Manufacturing Minute: Competition For Tesla

In this episode, Tesla may be facing serious competition soon, a hitchhiking robot and the latest on rail safety.

In this episode, Tesla may be facing serious competition soon, a hitchhiking robot and the latest on rail safety. 

Electrifying Competition

Just as Tesla announces a "Ludicrous Speed" upgrade for its P85D Model S electric sedan, there’s news that the company may be getting some stiff competition from the mysterious new Faraday Future.

Not much is known about Faraday Future, but it has been hiring former talent from Tesla, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Faradays' site features a highly conceptual rendering of a car it plans to launch in 2017, promising it will be "100 percent electric, zero-emission, fully-connected and personalized in ways you've never even considered possible."

Going My Way?

Having already travelled across Canada and Europe, the developers of a hitchhiking robot placed its thumb in the air in Massachusetts in hopes of catching rides to San Francisco. hitchBot is examining how travelers interact with a robot that needs their help, rather than the other way around.

The robot can carry limited conversation, but no word yet on how long it can hold its oil. Just keep your circuits crossed until the next exit hitchBOT. 

All Aboard

Finally, legislation advanced by a senate committee could delay needed transportation safety requirements indefinitely, critics say. While those in favor of the measure, which includes reducing NHTSA funding to delaying requirements for new brakes on crude oil trains, say the reforms are needed as agencies have issued regulations that unfairly penalize companies without improving safety.  

The controversy will need to be resolved quickly since lawmakers face a deadline to pass a sweeping transportation funding package at the end of the month.

So What Do You Think?

With record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, it seems this legislation brims with industry-sought provisions that would block, delay or roll back safety rules for the auto and railroad industries. Should there be a bigger focus on moving transportation safety legislation forward? Or does the industry already have too much regulation?

Email us or leave your comments below.

That’s all the time we have for today, but check out our sites every Tuesday and Thursday for your next Manufacturing Minute. 

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