Tesla is Planning to Ditch Mirrors and Spend Money
A day without Tesla in the news is few and far between; today is no different. Tesla joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in filing a petition to ask permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to use sideview cameras instead of mirrors. The NHTSA currently mandates that all road-going vehicles come equipped with sideview mirrors, even though the technology exists to use cameras instead. Door mirrors might be an afterthought to many car manufacturers, but Tesla must take the issue very seriously. Mirrors add a significant amount of drag to a vehicle, which in turn decreases efficiency and presents a major engineering challenge for a brand that only sells EVs. The Tesla Model X concept sports camera-mounted winglets in order to increase airflow; an important detail considering that the Model X will be the company’s largest car to date. The petition arrives just one day after the NHTSA passed a law that forces all new US-market vehicles to come with standard backup cameras by May 2018.
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The news doesn’t stop there. Industry insiders suspect that Tesla might be looking to acquire more automotive assets. The company already possesses its own unique battery system, but could be in the market for companies specializing in autonomous driving and recharging technologies (*cough* Toyota *cough*).
It certainly has the pocketbook to do so. Tesla is now being valued as a technology company, rather than an automaker, which has peaked the company’s stock up to $250 a share. Additionally, the company issued $2 billion worth of bonds that it will use to fund its new battery factory, and will be converted to stock afterwards. Seems like an awfully good way to generate a few billion dollars if you ask us.
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