Many are wondering what Trump's effect on Tesla and SpaceX will be. Before the election, Elon stated that he didn't think Trump would have a significant effect on Tesla. For a more in depth analysis of this, I recommend reading Bloomberg's article - Tesla's Future In Trump's World.
I sincerely appreciate you being part of this newsletter, and I hope you enjoy issue 57!
- Zachary K.D.
♦ Featured Quote ♦
"Tesla made all of its patents freely available just to be helpful to the rest of the industry and as a gesture of goodwill. And that's something we expect to continue."— Elon Musk
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Elon Musk has joined the chorus of technologists calling for a universal basic income to mitigate the effects of replacing human workers with algorithms, robots, and other automated technologies. "There's a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation. I'm not sure what else one would do."
"People will have more time to do other things, more complex things, more interesting things, and certainly have more leisure time," Musk said. "And then we've got to figure out how we integrate in a world in the future with advanced A.I. I think that's going to be one of the toughest — maybe even the toughest — battles that I can think of."
Elon Musk announced that the aerospace company is aiming for a mid-December return to flight after it finally figured out why its Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the pad on September 1. "I think we've gotten to the bottom of the problem," Musk explained during the interview. "It's a really surprising problem that's never been encountered in the history of rocketry."
Musk explained that the explosion happened when the liquid oxygen needed to fuel the rocket was so cold it actually froze solid. "It (meaning the explosion) basically involves liquid helium, advanced carbon fiber composites, and solid oxygen," he said. "Oxygen so cold that it actually enters solid phase."
As SpaceX nears completion of its investigation into the AMOS-6 pad conflagration on 1 September 2016, the company is firmly looking toward Return To Flight (RTF) of its Falcon 9 workhorse and realigning its contracted resupply missions to the International Space Station with NASA. With those flights looking to resume in January 2017, SpaceX's external cargo manifest for its next eleven resupply flights is being finalized by the ISS Program.
In what is understood to be the opening realignment negotiations of the resupply schedule for NASA, SpaceX has laid out not only its 11-flight plan over the next three years, but has also updated the external payloads their Dragons will carry in their trunks to the Station.
After increasing our output target to 500,000 cars per year by 2018, we began searching for the best engineering talent in automated manufacturing systems. Today, we are excited to announce that Tesla has entered into an agreement to acquire Grohmann Engineering, a world-renowned engineering company in Prüm, Germany, which will become Tesla Grohmann Automation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel were in Germany earlier this week to announce the acquisition of a German engineering group, Grohmann Engineering. Following the announcement, they held a press conference during which Musk emphasized that Tesla is planning "significant investments" in Germany and the conversation quickly moved to Tesla not only investing in engineering in Europe, but also in production.
Musk confirmed that Tesla plans to choose a location for 'Gigafactory 2' in Europe next year and he added that the factory will combine both the production of batteries and complete cars.
We are truly honored to announce that Model X has been awarded the Golden Steering Wheel (Das Goldene Lenkrad), one of the most prestigious automotive awards in the world. Candidates for this award are nominated by hundreds of thousands across Europe for excellence across six categories. The Golden Steering Wheel jury, composed of professional race car drivers, accomplished technicians, editors, designers, and digital and connectivity experts, then spent three days judging Model X.
NVIDIA reported its financial results for the last quarter yesterday and surprised Wall Street. The chip maker, which is now becoming an "AI company" according to its leadership, reported revenue of $2 billion on expectations of $1.7 billion and they also surpassed earnings expectations by a similar margin.
On a conference call with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang following the results, analysts were particularly interested in the company's push in AI and the automotive industry, especially since Tesla's started delivering every single one of its vehicles with NVIDIA's Drive PX2 supercomputer.
Hyperloop One, the main company developing the hyperloop system envisioned by Elon Musk, had two big announcements today. While they are still working on their full-scale prototype track in North Las Vegas, the company unveiled the concept for their entire system – revealing that they also plan to address the last mile and not just the long distance transport. The company wrote:
"We've signed an agreement with RTA Dubai to jointly pursue a passenger and cargo hyperloop network in Dubai and between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and other Emirates. This could reduce the time from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to 12 minutes."
They plan for their pods to break down in smaller pods that can also travel on roads outside of the hyperloop tube. These smaller pods can bring you to the hyperloop and lock in with other pods to go into the hyperloop for long distance travel, and it can also bring you to your end destination.
As we reported on Tuesday, Hyperloop One signed a deal with the Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA) to bring a hyperloop network between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and other Emirates. They expect to be able to travel the ~90 miles (150 km) separating the two cities in just 12 minutes.
The company has been working on designs for the terminals at each end of the hyperloop system and they have released some fairly advanced renders. Hyperloop One worked with architects and designers at BIG to design their first two terminals, which they call a "Hyperportals".
SolarCity reported its financial results for its third quarter 2016 and last quarter before its merger with Tesla if approved during a special meeting of shareholders scheduled for next week. The company confirmed having installed 187 MW of solar capacity during the quarter – bringing the total since inception to 2.45 GW spread out across over 300,000 solar customers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk brought up SolarCity's important customer base as one of the main reasons for merging the company. Musk and SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive see an opportunity to go back to those customers to sell them Tesla's new Powerwall 2 (pictured above) in order to take full advantage of their solar installations. During the third quarter, the company increased revenue by 76% Year-over-Year to $201 Million and incurred losses per share of $2.27.