TechDogs-"What’s The Latest Trouble In The Autonomous And Electric Vehicle Industry All About?"

Emerging Technology

What’s The Latest Trouble In The Autonomous And Electric Vehicle Industry All About?

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Fri, Apr 5, 2024

Overall Rating
The last few months have seen the Electric Vehicle (EV) market buzzing as far as carmakers are concerned.

From smartphone-focused brands like Xiaomi and Huawei entering the foray, to brands like Lucid Motors amping up their efforts, to Chinese company BYD taking the lead as the top selling brand, to Tesla responding to recapture the market and more.

However, while carmakers are indulging further into the market, the market itself is presenting roadblocks to some companies, leading to them facing some serious problems.

So, what problems have automakers been facing? Let’s explore!
 

What’s Happening With Ghost Autonomy?

 
  • “Ghost Autonomy has shut down worldwide operations and wound down the company as of April 3, 2024,” reads the first sentence on Ghost Autonomy’s website’s home page.

  • The note continued with, “We are proud of the substantial technical innovations and progress the Ghost team made on its mission to deliver software-defined consumer autonomy. The path to long-term profitability was uncertain given the current funding climate and long-term investment required for autonomy development and commercialization. We are exploring potential long-term destinations for our team’s innovations.”

  • [Contd.] “Thank you to the employees, investors, and partners who helped us bring the vision of Ghost to life. We deeply appreciate your support on this ambitious journey.”

  • The company, which was founded in 2017, employed around 100 employees and had its headquarters in Mountain View, California, USA, was originally called Ghost Locomotion.

  • In its tenure, it managed to raise around $220 million, attracting investors like OpenAI, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures.

  • The move comes just five months after OpenAI’s $5 million investment in the startup, which also came with early access to resources from OpenAI and Microsoft’s Azure.

  • Over the years, the company shifted its focus, which included delivering a system that enabled private vehicles to drive autonomously on highways by 2020. After missing the deadline, the company altered its approach to developing crash prevention technology.  


TechDogs-"An Image Of A Car Using Ghost Autonomy's Self-driving System"  

What’s Happening With Apple?

 
  • Just weeks after Apple scrapped its plan to build an electric car, the company revealed it’s laying off 614 employees from eight different offices in Santa Clara, California, according to a state filing made with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN).

  • Apple’s electric vehicle project was in the making for over a decade and titled Special Projects Group or SPG and included over 2,000 employees working on the project.

  • As per the filing, the employees were officially notified about the layoffs on March 28, with the changes to be made effective from May 27.

  • While the filing did not mention specific projects that would be affected, positions that were cut include machine shop managers, hardware engineers and product design engineers.

  • Furthermore, none of the cuts are scheduled to take place at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

  • Apple did not provide a comment on the matter.

  • As per the San Francisco Chronicle, “The layoffs affect 371 jobs at 3689 Kifer Road, 58 at 1705 Wyatt Drive, 52 at 3260 Scott Blvd., 49 at 3111 Coronado Drive, 35 at 3250 Scott Blvd., 23 at 2945 San Ysidro Way, 15 at 2975 San Ysidro Way, and 11 at 3000-3008 Kifer Road.”


TechDogs-"An Image Of Apple's Logo On Its Building"  

What’s Happening With The EV Industry?

 
  • According to a study by iSeeCars.com, the prices of used EVs have been seeing a dramatic drop, falling 31.8% of their value since last year. This represents a loss of $14,418.

  • In comparison, the average for internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles fell 3.6% or $1,161, while hybrids dropped 6.5% or $2,135.

  • As per the study, the drop of used vehicle prices has been consistently maintained at 2% to 7% than last year, meaning that inflation isn’t affecting its pricing.

  • The study included analyzing over 1.8 million 1- to 5-year-old used cars sold in February 2023 and 2024 and found that the prices of used Teslas dropped 28.9%, with seven electric models leading the used car market in price drops.

  • These include Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro, Hyundai Kona, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S.

  • Karl Brauer, iSeeCars Executive Analyst, said, “Used car shoppers are seeing a bit of a break in vehicle costs, but we’re still well above the pre-pandemic average used car price point of roughly $20,000, with no indication we’re going back to those levels any time soon.”

  • [Contd.] “A dramatic drop in used electric vehicle values, largely driven by Elon Musk’s aggressive price cuts on new Teslas, reflects how much influence Tesla continues to have on the EV market.”

  • [Contd.] “Used Teslas lost more value than any other brand, and with a 28.9 percent decline they lost more than twice as much value as second-place Alfa Romeo. Elon’s desire to maintain new Tesla sales through price cuts had a very destructive impact on the brand's residual values.”

  • Brauer also mentioned that the lowered prices of used EVs could increase the number of buyers for such vehicles, however, it might also reduce the demand for new ones.

  • On the other hand, according to Per Lekander, who has been shorting Tesla since 2020, believes Tesla could see its stock price fall to $14 and even go bust, as the EV maker’s Q1 delivery was significantly lower than the lowest market estimates.

  • Lekander said, “This was really the beginning of the end of the Tesla bubble, which probably, arguably was the biggest stock market bubble in modern history ... I actually think the company could go bust.”


TechDogs-"A Screenshot Of The Brands With The Biggest Year-over-year Price Changes For 1-5-Year-Old Used Cars"
Do you think the EV and Autonomous Vehicle Industry can bounce back from such setbacks and find greater adoptability with progress being made in advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and EV battery technology?

Let us know in the comments below!

First published on Fri, Apr 5, 2024

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Tags:

Autonomous (Mobility)Electric VehiclesEmerging Technology Autonomous Vehicles EV Ghost Autonomy Apple Apple Car Tesla EV Adoption Used Car Prices Used EV

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