Jim Chanos continues to mislead on Tesla

Jim Chanos recently appeared on Bloomberg. Chanos, like many other fund managers, continues to overestimate the threat of competition from incumbent auto makers. He makes a statement I take issue with. He stated that Tesla is behind Audi on autonomous driving.

Tesla is now behind in autonomous driving… Tesla is at level 2… Audi is at 3 — Jim Chanos

I watched and thought, Hmm… that doesn’t sound right. So I researched and here is what I found.

Audi has a press release indicating the 2018 Audi A8 will have Level 3 autonomy. It goes on to claim:

drivers will be able to completely turn over the task of driving in certain situations

So what are the certain situations? The car has to be on a highway, with no traffic lights or pedestrians. It has to have a concrete barrier separating it from the oncoming lane of traffic, and it has to be going less than 37 mile per hour. The only use case is when you’re in a traffic jam on the highway. See a demonstration below where they claim you will get up to 10 seconds of notification but the system disengages at 5:00 and the driver has to take over immediately. Audi has not achieved Level 3 because Level 3 requires:

the vehicle prompts the driver to take over the task of driving the vehicle, with several seconds advance warning.

The driver, an Audi representative, claims the reason is that they are on a portion of the road without a concrete barrier. If the system knew about the barrier 10 seconds in advance, I would concede they have achieved Level 3 for a very narrow use case, but that’s not the case.

Chanos took an overstated press release and used it to extrapolate an even more spurious statement that they had surpassed Tesla. Tesla has released the most sophisticated self driving system available to the public.

I urge Bloomberg and other media outlets, please get guests with quality research and quit giving a platform to this shameless stock manipulator and short seller. Or at least have me on to discredit his bull shit :-)

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