Ford's $1 billion investment in a tech start-up reflects the company's commitment to autonomous vehicles and its attempts to catch up to others in the space, particularly Google and Tesla.
While new data from California provides some insight to gains for AVs, the real story is the fact that the industry needs consistent monitoring and metrics nationwide to drive a deeper understanding of the technology and its capabilities.
David Sidoo is the CEO of Advantage Lithium, a Vancouver-based company that has projects in Argentina and Nevada. He spoke to The Fuse about his firm’s operations, the state of lithium markets, and what challenges lay ahead for the industry.
The ramp-up of battery production, combined with the rollout of a growing number of new EV models, ensures strong demand for lithium in the years ahead.
December 2016 EV sales surpassed the previous monthly record set in September by an enormous 44 percent.
Critics may argue that the self-driving car phenomenon is premature, but as choices for drivers and commuters grow, attitudes will eventually shift, particularly with new technology expected to ease congestion, boost efficiency, and reduce traffic accidents.
Given the controversy surrounding Tesla's Autopilot after it was possibly at fault for a deadly accident earlier this year, the recent announcement that all of the company’s vehicles will have fully autonomous hardware will likely stir up even more debate.
Ford shifts from lagging others on autonomous vehicles to attempting to be one of the first to market a fully driverless car.
Panelists also explored how Silicon Valley will influence the automotive industry, as the tech industry brings its deep pockets and disregard for regulatory structures to bear.
NHTSA's recent numbers showing a rise in traffic fatalities, along with the recent crash of a Tesla vehicle that was using a semi-autonomous feature, underscore the need for a balanced regulatory approach to bring about the full safety benefits of self-driving technology.