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Tesla is winning the arms race

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” – Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO

Fred Wilson wrote a post yesterday about Tesla’s data advantage in this self-driving car arms race that we are currently living through. (I found the above quote in the comment section of the post.)

In their Q3 2016 update, Tesla claims to have logged more than 1.3 billion miles on its vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware. This is important because the more data it collects – across diverse road and weather conditions – the better the vehicles get at driving without human intervention. As Fred Wilson put it: “more data is better than more software engineers.” So that places Tesla ahead of Google, Uber, GM, et al.

I spent a lot of time driving over the past week, certainly more than usual, and I couldn’t help but think about how much better it would have been to instead sit in the backseat and read a book (or mindlessly scroll through Instagram).

I always try and use cruise control on long drives, but unless the road is fairly empty, I find it doesn’t work very well. Everyone is driving at different speeds and so I usually end up having to reset it / adjust it every so often.

The big question in my mind is still: How does the world look when driving longer distances doesn’t suck so much? What changes when you can get into your / a car (important distinction) at bedtime, fall asleep, and then wake up in a new place?

A lot, I think.

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