[YesAuto New Energy] Super broadcast, every week. There are three topics worthy of our attention this week. First, the Tesla Autopilot collision incident has made new progress, and the focus of attention of netizens is what Tesla calls “Full Self-Driving (Full Self-Driving, abbreviated as “Full Self-Driving)”. : FSD)” whether there is false propaganda in the optional package, for this we also invited lawyers to provide professional answers; the second topic is that this week Weilai has obtained a credit line of 10.4 billion yuan from six banks, which has been jokingly said that it will not survive 2020. Weilai, is it stable this time? ; The third topic is that Ideal Auto recently submitted a prospectus to the US SEC. What impact will it bring to future development? Next, please listen to our interpretation.
On the afternoon of June 24, 2020, in the eastbound direction of Nanping Express in Shenzhen, a muck truck merged illegally and collided with a Model 3 in the target lane. Model 3 owners reported that the vehicle was in the Autopilot assisted driving state before the scratching occurred. When the muck truck merged, the vehicle did not brake, but accelerated. Therefore, the car owner believes that the optional package of Tesla's “Full Autonomous Driving Capability” that he has spent tens of thousands of dollars to buy has hidden dangers and endanger his life. After negotiating with the official and failing to meet the demands, he chose to defend his rights.
By this week, we contacted Tesla’s official staff. The other party said that in the accident, after calling back the background data, it was found that the owner did not hold the steering wheel or step on the brake pedal at the time of the accident, so it did not work. Responsibility for supervising vehicle safety in the state of autopilot. ( Incident news portal ) Although the car owner was appeased after the incident, the car owner did not get his or her forgiveness.
However, this response has caused many netizens to question. The netizen with the net name Change Destiny 2011 said: “Then don't call the fully autonomous driving capability optional package. You are like Master Kong's braised beef noodles with several pieces of beef on the picture. , The result is a line of small print below, this picture is for reference only.” This comment received a high number of likes. Another netizen directly pointed out that this is a “word game, which is a bit of suspicion of propaganda fraud.”
In response to the doubts raised by netizens, Auto House specifically approached lawyer Zhan Shaohua from Beijing Jingshi Law Firm for consultation. For the direction, we said: Before the product is delivered, Tesla has already achieved the current imperfect reminder of the “fully autonomous driving ability”, and will also monitor whether the driver is holding the steering wheel during the autopilot process of the vehicle. To remind the driver to observe the surrounding road conditions at all times and be ready to take over at any time. Therefore, legally speaking, it does not constitute fraud. However, the use of “fully autonomous driving capability” as a publicity point is confusing to buyers and may involve false publicity.
Let us return to the incident. From the exposed accident video, it can be seen that before the accident, the Model 3 and the muck truck were driving in parallel and in the same direction. When it was blocked, he changed lanes forcibly. Later, it was discovered that the Model 3 did not make way, so the brakes were taken, but it was too late and the Model 3 still hit the left wheel of the muck truck.
The industry analyst said that the probability of forced lane changes in the United States is very low, so the Autopilot system may not have experience in handling similar incidents, leading to the fact that vehicles that forcibly change lanes are not considered as a threat and are avoided. This problem also highlights the lack of Tesla Autopilot in terms of localized adaptation in China. There is no effective response to road conditions with Chinese characteristics such as stoppages and forced merging. Fortunately, Tesla is already setting up a Chinese engineering team with the goal of providing more localized solutions.
So at this time, perhaps there is still a doubt in everyone's mind, that is, is it possible to achieve the “fully autonomous driving capability” claimed by Tesla? And when will it happen?
In Tesla’s fully automatic driving capability optional package, there are currently six functions, which are automatic parking, assisted lane change, automatic assisted navigation driving, smart summoning, recognition of traffic lights and stop signs and responding to them. Automatically assisted driving in city streets. Among them, the first four functions are currently being pushed to consumers by Tesla, but they are still in the testing stage. Tesla has also commented on the status of vehicle functions in the vehicle system. The official clearly stated that the current functions are still in The Beta version requires a human driver to take over at any time to use these functions.
At the opening ceremony of the 2020 World Artificial Intelligence Conference held this week, Tesla CEO Musk said at the meeting: “I am very confident in the future of L5 autonomous driving. Tesla is expected to complete L5 autonomous driving within one year. Basic functions. At present, there are no fundamental problems in achieving L5 autonomous driving, but there are many details to be solved.”
In Tesla’s view, all of its current models in production already have the hardware to achieve fully autonomous driving, and the most difficult point to overcome now is how to train the software to deal with the complex scenes in real life so that the vehicle knows How to control in the corresponding scene. Musk said that it is expected that within a year, his models will be able to achieve L5 level automatic driving.
However, from the perspective of some car owners, since car companies call themselves “fully autonomous driving capabilities” and set a price that is not low, car owners should get services that match the name. Rather than in the process of use, there are many relatively “low-level” problems, such as the insufficient response to the forced congestion mentioned in this article. Therefore, we do not approve of pre-propaganda by car companies for technologies that have not yet been implemented, which is easy to mislead.
At the same time, we also found that even if car companies emphasize that the current assisted driving function requires the driver to monitor the whole process, there are still very few car owners who ignore the rules and even relax their awareness of road hazards by deceiving the driver's monitoring system. Here, we call on all car owners to monitor the road conditions around the vehicle at all times during the use of assisted driving technology, and keep their hands from the steering wheel as much as possible.
Another major topic that everyone paid attention this week was NIO, which was once nicknamed that it would not survive 2020. It has recently released good news one after another. Among them, the most important one is undoubtedly the signing of credit lines of up to 10.4 billion yuan with six banks. At the signing ceremony, Li Bin, CEO of Weilai, the “worst person of 2019”, beamed with a smile.
According to the strategic agreement, the six banks signed this time will provide NIO China with a comprehensive credit line of RMB 10.4 billion to support the operation and development of NIO China's business. NIO China will cooperate extensively with various banks in business areas such as the establishment of corporate account systems, supply chain finance, and auto finance.
At this time, netizens who don’t know the truth may still be dizzy. It’s not that there were many articles last year saying that Weilai burned too much money, that the lifetime free battery exchange service was unsustainable, and how much money was lost for every model sold, etc. .
The editor believes that this can be mainly analyzed from two levels, the first is the internal cause. Although on the surface, we find that Weilai has indeed burned a lot of money in the past, but a lot of the money is used for research and development, supply chain and sales system construction. These investments may be difficult to see returns in the short term, but in the long run, they can bring technical barriers, cost advantages and sales expansion for themselves.
On the one hand, the internal foundation is firmly laid, and the other is the external cause. In the 2020 national subsidy policy issued in April this year, it is clear that the replacement model is not subject to the restriction that the price of new energy passenger vehicles must be less than 300,000 yuan (including 300,000 yuan) before the subsidy. Although the price of Weilai's models is higher than 300,000, but they support battery swaps, they can all enjoy subsidies. This also shows that the state clearly supports new energy vehicles that can be replaced. With the support of the state, it is only natural to be favored by investors.
In fact, Weilai does not intend to make a loss-making business all the time. Li Bin put forward the BaaS (Battery as a Service) concept very early, which is to turn the battery into a paid service to provide users through battery exchange. It's just that Weilai is currently in the enterprise expansion stage, so expanding the number of users is a top priority. At present, Weilai can attract a large number of new customers through free replacement for life.
Starting from July 10th, Weilai Automobile will charge all non-first owners of Weilai and all operating vehicles a fee for replacement of electricity. The composition of replacement fee = number of replacement units* (electricity fee + service fee). So far, Weilai's power exchange model has at least taken a step forward in service sustainability. We believe that with the gradual increase in the number of deliveries of NIO, the life-long free replacement policy of the first car owner may also be adjusted to improve the profitability of the replacement system.
Although now, Weilai's profit model has gradually become clear, and the sales of its models are also rising one after another, but we also have to see the challenges of Weilai's current opportunities. For example, as far as we know, the Hefei Municipal Government has some gambling agreements on Weilai’s investment, such as the need to reach a certain sales target and tax payment. If Weilai cannot meet the mentioned target, the investment will be recovered. , Have to pay high interest. Therefore, the road ahead for Weilai is still perilous.
This week also ushered in a blockbuster news, that is, another new car-making power Ideal Automobile officially submitted a prospectus to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and will raise funds through the NASDAQ market for the first time, the stock code is LI. At this point, the long-awaited rumors of the ideal car IPO have finally settled.
Why did Ideal Auto choose to IPO at this time? The industry generally believes that it may be related to the current U.S. capital market’s more optimistic view of smart electric vehicles. We found that Tesla’s current stock price has reached US$1544.65, with a total market value of US$286.3 billion (approximately RMB 2 trillion), and far supermarket value ranking No. Second Toyota; in addition, the share price of Weilai Automobile has continued to rise in the past six months.
|Top 10 sales of new energy medium and large SUVs from January to June 2020 (including hybrid models)|
|Lexus RX 450h||3219|
|Tesla Model X||1883|
|Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid||1265|
|Infiniti QX60 Hybrid||882|
|Volvo XC90 T8||462|
|Audi Q7 e-tron||234|
|BMW X5 xDrive45e||176|
| Data source: China Automobile Data Terminal Retail Data
In addition, from the perspective of the company's current operating conditions, thanks to the delivery of its model Ideal ONE, Ideal Auto's net loss in the first quarter of this year has significantly narrowed compared to the past few years. In terms of sales volume, Ideal ONE's sales volume in the first half of the year also has a lot of advantages compared to new energy models of the same level. After just completing the D round of financing on July 1, the ideal auto cash flow exceeded $1 billion. These show that the current state of ideal car business is relatively good, and it is also conducive to the smooth progress of the IPO.
So how much money does the research and development of autonomous driving technology need to invest? Let’s take a look at the investment in this technology by some well-known autonomous driving companies. For example, Cruise, an autonomous driving company acquired by General Motors, burned over 700 million U.S. dollars for the parent company in 2018, and another more famous autonomous driving company. Driving company Waymo is rumored to burn more than $1 billion every year. With the current financing scale of the ideal car, it is too difficult for the research and development of autonomous driving technology, and the IPO is an excellent channel to obtain more financing.
According to reports, Ideal Car plans to implement the NOA function (assisted driving based on map navigation) from 2021 to 2022. By 2023, the company will launch a new model X01 with standard hardware supporting L4 autonomous driving capabilities. It is expected to start in 2024. Through OTA, its models are equipped with L4 level autonomous driving capabilities.
Last week, we were still worried about the operating conditions of new car-building forces such as Byton Motors and Bojun Motors. A week later, good news came from Weilai and Ideal Motors. Not surprisingly, Ideal Auto will become the second new Chinese car-making power to land on the US stock market after NIO.
It is worth mentioning that there has recently been news that Xiaopeng Motors is also planning an IPO. These news made us realize that in the current new energy vehicle market, the head effect is emerging, and resources are also leaning toward these head car companies. As for the future, the competitive pressure in the new energy vehicle market may not decrease but increase, because traditional car companies such as Volkswagen, BMW, Ford and others have already rushed to the battlefield. For domestic car companies, especially for new car manufacturers, the good days are far from coming. (Picture / Hu Yongbin, Home of the Car)