Elon Musk was invited to the 2021 World New Energy Vehicle Congress in Hainan, China. Although he didn’t attend in person, he did so via a prerecorded video and touched upon the future development of China’s EV market, the safety of autonomous driving, and data safety. JayInShanghai shared the video on YouTube. There were three questions asked that he was responding to.
What are your expectations for the future development of China’s EV market?
“China is the largest and most dynamic new energy vehicle market in the world. Chinese consumers want a car with better connected and more intelligent features, so we see great potential for connected full self-driving vehicle growth in China. Public sentiment and support for electric vehicles is at a never seen before inflection point because they know this is the future.
“We continue to work hard to drive down costs and increase our rate of production to make electric vehicles as affordable as possible. I have a great deal of respect for many Chinese automakers who are driving these technologies. My frank observation is that Chinese automobile companies are the most competitive in the world, especially because some are very good at software. And it’s software that will most shape the future of the automobile industry from design to manufacturing and especially autonomous driving.”
How does autonomous driving technology improve the safety of the vehicles?
“Tesla is much more than an electric car company. We are developing full self-driving vehicles with practical vision-based artificial intelligence, including chip development on the inference level and on the training level. I should emphasize that we believe autonomous driving can be achieved entirely by vision neural nets. After all, humans are running a biological vision neural net in order to drive. So it makes sense that computers would be able to drive using a silicon camera neural net.
“That said, safety is the top priority when we design Tesla vehicles and I’m confident that we can achieve full self-driving with 10 times higher safety than the average human driver.”
How do self-driving vehicles ensure data security?
“Data security is not only the responsibility of a single company, but also the cornerstone of the whole industry development. Tesla will work with national authorities in all countries to ensure data security of intelligent and connected vehicles. Tesla hopes to contribute to both a digitized future of shared benefits, responsibilities, and governance.
“With the rapid growth of autonomous driving technologies, data security of vehicles is drawing more public concerns than ever before. We figure it is necessary to address public concerns by applying appropriate technical measures.”
Chinese Auto Companies Are The Most Competitive In The World
One thing that really stood out to me when watching the video was Elon’s observation that Chinese automakers are the most competitive in the world. President Biden recently said,
“We’re in competition with China and many other nations for the 21st century.
“Right now, China’s leading the race.”
He also mentioned that the Chinese EV market is much bigger than the US EV market right now. It is.
In June, MarketWatch noted that the US had fallen further behind China and Europe in recent years in making electric cars and that we are the third-largest EV maker. The US share of cumulative global EV production has fallen to 18% from 20% since 2010 according to a report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
Nic Lutsey, a director at ICCT said, “The reality of electric-vehicle investment and production stands in stark contrast to US auto-maker posturing.” Lutsey added that there’s a need for strong government policies to make up for the lost ground.
“The US auto industry can’t afford to continually be five years behind the rest of the world in one of the world’s most promising and strategically important sectors.”
The article noted that China is the largest EV maker and accounted for around 44% of EV production through 2020. In 2020, the US produced more than 450,000 EVs and Tesla accounted for around 85% of that. The US also offers fewer incentives to EV buyers compared with other countries.