“Tesla, are you crazy? You want me to do what?”

By March 10, 2016 Emerging Technology
Tesla Autonomous Driving Experience

As an entrepreneur focused on emerging technology, I am constantly thinking of new innovations to solve problems. I see a lot of amazing technology driven solutions. But even with my continuously, slightly over-caffeinated mind and high threshold for being amazed, I do still encounter days when the “Wow” factor of emerging tech really strikes a nerve.

Today was one of those days.

For some time, Think Big Partners has had the privilege of having a great relationship with Tesla. I swear their cars are actually rocket ships flying too close to the ground. These amazing vehicles truly have redefined transportation. Any historical stigma of a sluggish or clunky electric vehicle is immediately dismissed when you hit the “gas” and you accelerate 0-60 in 2.8 seconds in “Ludicrous Mode”. Simply said, I am a raving fan of the Tesla product.

But when I was driving down Interstate 70 and told to take my hands off the wheel to use the autonomous vehicle mode…I thought “Tesla, are you crazy? You want me to do what? It made me immediately wonder if my caffeination level was just a bit too high. Have I become a bit too trusting of emerging technology? Is this really a good idea? I hesitated and asked myself, “How in the heck did I get into this potentially compromised position?” And how I will explain this to the ER doctors.

IMG_4279I am not only happy to report that the autonomous technology works and I am NOT writing this from the ER, but it works really, really well. Even with my experience related to my role at Think Big, having been immersed in smart city solutions that include innovative and disruptive transportation technologies, I was blown away.

Autonomous vehicle technology is going to redefine way more than just the transportation industry. It will change how we think about mobility. It will help bridge the digital divide. It will improve public safety in countless ways. It will change how people live their daily lives as families. And for me, it will enable me to read more while drinking a cup of coffee on my drive to work.

Stay tuned for the video release of my autonomous vehicle experience with Tesla and Think Big’s analysis of the financial, social and civic implications autonomous vehicle technology will have. We have combined first-hand citizen experience with deep insight from transportation and mobility experts. The impact that autonomous vehicles can make is both eye opening and relatable to everyday life as you know it.

And thank you to Tesla for helping us drive more innovative smart city solutions too.


About Herb Sih

Herb Sih is Managing Partner for Think Big Partners, an innovation-driven firm focused on advising the world's most progressive-minded cities, companies and entrepreneurs. Herb has a deep background in advising entrepreneurs and high growth companies, accelerating innovation and helping communities solve complex problems by building smart cities and connected technologies using human-centered design principles.

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