Intel Announces 2022 IPO for its Self-Driving Car, Mobileye

On March 7, 2022, Intel’s Mobileye announced that it started preparing for an initial public offering of its self-driving car, Mobileye. Intel did not disclose the price range o number of shares in the IPO, which is under review by the SEC. Mobileye is sold today at several dealers across the country, including a few in the Bay Area. Intel and Mobileye sell the AI-driven self-driving software and controls to other car companies. The software can retrofit vehicle fleets to help them prevent collisions by using computer vision and AI-based alert systems.

Intel bought Israel’s Mobileye in 2017 for over $15 billion. Today, Mobileye’s CEO Amnon Shashua, is also Intel Senior Vice President and Professor of Computer Science at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Professor Shashua is also well versed in finance because he opened Israel’s first digital bank in 2020. Thanks to Intel’s leadership, and Shashua’s expertise in finance and computer science, the upcoming 2022 Mobileye IPO will have a valuation at about $50 billion, which definitely beats inflation.

Tesla Pays Penalty for Violating the Clean Air Act

This week Tesla admitted that it violated the federal Clean Air Act while mixing the car coating chemicals and managing the storage tanks in its Fremont, CA facility. The EPA announced that Tesla will pay $ 275,000 in penalties. To avoid future penalties, Tesla will follow EPA standards that minimize hazardous pollutants leaking from its storage tanks and from mixing chemicals used to make its car coatings. Per the EPA Toxic Pollutants Registry, car coatings include these hazardous chemicals: formaldehyde, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, and xylene. Tesla’s car coatings seem to have been the main cause of this penalty. However, if the penalty was $275 M instead of $275,000, Tesla might consider outsourcing mixing the car coatings to another company down the road in Fremont.

Ferrari’s Digital Transformation with Snapdragon/Qualcomm

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon logo made its debut on Ferrari’s single-seater F1-175 racing model on February 17, 2022. Earlier in February, both companies announced their partnership to bring a high-tech driving experience through the Snapdragon Digital Chassis which will connect Ferrari to the 5G technology. Ferrari’s new CEO Benedetto Vigna said that working with the Snapdragon processor will accelerate Ferrari’s digital transformation and transformation to cleaner mobility. We wonder how fast the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) would have to be to match the digitally enabled Ferrari’s speed. Not a car for everyone. And everyone couldn’t afford it.

Electric Truck Brands Are Surprisingly Numerous

More people drive cars than trucks, but there are a lot of new truck manufacturers. Why is that? Here are some possible reasons:

  • There are more small businesses than in the past
  • It is stylish to drive a pickup
  • Men like the macho aura
  • Trucks don’t require the fancy trim that cars do

2022 Tesla, Mercedes Benz Start Marketing Level 2 Self-Driving Cars

In the United States, only Level 2 semi-automated cars are approved so far. Tesla and Mercedes now offer full Level 2 semi-automated cars with driver assist. Tesla’s price does not include the Level 2 option; however, if customers want cars with semi-automated features, Tesla offers the option to add full level-2 driver-assist software for an additional $12,900.  Mercedes Benz has the Level-2 features built into their S-Class and EQS; if customers do not want the Level 2 features, they would have to either custom build their car, or choose different models. Mercedes recently received permission to use Level 3 self-driving software in Germany. Level 3 may be approved in the United States by 2023;  perhaps that is the reason why Tesla did not have new models in 2022 so that they can introduce new cars with Level 3 in 2023. More automakers plan to deliver hands-free driver-assist technology as part of their Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)  offerings and the global ADAS market is expected to reach $74.9 billion by 2030.

This week we inquired at Tesla if purchasing Level 2 autonomous cars was appropriate for teenagers; they advised us that their $12,900 self-driving software is probably more than a teenager could handle. If the older and younger demographics do not have the patience for Level 2, we are not sure who will have the patience for Levels 3 – 6.

First Steps for Driverless Vehicles

For at least the last two decades people (almost always male) have been tinkering with a wide variety of designs of self-driving cars that they have been dreaming of starting at least two decades earlier. Tinkering continues to be a very challenging pursuit. Finally, in early 2020 there was a modest step forward, in the form of an autonomous grocery delivery vehicle from a low-profile company named Nuro that met the requirements of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But it will take a lot of time before there will be vehicles with performance and creature comforts similar to cars driven by human beings. Perhaps those vehicles will initially be permitted only on freeways or well-defined streets and roads.

MINI Cooper S. Owner’s Manual

We love our MINI Cooper S. But we don’t love their documentation. The main OWNER’S MANUAL was bad enough. And it took us many months just to get the supplement to its OWNER’S MANUAL, NAVIGATION, ENTERTAINMENT, COMMUNICATION. (Finally, a kind woman at the Santa Clara CA MINI dealer got a copy and sent it to me.) We shouldn’t have waited because it was useless. A few minutes with our wife, who has had experience with navigation displays with two different cars were very helpful. Shame on MINI Cooper!

Electric Cars are Revolutionizing the Automobile Industry

Although there has been some form of electric cars for several decades, recently the quest for lower-cost transportation and—for environmentalists—the pursuit of alternatives to fossil fuel has led to the growing popularity of electric cars. The leader today is Tesla, and its founder Elon Musk, who has just campaigned using the medium of “Battery Day”. He is in lockstep with California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, who is joining a dozen-plus other countries in prohibiting sales of gasoline/diesel-fuel-powered cars. For this to occur, there will be a need for a lot more electric car charging stations and more standardization. Although the new law appears to exclude current cars on the road and ones that will be sold before the deadlines, owners of cherished models will be able to retrofit them with electric motors.

Our Unsuccessful Attempt to Buy an Electric Mini Cooper

Electric cars have been around since 1902 when the Studebaker Brothers started production of their Studebaker Electric. More than 100 years later, we were impressed with the Tesla electric car. We love our Mini Cooper S. When we bought it in 2019, we wanted to buy one that was powered by electricity instead of gasoline, but they were sold out.

Self-Driving Cars Need More Development

There have been enough crashes, including ones that killed people (sometimes the drivers and passengers), that there needs to be improvements in the technology. For example, a woman driving a Tesla on May 11, 2018, was using its “Autopilot” feature crashed into the back of a fire truck in Utah. Unfortunately, autonomous vehicles won’t make roads completely safe.