Tag Archives: Tesla

A Faster, Cheaper Way to Send Money to India

Stanford Federal Credit Union, located in Northern California, offers a faster, cheaper way to send money abroad. Through a new partnership with TransferWise, customers can send money directly through Stanford FCU’s online or mobile banking. This simple process means the funds can arrive as soon as the same day. 

Stanford FCU’s international funds transfer process is also cheaper—there is a low transparent fee, and the real exchange rate is used with no mark up. All of this means more money gets to your loved ones.

You must be a member of Stanford FCU in order to use this international funds transfer, and new members can get up to $500 in bonuses just by opening a checking account with direct deposit and additional accounts. Stanford FCU is a $3 billion financial institution serving 73,000 members. 

There is no cost to become a member, and you can join online. You must have a U.S. address and picture ID.

Stanford FCU is a full-service financial institution serving employees of Stanford University, Google, Facebook, Visa, Amazon, SAP, Tesla, and 100 other innovative companies. Members enjoy low fees, low-rate auto and home loans, high-rate deposit accounts, and low-fee rewards credit cards. Deposits are federally insured by NCUA, Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #729643.

Learn more and join online at sfcu.org/love or call 888.723.7328.

 

Dear Elon: Ask Apple or Google to Acquire Tesla

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Steve Jobs wanted to build an electric car as far back as 2008.

In 2014, current Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly funded the project. To date, though, Apple  has had little to show for it, and the rumors are that its electric vehicle will launch as late as 2025 — long after such things become common commodities. Alphabet’s Google  has had self-driving electric cars on the road for about four years, though it has decided to focus primarily on the software.

A decade after Tesla announced the Model S, and six years after its delivery, no other company has been able to produce anything comparable. The big automotive manufacturers are claiming that they will soon eat Tesla’s lunch, but even the strongest offerings — those of BMW and Mercedes — are merely souped-up cassette players trying to compete with an iPod.

Tesla learned the hard way the intricacies of combining legacy automotive technologies with modern software — through trial and error and constant delay. It also struggled to automate production. Using advanced robots, however, it has finally figured out how to build an astonishing 6,000 cars per week, some in a tent.

At a crossroads

Now, as Tesla struggles with its cash balances, extremely negative press, and CEO Elon Musk’s erratic tweets, it is at another crossroads and, in order to reach its potential, needs a strategic partner. It may not make sense for it to continue as a public company.

The best acquirer would not be Saudi Arabia, whose interest Musk tweeted about, because that nation’s interests inherently conflict with Tesla’s. Electric vehicles and solar technologies will cause the price of oil to plummet and decimate the value of Saudi oil reserves, so it would lose heavily if its investment in Tesla paid off. Technology companies, however, share Musk’s goals and ambitions, particularly Apple and Google. They have the money, technology, and marketing strengths to greatly enhance Tesla’s offerings. Apple also has great manufacturing prowess and distribution channels.

Tesla would provide Apple with an entirely new set of technology platforms on which it could build a new line of products. Apple desperately needs these in order to sustain its trillion-dollar market capitalization; after the release of the iPhone, in 2007, it has had virtually no world-changing products. It needs to enter new markets, and, with its automotive, energy storage and solar technologies, Tesla would provide them.

Apple’s existing products would also benefit from the advanced technologies that electric cars have incorporated, such a batteries and in-car electronics. And Apple would gain the second-best self-driving software in the industry.

The iCar

Tesla could, in turn, integrate the iPad, Apple TV, iTunes, and App Store into its automotives, literally turning its vehicles into iCars. And it could replace its clunky operating system with macOS. I am sure that all Tesla owners — such as me — would love to be able to download apps and music onto a console that’s more user friendly than the Tesla’s present one.

Apple would bring its world-class manufacturing and inventory-management process to Tesla and create new types of automobiles, in different sizes and shapes — and at lower prices. This would give it a second chance to wow markets it has largely lost; specifically India and China.

A match for Waymo

Google’s interests also coincide with Tesla’s. Google doesn’t have Apple’s manufacturing capability, but its maps and self-driving software are one or two notches above any other. Tesla’s mapping software is substandard, and its self-driving software could use a major upgrade. Google’s self-driving-car spinoff, Waymo, could focus on the software and let Google’s Tesla arm deal with the hardware.

Given that Morgan Stanley has just valued Waymo at $175 billion, Tesla’s $70 billion price would be a no-brainer, and the combination would be formidable.

Getting Musk to the table

Would Musk even entertain such an offer? Given that he reportedly turned down an offer from Google in 2013 and laughed off the idea of Apple buying Tesla in emails I exchanged with him in April 2014, and in an investor call last year, it would seem very unlikely. Yet, having reached his personal limits and being close to burnout, as Musk has admitted; after seeing the disastrous impact of his tweet about having secured funding; and with Saudi Arabia offering investment in a competing startup, things may have changed.

I’ll bet that Musk would take an offer that solved his financial problems and gave him autonomy. With the headaches of funding and quarterly stock pressure taken away, the world’s greatest innovator would be free to develop world-changing ideas that transform entire industries, including automotive, energy and space. That would be a win-win for Tesla — and for humanity.

This article has been reprinted with permission of the author.

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Why You Need to Live in the Future — As I Do

I live in the future as it is forming and this is happening far faster than most people realise, and far faster than the human mind can comfortably perceive.

I live in the future. I drive an amazing Tesla electric vehicle, which takes control of the steering wheel on highways. My house, in Menlo Park, California, is a “passive” home that expends minimal energy on heating or cooling. With the solar panels on my roof, my energy bills are close to zero. I have a medical device at home, which was made in New Delhi, Healthcubed, that does the same medical tests as hospitals—and provides me with immediate results. Because I have a history of heart trouble I have all of the data I need to communicate with a doctor anywhere in the world, anytime I need.

I spend much of my time talking to entrepreneurs and researchers about breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics. These entrepreneurs are building a better future. I live in the future as it is forming and this is happening far faster than most people realise, and far faster than the human mind can comfortably perceive.

The distant future is no longer distant. The pace of technological change is rapidly accelerating, and those changes are coming to you very soon. Look at the way smartphones crept up on us. Just about everyone now has one. We are always checking email, receiving texts, ordering goods online, and sharing our lives with distant friends and relatives on social media.

These technologies changed our lives before we even realised it. Just as we blindly follow the directions that Google Maps gives us—even when we know better—we will comply with the constant advice that our digital doctor provides. I’m talking about an artificially intelligent app on our smartphone that will have read our medical data and monitor our lifestyles and habits. It will warn us not to eat more gulab jamuns lest we gain another 10 pounds.

So you say that I live in a technobubble, a world that is not representative of the lives of the majority of people in the US or India? That’s true. I live a comfortable life in Silicon Valley and am fortunate to sit near the top of the technology and innovation food chain. So I see the future sooner than most people. The noted science-fiction writer William Gibson, who is a favourite of hackers and techies, once wrote: “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet”. But, from my vantage point at its apex, I am watching that distribution curve flatten, and quickly. Simply put, the future is happening faster and faster. It is happening everywhere.

Technology is the great leveller, the great unifier, the great creator of new and destroyer of old.

Once, technology could be put in a box, a discrete business dominated by business systems and some cool gadgets. It slowly but surely crept into more corners of our lives. Today the creep has become a headlong rush. Technology is taking over every part of our lives; every part of society; every waking moment of every day. Increasingly, pervasive data networks and connected devices are causing rapid information flows from the source to the masses—and down the economic ladders from the developed societies to the poorest.

Perhaps my present life in the near future, in the technobubble in Silicon Valley, sounds unreal. Believe me, it is something we will laugh at within a decade as extremely primitive.

We are only just commencing the greatest shift that society has seen since the dawn of humankind. And, as in all other manifest shifts – from the use of fire to the rise of agriculture and the development of sailing vessels, internal-combustion engines, and computing – this one will arise from breathtaking advances in technology. This shift, though, is both broader and deeper, and is happening far more quickly.

Such rapid, ubiquitous change has a dark side. Jobs as we know them will disappear. Our privacy will be further compromised. Our children may never drive a car or ride in one driven by a human being. We have to worry about biological terrorism and killer drones. Someone —maybe you—will have his or her DNA sequence and fingerprints stolen. Man and machine will begin to merge. You will have as much food as you can possibly eat, for better and for worse.

The ugly state of global politics illustrates the impact of income inequality and the widening technological divide. More people are being left behind and are protesting. Technologies such as social media are being used to fan the flames and to exploit ignorance and bias. The situation will get only worse—unless we find ways to share the prosperity we are creating.

We have a choice: to build an amazing future such as we saw on the TV series Star Trek, or to head into the dystopia of Mad Max. It really is up to us; we must tell our policy makers what choices we want them to make.

The key is to ensure that the technologies we are building have the potential to benefit everyone equally; balance risks and the rewards; and minimise the dependence that technologies create. But first, we must learn about these advances ourselves and be part of the future they are creating.

 

This article is re-published here with the express permission of the author.