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Peter Thiel isn't so sure self-driving tech is a good investment

Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:44 pm

Self driving is a good idea in so many ways however the risk is too great. I don't think technology can encompass all the variables within different drivers or reaction times or responses for it to be safe. It has been said before if all verhicles were self driving then maybe we would have a safe playing field.

Peter Thiel isn't so sure self-driving tech is a good investment
Connie Loizos · Oct 27, 2017
Peter Thiel doesn't like investing in trends, he's fond of saying. It's a mantra he repeated this week at the Future Investment Initiative, an investment forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he took the stage with journalist Maria Bartiromo.
Asked about where he's investing, he noted that he's looking outside of Silicon Valley largely, but he suggested he doesn't put much stock in "buzzwords" like SaaS software or virtual computing or augmented reality or artificial intelligence. "Even though these trends may or may not happen, as investments, they're dangerous," he said. In fact, "when you hear buzzwords, you should run away as fast as you can," he added. Otherwise, there are "many companies of that kind, and many competitors."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thiel feels the same way about self-driving technologies -- even while his venture firm, Founders Fund, is an investor in the ride-sharing company Lyft, whose future would seem to depend on its ability to become a self-driving company at some point.
All that said, he made one exception -- he said that he's willing to "look at trends that aren't on anybody's radar."
In fact, one trend that he said he thinks merits far more attention that it receives today, perhaps because it doesn't challenge the mind in the same way as self-driving cars or flying planes might, is good-old telecommuting and how the inevitable rise of it will change the landscape.
Indeed, asked about the future of transportation, Thiel seemed to suggest there might not be much need for it, at least, not by individuals needing to get to the jobs.
Said Thiel:
Certainly, just the shift to companies like Uber or Lyft, which I'm invested in, is itself a big change. The self-driving car trend is an important trend for the economy; it will change consumer behavior tremendously. If you had self-driving cars, you could have a longer commute because you could work in the car.
I'm not sure it's a good investment [emphasis ours], because there are a lot of companies doing similar technologies in self-driving cars and it's hard to know how differentiated they are.
The transportation-related technology that I wonder about more than self-driving cars is, is there some way to do an end run around our broken transportation systems, and the IT version that people have talked about for decades is telecommuting.
So, will there be some way that you won't need transportation at all, and you can just do your work remotely? For a variety of reasons, this hasn't worked for the last 30 to 40 years and it hasn't worked for one reason or another [including concerns that] when people work from home, they don't work as hard, that a lot of the value of work comes from talking with people.
But I think we're starting to see more of this telecommuting in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, where people are finding small teams of developers outside of Silicon Valley. There are ways to allocate the work to different people.
So . . . telecommuting, that's a trend that's worth exploring a lot more, that's underrated.
You can check out more of Thiel's chat with Bartiromo here.
Unfortunately -- and possibly as a condition of his appearance -- there was no talk about his work with the Trump administration.

Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:02 am

Re: Peter Thiel isn't so sure self-driving tech is a good investment

Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:50 pm

I guess here is the Vegas report

Maybe Peter Theil feels this way because look at Tesla and Vegas

Las Vegas launches driverless shuttle bus. It gets in a crash less than two hours later
National Post
The Associated Press · Nov 8, 2017
LAS VEGAS — The robots won this one.
A driverless shuttle bus was involved in a minor crash with a semi-truck less than two hours after it made its debut on Las Vegas streets Wednesday in front of cameras and celebrities.
The human behind the wheel of the truck was at fault, police said.
Las Vegas police officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said the semi-truck’s driver was cited for illegal backing. No injuries were reported.
“The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that it’s (sic) sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident,” the city said in a statement. “Unfortunately the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided.”

A driverless shuttle bus collided with a big rig in Las Vegas Wednesday.
The oval-shaped shuttle that can transport up to 12 people has an attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals. It uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology to make its way. It was developed by the French company Navya and was tested in January in Las Vegas.
At the unveiling ceremony, officials promoted it as the nation’s first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared toward the public.
Before it crashed, dozens of people had lined up to get a free trip on a 0.6-mile loop in downtown Las Vegas. City spokesman Jace Radke said the shuttle took two more loops after the crash.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and magic duo Penn and Teller were among the first passengers.
The transportation company Keolis is operating the shuttle. Its vice president of mobility solutions, Maurice Bell, said the bus will scoot through Las Vegas at no more than 15 mph. AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, which is sponsoring the one-year pilot project, expects that 250,000 people will use the shuttle.
Las Vegas resident Stacey Gray and her dog Socrates were among the first to board the bus Wednesday. She said the drive was so smooth that she couldn’t even tell she was in a car, but approaching the intersection made her a little nervous.
“A little bit of that looking around and you know wondering if it was going to stop, and ‘Oh my gosh, there’s a car behind us, kind of little hesitation,’” she said. “But it stopped and it was fine.”
Uber driverless car flips on its side in Arizona crash but company says someone was behind the wheel
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The real prize and threat of the driverless car revolution is data: ‘The car knows a lot about you’

A police officer at the scene of an accident between a self-driving shuttle and a truck in downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday.


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Re: Peter Thiel isn't so sure self-driving tech is a good investment

Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:37 am

What are fully self-driving Vehicles worth is it going to be such a huge difference for companies like Lyft to buy the self-driving Vehicles versus a non self-driving vehicle but if it's just for the average person I'm not sure it's a good investment but I know that a lot of career services are definitely looking into this kind of Technology

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