Tesla has a big news week
- Honda adopts North American Charging Standard, created by Tesla
- Japanese car manufacturer Honda has confirmed it will adopt Tesla’s charger standard, otherwise known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS). Tesla made this an official open standard in November of last year. Honda is engaged in a joint venture with other automakers to build out a high voltage charging network across North America, but is giving their users more options by adopting the NACS. Honda EV owners will now have access to Tesla Superchargers as well.
- Hilton to install Tesla universal chargers at all locations beginning in early 2024
- In early 2024, Hilton will install up to 20,000 EV charging stations at Hilton locations in the US, Canada, and Mexico. This is the largest planned EV network by any hospitality group. Distribution of the charging stations will vary, but Hilton has said at least six chargers will be at every location. Hilton is ordering Tesla’s recently launched Universal Wall Connector charger. This charger will power any EV without an adapter.
- Morgan Stanley upgrades Tesla stock due to AI potential
- An analyst at Morgan Stanley upgraded Tesla’s stock on Monday to a price of $400. According to the analyst, “The autonomous car has been described as the mother of all AI projects. In its quest to solve for autonomy, Tesla has developed an advanced supercomputing architecture that pushes new boundaries in custom silicon and may put Tesla at an asymmetric advantage in a $10 trillion total addressable market.” Right now, all of this is still potential as Tesla’s enhanced autopilot and full self-driving modes are working, but still not considered fully autonomous.
Lithium cache found in US, may be the world’s largest deposit
- A new study estimates that the McDermott Caldera, a volcanic crater on the Nevada-Oregon border, has between 20 to 40 million metric tons of lithium. This metal is crucial for creating the batteries found in electric vehicles. Conservationists have tried to block mining in this area as they believe it would violate environmental laws. Native American activists are also joining the cause against mining as some consider the area sacred.
AVIA issues statement on California’s anti-autonomous trucking bill passage in the California senate
- Executive Director Jeff Farrah of the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA) released a statement regarding the California Senate passing AB 316 – a bill that would bar autonomous trucks from operating in California. “We are disappointed to see AB 316 pass the California Senate,” said Farrah. “The Department of Motor Vehicles and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development were correct that AV 316 undermines oversight of expert regulators in California. AB 316 will also lock in the unacceptable safety status quo on the state’s roads and cause California to miss out on the supply chain benefits of autonomous trucking. We urge Governor Newsom to veto AB 316 so experts in his administration can evaluate autonomous trucking technology and ensure California benefits from the technology.”
GM’s autonomous vehicle brand, Cruise debuts its wheelchair-accessible robotaxi
- Cruise unveiled a self-driving vehicle on Thursday that is accessible to people with disabilities. The vehicle is called Cruise WAV and will operate without a steering wheel and pedals. Subject to regulatory approvals, the WAV will operate next year in the pilot phase. Ride-sharing firms have faced criticism in the past for not having enough accessible vehicles for the disabled on the roads.
Senate Artificial intelligence hearings
- Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Josh Hawley’s hearing on Artificial intelligence
- Tech leaders gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) hearing. Executives urged lawmakers to keep AI “under the control of people” and establish an emergency brake to ensure such systems can’t cause harm to humans. Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “If a company wants to use AI to, say, control the electrical grid or all of the self-driving cars on our roads or the water supply… we need a safety brake, just like we have a circuit breaker in every building and home in this country to stop the flow of electricity if needed.” This is the third AI-focused hearing hosted by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), who lead the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. The pair unveiled their one-page legislative framework for regulating AI several days ago which calls for the creation of an independent oversight body that AI companies would need to register with, allows companies to be held legally liable for harms, including election interference and deepfake imagery. The framework also requires that companies inform users that they are interacting with an AI model or system. However, Smith notes that while an independent agency is needed, it is important for all agencies to have the capability to assess AI due to the broad reach.
- Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Artificial Intelligence Forum
- Several tech executives met in a private closed-door meeting in the Senate to discuss government regulations for artificial intelligence. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who organized the forum, asked attendees if the government should have a role in the oversight of AI and reported that everyone raised their hands. Some of the ideas discussed were whether there should be an independent agency to oversee certain aspects of the technology, how companies needed to be more transparent, and how the US can stay ahead of other countries. According to most, it seems as there is an agreement that AI needs government oversight, but many disagree on how it can be done. With such an everchanging and growing technology, legislators will find it hard to nail down the regulation.