Space X founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk, Tesla Inc chief and billionaire entrepreneur on Thursday in his Twitter handle promised a $100 million (Rs. 730 crores) prize money for the development of ‘best’ technology that can capture carbon dioxide emissions.
In his tweet, he wrote, “Am donating $100 M towards a prize for the best carbon capture technology”, the tweet was followed by a second update that promised, “Details next week.”
Musk, besides heading the rocket company Space X and Neuralink, a start-up that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers, is also leading Tesla.
Elon Musk’s resume and leadership include some of the most futuristic companies globally; as a business magnate, industrial designer, and engineer, he is the founder, CEO, CTO, and chief designer for Space X.
He is also CEO and product architect for Tesla Inc, founder of the Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink, co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI.
Musk also co-founded and later sold Internet payments company PayPal Holdings Inc.
In the latest tweet by the Tesla CEO that announced the million-dollar prize money for carbon capture technology, Musk hopes to unearth technology that traps CO2 and isolates it at a storage facility.
Joe Biden, the President of the United States, has also expressed his interest and the need to address the issue of climate change.
Musk, too, has been equally outspoken about the world’s dependence on fossil fuel resulting in climate change, even going to say it is the “Dumbest experiment in human history.”
Tesla taking the initiative
A debate had erupted on social media when Joel Feder, an Internet Brands Automotive Group’s Interactive Content Manager, had remarked on Twitter that “Reminder: Tesla is a car company. Tesla is not a tech company. It Builds cars”.
His views on Tesla led many in the Tesla community to get upset with Feder’s statements since it seemed that he was ignorant and bashing Tesla. In contrast, others tried to point out to Feder that he was indeed missing something.
The debate to define what is a Tech Company and what is a Car Company ensued, with many going to the basic definition of the two categories, respectively.
The definition of a Tech company states – that it is a type of business entity that primarily focuses on the development and the manufacturing of technology products or provides technology as a service.
A car company, on the other hand, is a company that manufactures and sells automobiles.
Rooting for Tesla as a unique balance of both – Technology and Manufacturing of cars
Hence, if we look at the case of Tesla – it would mean a combination of both since it manufactures and sells cars and uses technology since it also creates software and a lot of it.
Tesla has technology at the very core; technology is the USP of Tesla’s unique infotainment system, user experience, and autonomous driving features.
Tesla has implemented and used over – the – air updates for many years now. Tesla vehicles have operating systems designed and continuously improved by Tesla staff.
Along with cars, Tesla is also in the manufacture of various other kinds of technology – solar panels, rooftop solar tiles, different types of batteries, charging stations, computers, and major components of computers for Tesla cars.
Another example that Tesla is a Tech company and a Car company is a way in which iPhone has managed to integrate both software and Hardware, both Nokia and Blackberry had software; however, iPhone managed to combine both and hence was able to overtake other brands in the market and has wholly innovated how we use our phones today.
The same is what Tesla is doing in the automobile space. Tesla vehicles integrate software for our daily use developed in – house at Tesla or integrated into Tesla’s system.
In Tesla’s case, the key is your phone. One can summon Tesla to you with your phone. With its exclusive Sentry Mode feature, the car also alerts your phone if there is a significant incident.
Also, data collection is part of Tech, since Tesla will be leveraging the data collection on the actual behaviors of Tesla drivers, and this is the fundamental of a Tech company when it collects data directly and not done even through market research.
Tesla has three main areas where it is developing Tech –
- Battery Tech
- Onboard Software
- Autopilot, which will later be launched as ‘Full Self Driving.’
Tesla has also designed its own new autopilot 3.0 chip, which has been specially optimized for autonomy using NPU’s and not GPU’s.
While the other automobile companies are currently using third party GPU chips.
It is being debated that companies who are serious about making their own software should also be equally serious about producing their own Hardware. And Tesla is doing both for its most crucial software product – the autopilot mode.
The above can be taken as pure tech play revenue stream that is yet to be incorporated by other auto manufacturers. And going by what may happen in the near future just as what iPhone did – those who can integrate and combine both will be the ones that will survive in the near future.
Also noted here is that Tesla’s AI chips each have a CPU, GPU, and deep learning accelerators. The computer delivers nearly 144 trillion operations per second, which enables it to collect data from a range of surround cameras, radars, and ultrasonics and power deep neural network algorithms. This has been substantiated by NVIDIA, a tech company that used to make computer chips for Tesla vehicles and does so for other cars too.
The company on its blog posted that Tesla is raising the bar for all other carmakers in this regard.
Hence one can only conclude and say while Tesla may be a carmaker, but it is also a solar technology company, a battery developer, and a software developer.
If we have to go so far as to put a label on Tesla, then surely that label would be “technology.”
No other car manufacturer is developing computer chips, tech hardware, and advanced software of several sorts – Tesla is the bridge between technology and car manufacturing, which is unparallel to anything currently in the Auto space.
Tesla has a unique and futuristic approach, technology-driven, climate degradation conscious, and purely fantastic.