Weekly Recap: Tough Times for Tesla, Robots Muscle in Agriculture, OpenCellular, Moral Decisions and Cars

Tough Times for Tesla: Autopilot Failure, Underwhelming Results


A Tesla owner died in an accident involving an autopilot malfunction. In a blog article, Tesla reiterated the safety of its cars. To make matters worse, the acquisition of SolarCity was not welcomed by investors, the transaction being perceived as smacking of influence-peddling. Tesla missed its shipment goal, delivering just 14,000 cars instead of 17,000. Traders have been having a field day, running short of short selling positions. Let’s hope it all blows over for Tesla.

TechCrunch, “Tesla says drivers using Autopilot remain safer than regular drivers.”

Nasdaq, “What’s Behind Tesla’s Recent Share Price Slump?

Electrek, “Short sellers are betting more than ever against Tesla (TSLA) and SolarCity (SCTY) following the acquisition offer.”

Robots Muscle in Agriculture

Autonomous tractor

Robots currently used in agriculture are expensive and unprofitable. However, if their cost continues to drop, “robot farmers” will be just as cost-effective and efficient as humans by 2027. The loss of jobs will be made up for by the creation of new agricultural robot maintenance positions.

ReadWrite, “When will robots finally take farmers’ jobs?

OpenCellular is a new open-source wireless access platform for remote areas

Facebook OpenCellular

Facebook’s initiative seeks to solve the problem of deploying cellular networks in remote areas, where conventional communications towers are difficult and expensive to build. The entire network, both software and hardware, will be 100% public, so that any cellular network operator can build and deploy antennas. This initiative is part of Facebook’s mission to connect the entire world.

TechCrunch, “Facebook’s OpenCellular is a new open-source wireless access platform for remote areas.”

Why are moral decisions so important for self-driving cars?

Several surveys were undertaken to find out whether people would want a computer-controlled car to decide to save the driver or pedestrians in case of an accident. Most survey results suggested that drivers want to limit the total amount of casualties, regardless of who they are. However, we have seen that humans tend to kill more people to save themselves. Are we perhaps overthinking decisions that programmers and companies are expected to make? Could we not leave it up to chance?

ReadWrite, “Why are moral decisions so important for self-driving cars?

How “Hardware-as-a-Service” Can Save the Internet of Things

Dusty tools

The not-so-secret secret of the Internet of Things: it is entirely possible that the object won’t work, or won’t be used. Consumers usually let their connected objects gather dust on a shelf, while companies find that they don’t perform as well as expected and require too much maintenance. To help you avoid buying an expensive bookend, Hardware-as-a-Service, or “HaaS”, leases out connected objects, software and maintenance included.

TechCrunch, “How Hardware-as-a-Service will save IoT.”