NAMAD President Change, Self Driving Stalls, Heavy EVs, NY Making Chips

October 6, 2022
This Thursday we’re coming to you from the annual NAMAD membership meeting in Miami, FL where a change in leadership was announced last night. We’re also talking about the continued struggle of self-driving tech, as well as the new weight requirement for roads given the rise in EVs, and a massive semiconductor plant coming to Syracuse, NY.
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NAMAD President Damon Lester stepped down and assumed the role as Vice Chair of the Board. After a 1 year executive search process, Hugene Fields will be stepping up.

Self Driving cars still stalling out in go to market strategy

  • One of the hardest things to figure out is something called “unprotected left turns,” or left turns when navigating oncoming traffic.
  • A McKinsey & Co. report states the industry has currently invested over $100bn in R&D for self-driving technology.
  • “You’d be hard-pressed to find another industry that’s invested so many dollars in R&D and that has delivered so little,” Anthony Levandowski says in an interview. “Forget about profits—what’s the combined revenue of all the robo-taxi, robo-truck, robo-whatever companies? Is it a million dollars? Maybe. I think it’s more like zero.”

Transportation companies say that EV vehicles are too heavy for roads

  • “[C]ars and trucks climbed from an average of 3,200 pounds (1,451 kilos) to 4,200 pounds over the last four decades, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.”
  • Currently, less than 1% of vehicles on US roads are EVs, but with aggressive sales targets, it will be harder for transporters to meet highway weight requirements.
  • “‘The truth is we will not be able to move as many electric vehicles under the current weight limit. That could mean more trucks on the road, delays in orders and increased costs,’ said Sarah Amico, executive chairman of Jack Cooper, among the largest car haulers in North America.”
  • Transporters are asking for an additional 10% weight limit, giving them the ability to carry the same number of vehicles, if they are all EVs

Semiconductor chips coming to Syracuse (Half of ASOTU team just cheered)

  • Largest private investment in NY history, up to 100B to build a mega complex in Syracuse’s northern suburbs
  • Micron would build up to four separate semiconductor fabrication plants in phases at the 1,300-acre site off Route 31, Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told syracuse.com
  • It will be the 8th largest site in the US.
  • The US accounts for less than 12% of global chip production


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SPEAKERS

Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly


Paul Daly  00:30

Hey, it's Thursday, October 6, as you can tell, we are not in the office and my voice is pretty much gone. was just kind of the first I've tried to really talk today. Last night, we are at today mad convention in Miami. Last night, you know, we were just doing the meet and greet and everybody's out. And you know, named Matt knows how to do it, right. So there's


Kyle Mountsier  00:50

some music, they bring all the food in. And it was a whole party thing.


Paul Daly  00:54

So I basically spent the whole night yelling right this far from somebody else. Right, I woke up this morning, and it is gone. But it's been a pretty amazing time, we've been talking about the vibe around the neighborhood convention for an entire year since our first exposure to it last year. And and this year, it seems like it's even ticked up a level. Well, every


Kyle Mountsier  01:11

not just you. But everybody that's here said like, oh, there's a lot more people here, the energy around it seems even different. There's just a heavier amount of attention to the whole event. And for me, like just seeing the way that people engage at this event is even a little bit different than some of the other conferences that we go to Yeah, just seeing the way that people kind of are familiar and engage with you is really neat.


Paul Daly  01:37

There was kind of a big announcement last night, took kind of the whole room by surprise. David Lester, president of nomad, he's been the president for a really long time over 20 years, which is crazy, because he only looks like he's about 27. But so Damon announced that he's going to be stepping down as president, you know, and they named a successor, they've actually had an executive search committee going for the last year. And Eugene, oh, what's his last


Kyle Mountsier  02:00

Eugene fields is stepping in. younger guy, I think I think he's like in his mid 30s, probably comes from the nonprofit sector, specifically, as it relates to was it healthcare or


Paul Daly  02:15

it was a number of things. It was healthcare, but he worked for a big portion of career on the audit side. And then on the strategic side, so it's funny, you may not know Damon Lester also came from the accounting side. So I thought, like, oh, another accounting. But one of the great things about this is, first of all, it was super sweet. When Damon, he looked at that he brought him up, and he said, This is your family now,


Kyle Mountsier  02:35

right? And he's like, this is your family, they might not always treat you well, but you always got to treat them well. And it was, here's the thing, like the way that even Daymond just gracefully kind of said, Hey, I'm stepping out of this role and, and the care that he took to mention people by name and, and thank them as mentors, and you know, just people that have have moved forward in the industry. And what I loved actually was before that was all of the data and all the stats and all like just the general updates that he was going through as it pertains to FCC regulations. But last year, was actually one of the quickest years for the acceleration of minority dealer owners in the US. So just to come off that as his last year and say, like, look, we're moving forward. And the energy is such that it needs a new energy and, and to bring in that that new person is really cool. And he's like, I'm gonna be his mentor, I'm still gonna be around, actually, he's taking a role as the vice chair of the board. So that got voted in this year. So for all of you who know the name ad ecosystem, Damon's not going away. And he actually said he was like, Nah, can say things that I really wanted to say.


Paul Daly  03:44

Without a doubt, without a doubt. You know, he always has something to say, but rarely says it, right, which is, which is a really unique part of Daymond. The more you know him, the more you realize, like, Oh, he's kind of I've always called him a sleeper. Right, right, because you see him and he's real chill and laid back. But when he lets go, it's like right on point. And it is direct, and it is to target so it's fun to be a part of that. We have a session today in the main on the main stage with Alex Vetter, Alex Flores, Perry Watson. And so we're gonna be talking about the future of retail, automotive, we have a couple of topics we're gonna throw around, and it's just fun to welcome a lot of new people into the soda community.


Kyle Mountsier  04:16

And it's really nice to do that in Miami. We'll just say yeah, it


Paul Daly  04:21

is kind of humid. They're here. Yes. Here. They're here as the sun's coming through a tree in the back. And


Kyle Mountsier  04:26

well, hey, let's get into some news. Here. Yes. Today, it was really interesting. So Reuters put out a full article about some of the interesting things that are helping happening with self driving cars, just kind of the continuum. And what's happened they there was this really interesting story of a lady that kind of has had this experience with self driving cars and like this humming UFO noise that happens outside of the street because they all pass by there. But it's really interesting that some McKinsey and Company a big research forum has come out and said Essentially, that the self driving industry this pushed autonomy has spent over $100 billion over the last 10 years billion in research and development in autonomous driving technology. And so there's just been so much put into it and the realization that there's just not a large swath of things happening in that world. Actually, there's been a reduction in autonomous fleets over the last year, because some of the issues, one of the major issues, this was a really funny thing to me turns I mean, it's kind of a major issue with me driving, right. But it was like, even even in the article that said, you know, they're having a hard time figuring out quote, unquote, unprotected left turns,


Paul Daly  05:41

which everybody else just calls a left turn, right, right. And engineer wrote that, right? So unless


Kyle Mountsier  05:46

you're driving on a one way street, you're in an unprotected, left turn, meaning there's oncoming traffic. And that's just something that a lot of autonomous driving vehicles are having a hard time


Paul Daly  05:56

kind of navigating. They kind of like have that freeze moment where it's like, oh, do I go really slow? No, no, it'll go slow. To go fast. While I'm programmed to not go fast when I turn Yes. And it's back. There is an amazing quote from one of the one of the initial developers of autonomous technology, I'm going to read it here. He says, you'd be hard pressed to find another industry that's invested so many dollars in r&d, and has delivered so little Anthony Levandowski says in an interview, forget about the profits, what's the combined revenue of the robo taxi, Robo truck, Robo, whatever companies? Is it a million dollars, maybe, probably zero.


Kyle Mountsier  06:32

And this is the guy that basically has like, he was the initial engineer that kind of set autonomous driving in its trajectory.


Paul Daly  06:41

$100 billion later, it's just not haven't gotten nothing.


Kyle Mountsier  06:44

You know, I think I think that this is just a proof and proof of the case in point that like, this is a hard thing to accomplish, especially when you're mixing technology and human error in the same ecosystem. Because that's, like, if everything was autonomous driving, it could probably work because they could all talk to each other. But you're talking, you're utilizing


Paul Daly  07:03

people and bikes and all that. The truth is the the environment for autonomous driving is very, very structured. It's like a grid. Yep. Right. The ideal scenario, everything moves in this way, or this way. And the ideal, you know, setup for human flourishing is the opposite of that. Yeah, it's bikes and bike paths and pedestrians and ice cream and strollers. Right. So those things are just not initially compatible. So yeah, so


Kyle Mountsier  07:28

we'll see what happens with that the


Paul Daly  07:30

people are winning, the people are beating.


Kyle Mountsier  07:32

Yes, yes. Well, we've got another story, and we don't have a Segway and we don't have a Segway button. So we apologize for everybody. But it has come out that a lot of transportation companies, especially the major movers in truck transportation, and even train transportation of vehicles, are asking the Biden administration in Congress right now, for some leverage when it comes to how much they can carry on a truck. So right now, a truck limits on highways leniency. Yeah, so the right now trucking carry 80,000 pounds, which is kind of like if you know what a full truck looks like with a whole bunch of SUVs or trucks kind of caps out like they push the limits of those trucks to get those going. Well, interestingly enough, recently, cars and trucks have climbed from an average of about 3200 pounds. So you start to calculate like, what's a truck weigh? How many do I get eight or nine, you know, cars on a transport 3200? Well, it's gone from that to an average of 4200 and is going up the more and more Evie vehicles go into production. So we're talking about an extra $1,000 per vehicle, which so the ask is another 10%, which would bring that that total to 88,000 pounds being on the road, allowing them to carry these Evie vehicles


Paul Daly  08:51

cascading issue. Yeah, so like batteries are just super heavy. And if you think about it, even when you're burning fuel in a vehicle, let's just talk about roads in general. Like when when you're driving on the highway, you see the divots in the road. And if you live in an area where there's road construction all the time in northeast, there's always road construction, it's because over time, the weight and the cold, the freezing and thawing, those combined things destroy roads. Yep. But now we're talking and even think about it like a vehicle when it's full of fuel. It gets lighter. The further you drive EVs super heavy from the beginning, they stay heavy all the time. So it's just the straight vehicle so the roads are already like, I'm sure all the the the road nerds are calculating. Well, that's the thing down the hallway with the paper bus. This is gonna be a problem.


Kyle Mountsier  09:32

Yeah, exactly like and one of the the cited notes was like, hey, if if for some reason this doesn't change, we're going to have to put more trucks on the road, which is going to hamper supply chains, which is going to create more congestion on highways.


Paul Daly  09:44

The opposite of the environmental goals were exactly so ah, every problem creates


Kyle Mountsier  09:49

every problem. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction there it is


Paul Daly  09:57

to say every expert has an equal and opposite experts Hi. I love it like these days. Alright, last story. I'll take this one because let's go down. Syracuse, New York was just approved and selected as a site for microns new microchip manufacturing facility they are going to invest, which is now the single largest private investment in New York State in history $100 billion to this incredible 1300 acre facility that has Wow buildings to produce microchips in Syracuse, New York


Kyle Mountsier  10:28

that has to make that has to make everyone from Syracuse just a wee bit proud. Well, you know,


Paul Daly  10:33

you might you probably don't know this, but Syracuse used to have two automotive manufacturing plants, GM plant and a Chrysler plant both in Syracuse, they're both gone. There's also carrier AC units. Yeah, major manufacturing and Syracuse gone. So over the last 20 years, Syracuse has taken a lot of knocks and manufacturing. So this is really everyone's looking at this as kind of like, oh, it's going to be like that again. Yeah,


Kyle Mountsier  10:55

right. Well, and it's a pretty tech forward city like we've I've learned recently that a lot of tech entrants come in through Syracuse, because of like tech incubators, and things like that. So the city


Paul Daly  11:05

is kind of advanced. And it's not talked about because it hasn't been fully utilized yet. But it is a very connected city when it comes to, you know, like, like Wi Fi streetlights and stuff that can actually pass data around Microsoft actually put a hub there interesting r&d on that. So Syracuse has a few sleeper things going on. I hope less people find out about it, because I think it's a beautiful place.


Kyle Mountsier  11:26

All Paul really hopes is that they have a Nashville flight now opened up.


Paul Daly  11:31

This company has executives in Nashville, direct flight, so we can spend more


Kyle Mountsier  11:36

time together well, from the data. It's like what this is going to be as the eighth largest site for semi for semiconductors in the US. And right now the US only contributes 12% of global production for chips, even in our tech forward. So when when we look at this and just bringing more semiconductors, owning supply chains is something that a lot of manufacturers, both inside and outside of auto in tech verticals are saying like we have to have happier the issue. Right, exactly. So I think this is a huge move. For us. It's a story that's close to home because the soda team half of its there. So a big deal. But hey, thanks for hanging out with us today in Miami. We'll share some more as we go throughout the day with name Ed. But hey, it's it's again, I'm like all week. I'm like it's a five Saturday but it's a five Saturday month. So if you're out there selling services and cars, keep at it. Keep serving customers and we'll see you tomorrow.