transport,” he told Bloomberg.
By Jake Holmes
Get your checkbooks out: Tesla is now planning to file an initial public offering at an estimated $178 million.
Well, not quite yet.
Tesla, which has lost money hand over fist since inception, believes it can make an IPO of $178 million, up from a January estimate of $100 million. The automaker plans to sell just over 11 million shares, at $14 to $16 each, and will be bolstered by a planned $50 million investment from Toyota.
Currently, Tesla’s earnings stand at $147.6 million since 2003, contrasted against losses of more than $290 million. So far, the money comes from the sales of its one and only offering, the Tesla Roadster, though Tesla has teased a sedan called the Model S.
Tesla is working on the sedan in collaboration with Toyota and expects it to compete in the $50,000 range. It will be built in Toyota’s shuttered NUMMI manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, pending the finalization of an agreement between the two companies. We’ve already reported on the two brands working together, and are curious to see if Tesla can make good on the deal.
Source: Detroit News
Following the bankruptcy of solar-panel maker Solyndra, the House Republicans are eager to cut green-jobs programs. – The ill-fated solar panel manufacturer was the first company to receive money from the Obama administration’s green-tech stimulus loan. One of the other programs under scrutiny is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program (ATVM). The same program loaned Tesla Motors $465 million back in June 2009.
Tesla used the ATVM loan to open an electric powertrain facility at its Palo Alto headquarters and revamp the former NUMMI plant to build the Model S electric sedan.
Earlier this week the automaker posted a blog on its website defending the program. Tesla says it employed 400 people before the original loan. The loan helped add 1000 jobs and plans to add another 1000 jobs in the next year.
Tesla’s website doesn’t specify how much in additional loans the company needs or what it would be used for. It does say that the electric automaker “has raised an additional $620 million in private investment capital.”
The last line on the blog post says, “Tesla has no pending completed applications with the DOE.”
In light of government spending cuts and a bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer, do you think Tesla should be asking for another loan from the federal government?
Update 09/28/2011, 10:40 a.m.
A follow up call to Tesla spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn confirmed the last line of the company’s blog post: “Tesla has no pending completed applications with the DOE.”
Source: SF Gate, Tesla
By Jason Udy