Forget Oil Podcast

#9 Taavi Rõivas - How to implement innovation in society? POV of top politician and high-tech entrepreneur

January 06, 2022 Martin Raadik Episode 9
Forget Oil Podcast
#9 Taavi Rõivas - How to implement innovation in society? POV of top politician and high-tech entrepreneur
Show Notes Transcript

Most people know todays guest Taavi Rõivas as a former prime minister of Estonia, but not only that, he was Europes youngest prime minister at the time. He has spoken a lot about the topics of the digital economy, AI, security policy, and e-government – also – He appeared on a popular TV show in the USA with Trevor Noah and I believe he is an e- resident because of him. He has had a massive impact on adapting innovative technology while working in politics and now he is a board member of Auve Tech, which develops autonomous vehicle which has a vast positive impact on the climate. 

We talked about his story of how he encouraged the implementation of very innovative solutions as a top politician and now as a chairman of Auve Tech, which develops autonomous vehicle technology, hence the name - AuVe Tech

I'm very pleased with the end result of the episode and hope You will enjoy it as well!

Speaker 1:

So , uh , welcome to another episode of , uh , forget oil podcast . Uh, we burn 15 billion liters of oil a day , uh, that is 6,000 Olympic swimming pools or 30 , uh, full , uh , fully tanked oil like that . And that's every day . So in this podcast, I talk to inspiring people who work to reduce , uh , their addiction to fossil fuels and build their successful businesses at the same time. So , uh , today is a guest , uh , most people , uh , know him as the former prime minister of office Estonia , but not , not only that, he was the youngest , um , prime minister in Europe at that time. And he has spoken a lot about topics of digital economy, AI security, policy e-government and also he appeared there on popular TV shows <laugh> yeah. In USA, for example, Trevor Noah , and , uh , I believe , uh , he's um , an I resident , uh , because of , uh , you correct?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's correct. I , I gave him the, the I residency card and he was very surprised and , uh , he's one of the most prominent IRES we have. All right .

Speaker 1:

So, so you definitely have an had massive impact on adaptive , uh , adapting, innovative technology while working in politics. And now , uh , you're the board member of our tech , uh , which helps , uh , um , to develop , uh , autonomous vehicles. And , um , so yeah, Mr. David RVAs , uh , thank you for joining the podcast today. Thank you for, So , uh , out of all things you could do , um , uh , you , uh , you decided to do , uh , autonomous vehicles , uh , I'm very interested. How was your, your journey from the politics , uh , that you've done most of your life all the way to autonomous vehicles?

Speaker 2:

Well, it started basically at the age of the seven , when I had served , uh , uh , two consecutive terms as, as prime minister. They , they were not the full terms, but it was still like three years and two different governments that I had , uh , um , run from the government level. And , um , after that , uh , it's rather difficult to, to find , uh , a new challenges in politics that you haven't already seen or you haven't already done. So for me, that was quite clear that I want to do something , uh , in private sector and I want to do something that , uh, has impact and , uh, well , as cheesy as it sound , uh , sounds , uh , changes the world. And I was looking for some time for interesting , um , tech companies. I had some , uh , minor roles in , in some of them, but , uh , when I saw that , um , the science project , uh , uh , between silver Alto and TeleTech , uh , is , uh , growing to a actual company and, and , uh , startup then , uh , was the moment when I realized that this is the thing that will probably , uh , influence the way we live , uh , a lot , uh , autonomous transport is not just , uh , like technology, the , uh , is very innovative, but it's also enabling , uh , solutions that will , uh , help the trans help to transform the way we see city transport, for example. So that's super interesting for me. And , uh , my role , uh , is , uh , probably the least technical in the , the whole company. We have 50 plus people. And , uh , I would say almost everybody is , uh , either developing, designing , uh , manufacturing , uh , uh , some parts , bits and pieces of the car. Uh , my role is to, to introduce us to K key stakeholders , uh , globally to, to find , uh , customer, but , uh , also to find , uh , strategic partners. Uh , so in a way I'm doing little bit the same as I was doing , uh , as prime minister when I spent quite a lot of time , uh , uh , promoting Australian tech and, and external

Speaker 1:

Startups. This is what I noticed , uh , about your , uh , politics , uh , career as well. That , uh , like many of the things you you speak about are very innovative. Like e-government AI, all that. So it , it , all , it kind of makes sense how you chose the autonomous vehicles.

Speaker 2:

So , yes, and , and it didn't come from , uh , from nothing also when I was still in politics, I basically, I started taking interest , uh , in already when I was in high school that, you know, having a computer at home, wasn't that obvious back then , uh , I went to , uh , high school and, and I remember my parents buying the first computer in 94. And at that time I actually remember exactly the configuration that was super important to know what the configuration is today . Nobody really cares what's the processor or what, how many , how much , uh , memory you have. But then we knew every little detail. And I remember the cost, which in today's money is , um , little bit less than 2000 euros. And then it was , um , then it was , uh , uh , I just have looked it up , uh , later, but it was basically almost two annual average salaries. So you can imagine how high it was, the threshold to actually , uh , get access to computer . And I was lucky enough to have , um , schoolmates and friends , um , who used fit on it. That was before we started using email use , fit on it , to, to communicate and to send , uh , messages to each other. And then with some of them, we are still , uh , uh , contact in contact and, and some of them are today founders of, of unicorns or, or te acorn for that matter. Tain , uh , was also in , in , uh , in , uh , fi net and also at <inaudible> who is, who has been CTO of the, the biggest company led by Antonian Twilio mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Speaker 1:

Okay. That , um , that was a big privilege in , you got , uh , acquainted with technology very , very early on , uh , what happened then , uh , in your career?

Speaker 2:

Well , uh , if we still go back to the high school, I mean, that was the time when it was not as easy to use computer, as it's nowadays, nowadays you just take an iPad. Uh , and my two year old daughter can do everything with it. Basically she can draw with it, she can find YouTube herself , uh , she can , uh , find from search the right , uh , cartoon or, or , uh , film , uh , she wants to watch. So the computers have become innovative back then in 94, we still used Microsoft tos , which is basically needs , uh, several words of, of pretty much coding to actually do anything. Um , we had to configure our , um , own settings. Uh , there was a lot of things to, to do, and a lot of things also , uh , hardware wise , it was quite typical that we had , uh , the computer leads open , always because there was so many things we are constantly changing or modifying. So hence there was like , um , the essential understanding of computing technology and, and using computer was much more hands on and much more required, much more skills back then. And so , um, after that , uh , I, I went to university and worked for a few years, minister of justice , uh , where I had the luxury to be appointed by the minister , um , together with , um , uh , the current , um , uh , legal chancellor of Estonia <inaudible> , uh , we were two young civil servants in our early twenties who were appointed by the minister to sought out how we could do the ultimate thing with the , then just a , uh , introduced digital ID. Um , that was the year 2001, I think. And , uh , we got the assignment to, to find a group of people who can make sense if it's possible to vote electronically because minister mat , who is the father of internet voting in Estonia. And for that matter globally, because we're still the only one who does it properly. And we certainly were the first one to do it. Uh , he had this , uh , crazy idea that , uh , we should find the ultimate relationship between , uh , citizen and government. And if this can be done , uh , using electronic identity and , uh , across internet, then anything can be done. Then any service can be introduced using digital ID. And he had this very clear understanding that voting is the most important thing , uh , act of democracy act of , uh , your free will to, to choose the people who represent you. And , um , yeah, that was also like , um , tech project that , uh , that we got , um , involved in, in early stage . And , um , and also during that time , uh , it just happened that we also , uh , introduced the first ever , uh , w uh , service , uh , by Australian government w was , uh , the predecessor of , uh , of smartphone. Basically, there was the first w uh , phones. It was like black and white on your screen. You could do almost something like browsing in the internet, but the protocol was , uh , very far from today's , uh , flashy touch screens. It was all like , um , um , little bit information. And basically what we introduced was , um , that you could look up , uh , your partner's information in the business register. So basically if somebody is sitting , uh , next to you and , uh , wants to sign a document on behalf of , uh , of , uh , company, you can check the register, whether he has the legal right to represent the company seems like a small thing, but in today, nobody needs that because we have Google, we have lots of tools , uh , in , in our smartphone, but then it was a huge leap. So, yeah , I , I have been lucky to, to be involved in, in those kind of, of groundbreaking , um , um , public services at the very early stage. And also after working for minister of justice , uh , I also worked one year in , uh , in I companies , uh , it , as you state it , uh , which , uh , was also the company who wrote the first were for the ID card , but my role was more sales than, than technical, but, you know, you cannot successfully sell any anything if you don't really understand what it is mm-hmm <affirmative> , and that's why , uh, my interest in tech has helped me a lot. Uh , also when I wouldn't say selling, but I would say promoting a Australian E government promoting a know startups , uh , this scene or, or those services, they are not , uh , um , unfamiliar to me. So that's why it's actually quite easy to, to advocate them and, and , uh , know the technology behind that. And I know the fundamentals, why one thing is like it is, mm ,

Speaker 1:

Okay . When we compare now , um , the , the , the E ID card or the electronic ID card. And , um, and now autonomous vehicles, I , I believe , um, the E uh , ID card also had lot of resistance in the beginning. Like I be , I bet people were very like re luck tend to trust the system. And , uh , and I believe , uh , this is where autonomous vehicles are right now. Like we , people don't trust it, but how did that , uh, problem solve, you know, with , with ID cards? Well ,

Speaker 2:

Uh, the , the big mistake is that we tend to compare technology against the perfect world, but there is no such thing as perfect world. Uh , whereas there is , uh , no , uh , perfect signature, you know , think about it, how people , uh , are still signing most of the documents , uh , globally, they're using a P in and scribbling something. This is like, you know, hundreds of years , uh , ago that might have looked so , uh , solid, but today it's, it's ridiculously unsafe. And the same is , um , in autonomous driving people , uh , tend to think that autonomous needs to be perfect. Uh , and it does need be , uh , very, very safe without the question. But then again , uh , uh , we should compare it , uh , um , with, with human driver who is , uh , much more likely to , uh, to make mistakes than , uh , than , uh , uh , machine machine has , uh , uh , in , in our autonomous vehicles, we have lots of things doubled, sometimes tripled. Uh , it is very, very difficult to, to , um , provoke the machine to make mistakes, whereas we are all humans and , and all human , uh , drivers or most human drivers , uh , can make , uh , miss takes easily , especially if they drive hours and hours and hours continuously as , as lots of , uh , autonomous vehicles. Uh , do. And so, yes, I think we shouldn't compare technology against , uh , uh , kind of perfect world, which has never existed and probably will never exist, but we should just, you know, when we see that the technology is , uh , let's say five or 10 times , uh , more secure than , uh , than human or, or the previous , uh , solution, then we should , uh , definitely stop the trusting technology because it will make our life so much better.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah. And , uh, you mentioned that , uh , when we see that something like many times safer than we should use it , uh , actually stumbled upon an article explaining how , um, uh , how , uh , seat belts were made mandatory , uh , in us . And there were people and like disagreeing with them and not saying that like, like this is , uh , like , uh , threatening or Liberty, like why , why we have to do this and all

Speaker 2:

That. So, yeah , in a way, I , I mean, it's quite probable that you can get some sort of injury from seatbelt as well. Uh , but it is all down to , uh , mathematics. Uh , it's quite clearly a lot less probable that you get , uh , injury from the seatbelt , uh , and lost lot more likely you get bad injury if you don't use the seatbelt . And again, it is also very good example in this respect that the seat belts are not , uh , perfect. Uh, they could cause , uh , injury in some theoretical situation, but , uh, but they make , uh , driving still a lot safer. And that's why it makes sense to use it.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm <affirmative> okay. So how, how, how far is autonomous , uh , technology now? Um , mm-hmm <affirmative> do you already have vehicles , uh , driving in CIES , uh , some in streets

Speaker 2:

Would , would you have , uh , echo was , uh , driving in public roads in , uh , we have been in eight European countries in theory, we have one single legislative room, but in practice we still have 27 and different legislations. So we have , uh , complied with each country's regulations separately of core helps that if you are road legally in Estonia, then you can more easily go to Finland and then Greece , and , and then to Poland. But , um , but we , we are driving on local roads and our cars have , uh , uh , license plates from, from several countries. Um , but today I think it's , um, um , I , I think the combination of technology and also public acceptance is at the point , uh , where last mile is , uh , very much acceptable and very much chewable last mile, meaning that taking you from the bus stop , uh , to your store step , uh , few hundred meters, one kilometer , uh , last mile , meaning , uh, um , taking you, let's say from , uh , um , from the , uh , gate of , um , of zoo or cemetery or, or amusement park, whatever it is like a semi-closed area taking you from there to your destination or several destinations. And it can be a course in traffic and it usually ease in traffic. So this is all , uh , very much doable and very much acceptable. Why , why I , uh , mentioned this acceptable so much. Um , I, myself , uh , don't feel comfortably yet to drive autonomously a hundred kilometers an hour , uh, on , in a road car makes sense . Um , and , uh , I need to used to that , uh, our cars don't have , uh , wheels, our cars don't have visible brake pedals. Uh , so if you sit there, there is , you know, okay, there, there are emergency brakes , uh, of course, but, but , uh, if you drive very, very fast with those , uh , people might get scared and this is not what we want. So the speed limit, which is also the legal limit for level four, autonomous right now is 24 kilometers an hour. You , you definitely feel safe at that speed. We have had lot of , um , guests from Estonia and abroad, the latest being , uh , being GU of underlay and the president of commission taking autonomous rights. And , uh , they have all felt safe and that's , uh , super important because , uh , because in order to use innovative technology , uh , you need to feel safe. You need to feel comfortable. And, and that's what we are aiming from .

Speaker 1:

Okay. Talking about feeling safe as though , uh , let's assume all vehicles are autonomous , um, what happens with the speed limit?

Speaker 2:

Well, I actually haven't thought about it in this way. I mean , um , uh , the speed , uh , this, these two things , uh , how cars can communicate , uh , with each other and not hit each other, actually that could in theory increase the speed limits. Uh , but then again , uh , um , you also need to feel safe. I mean, machine machine can accelerate very fast, but , uh , but the human inside them machine or sitting there should, or , or also machine can decelerate or, or stop very quickly. But , uh , but that could cause , uh , problems for the people , um , taking the right . So, but I mean, in theory , uh , at least on those roads where there is , uh , a movement in, in , uh , certain sec certain direction, it's quite probable that autonomous vehicles could increase speed. But , uh , then again , um , the way I see it is , uh , you don't need to take , uh , autonomous, right , uh , uh , with a personal vehicle necessarily from , uh , let's say , talent to talk to , or from, from he Toku . Uh , we believe that , uh , in order to make transport more sustainable, it's not, the idea is not to get , uh , more cars to the roads , but the idea is to, to get the sum of the trips , uh , done , uh , with public transport, whatever the , uh , shape of public transport is in, in 10 years , uh , time. But also today , uh , you take like , like train or, or bus , uh , uh , from , uh , from point to point, and then at the final destination to actually reach your doorstep, to make the train also not only quicker and , uh , and cheaper than your personal car, but to make it also equally comfortable or even more comfortable in some use cases, you can take the last ride also in the comfort and warmth of , um , of a vehicle. Uh , but this vehicle will , uh , driver Leslie come to your , uh , train station and take you from there to your doorstep. And we have discussed with , uh , lot of counterparts in very different countries. It doesn't really matter if it's , uh , uh , sunny , um , Dubai where it's , uh , sometimes simply too hot to walk, or it is , uh , snowy , uh , Lapland where , uh , it's too cold and , and , uh , sometimes too wind did to walk , uh , in most countries. Uh , it actually makes sense to take you from , uh , uh , like the last few hundred meters people in , in many cases, they cannot walk , uh , this few hundred meters, if they're with small children, if they are with , uh , uh , goods to carry, whatever it is , uh , we are just helping this last bit . And this last bit is precisely why a lot of people are still using cars, why there is still , uh , a large , um , business districts developed and hectares and hectares of, of , uh , land is used , uh , to, to simply park cars instead of actually doing something more meaningful to have, you know , park or to have a , a restaurant or to have more rentable space, whatever. Uh , so yeah, that's, that's the challenge. We are , we are dealing with it and , and , um , and we believe that , um , we are not just only getting , uh , all the cars that are already on the road to drive autonomously, but we are just trying to change the way we, we move the , the way we , uh , uh , get from point to point and, and it needs to become more sustainable for, for a number of reasons. Mm-hmm

Speaker 1:

<affirmative> yeah, because auto autonomous vehicles don't really have a , like a limit of how many hours they could really work a day. Like I was , I , I believe , uh , currently it's like around 4% that the people use their vehicles that they own mm-hmm <affirmative> so, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . I mean, this is , uh , very interesting topic. Uh , uh , you , you can go 24 7 , uh , there is still , uh , time required for charging, but , uh , as you very well know, the charges are getting , uh , much faster. Also we are experimenting with hydrogen as one source of , um , of energy to the, to the , um , uh , engine. Uh , hydrogen is very quick to be charged. Uh , also we have been experimenting together with skeleton with , uh , super capacitors . Again, this charging can happen in 10 seconds, and then you can drive like 30 minutes with this energy. Uh , that means that you can really autonomously go , uh , around the clock. Uh , you can also charge autonomously this 10 seconds. So I'm pretty sure that , uh , that , uh, take knowledge. It doesn't get tired and you really can go 24 7 if , if necessary, but of course, most use cases that we have experienced , uh , still have this , um , uh , night post or the most use case people don't need to go to all places 24 7. So, so , uh, also city transport stops , uh , during night, usually at least most of it. So, so we, we usually so far have still had time to charge the cars as well, but the cars don't take , uh , vacation. They don't take , uh , Sunday off. So, so these are already big advantages. And , um , and we still have just one, one more thing. We still have reg legal requirement that there needs to be safety of operator. Um,

Speaker 1:

I , I want to ask meanwhile, like, is this , um, the biggest bottleneck right now? Uh , the , like having the safety operator or what , yeah ,

Speaker 2:

Not really. I mean, we have found a solution that it wouldn't be a , a bottleneck , uh , most of , uh , the companies that provide autonomous , uh , transport solutions , uh , have solved it , uh, in the most simple way, keeping the safety operator within the car. Uh, we use it sometimes as well, but this is mainly to, to be like a right companion to, to explain what is done and so forth as a guide, perhaps. But , uh, but , uh , we have , uh , worked very hard , uh , on a technology that , uh , enables us to take the safety operator away from the car , uh, to, to give the guidance if needed from distance. Uh , we call it teleoperation and , and then , uh , one person , uh , using tele operation can , um , look for , uh , or look , uh , uh , look , uh , for , uh , let's say up to 10 cars and that makes it also economically sensible that instead of one , uh , uh , one driver per car, you have one per 10, and , um , it still gives you , uh , uh, final 10% of as , uh , assurance that , uh , that, you know, in case something goes wrong, there is still a human being who can actually help you. So if you still have this 10% of , um , of in confidence , uh , in the technology, you can get , uh, this , uh, this final ,

Speaker 1:

Um , okay, well , it's , um , pretty much the same with airplanes because , uh , I believe , uh , most of the airplanes , uh , or the Mo at least the most modern ones are actually , uh , able to land themselves if there's any problems. Uh , so right now the two pilots that are usually there are, are for people just so people would , would , would , would relax into like, knowing that there's a person there . Yeah. That

Speaker 2:

That's , that's quite correct , uh , with, or without problems. Most of the flying we are doing already is autonomous. And it actually makes sense , uh , to introduce autonomous , uh, uh, like let's say , uh , sector by sector , uh , in, in aviation, it is actually , uh , relatively logical to, to introduce because there is not that much traffic , uh , and the pilots still have some , uh , things that they can and , and probably do , uh , manually , uh , what they can control, what they can see, what they can , uh , you know, looking out the window for birds , uh , what be it . And , um , and , uh , of course , uh , if something goes wrong, this is always the kind of added 10% of comfort. If something goes wrong, they will successfully , uh , land the plane . Um , but then in road transport , um , uh, there are there , I mean, there are also Metro , there are so many Metro , uh, where already they are experimenting or, or daily basis using , uh , autonomous transportation. Again , uh , there, it is kind of no brainer because , uh, because , uh , there isn't really traffic, so it's just to , uh , set the criteria and program the, the train or, or solution accordingly. Uh , now coming to road , transport is a little bit more , uh , difficult mainly because there is so much more traffic and because there is so much more human , uh , action around your perhaps there also, because there are so many , um , people walking , uh , lots of things that , uh , you cannot program fully, you , you , you need to detect, you need to react and thus road , uh , transport is somewhat, I would , uh , say , uh , more difficult as, as a environment, but , uh , in this last mile , um , quite slow transport , uh , we are at the point of technology where it is perfectly doable. And , uh, and I think the technology is pretty much ready to, to offer like , uh , everyday solutions in , in this especially last mile. But I said , uh , from getting from one city to , to another a hundred kilometers, an hour autonomously on roads is not that , uh , clear yet , uh , mainly because of , uh , it being uncomfortable for people mm-hmm <affirmative> , but then again, trains or, or , you know , solutions like, like that, where there is less traffic , uh , that , that could happen , uh , much sooner than, than on roads .

Speaker 1:

So, so , uh , so you have also , uh , done like baby steps through the way CIES to streets. And , uh , what is the current like then bottleneck and what is, what is like the next steps from , uh , from there , uh , to achieving full autonomous driving that this vehicle will be on the road, just like regular cars ? I

Speaker 2:

Think it , there , there are no real bottlenecks. I mean , uh , it's just to, it takes a little bit time and a lot of energy to explain , uh , uh , potential customers that they actually can have this kind of service as a solution. Um , most of the people ending up past customers of autonomous vehicles. Uh , they didn't know that this problem they have can actually successfully be solved. Uh , most of the city planners, most of the , um , most of the , um , developers, real estate developers, they still kind of take it for granted that there needs to be a large portion of the , uh , territory allocated for tar , uh , to park cars. Well , that's not the case. And then we are convincing every day , we have calls with , uh , real estate developers, city planners , uh , lots of people , uh , to explain that , uh , it doesn't, the world doesn't need to be built around the cars we can , uh , redo used the number, especially in, in , uh , very busy areas in, in , um , very busy business districts. For example, we can reduce it, we can make it autonomous. We can still still get , uh , from door to door , but, you know, do it a little bit more innovative way and, and , uh , and end up , uh , winning a lot,

Speaker 1:

Might be a bit aggressive with this , uh , question, but when then when, when will all

Speaker 2:

This ? Yeah , I think it takes like , uh , takes a couple of years , uh , still to have those large , uh , projects where we have , we are seeing , uh , uh , full districts, let's say 10 to, to hundred hectares that are fully served by, by , uh , autonomous vehicles or Tom PA hill becoming completely car free . For example, that that is doable in two or three years. And by doable, I mean, it needs not only technology to be ready, which is already today. It is also , uh , the city planning to, to cope with that and to actually think this way that , uh , that renting out , uh , this parking lot or building a , a , like , uh , building a , uh , building that we can rent out , uh , instead of keeping all the area for, for , uh , tar and , and cars , uh , also makes economic sense. Uh , today the autonomous driving is at this , um , commercial pilot or, or, or rather shoulder , uh , like few months commercial , uh , um , projects , uh , stage that's that's the market. Uh , the , there is lots of , um , um , lots of , uh , stakeholders globally who take interest. And we plan to, to , uh , get to as , as many places as possible over the next years to, to see who are the first to actually implement it at the lodge . But , uh , I don't know yet if it will be in Europe, if it will be in Dubai, Saudi, Singapore, us , uh , but , uh , it certainly will be in , in , I would say two to three

Speaker 1:

Years. Okay . And the , and these vehicles, would they be electric? Would they be run on hydrogen and how would they would , uh , charge or refill themselves?

Speaker 2:

Well , that's the right question . I mean, the hydrogen car is essentially also electric. The hydrogen is just the way we store the energy instead of battery. We , we keep it , uh , in the form of, of hydrogen or , uh , now I think most of the cars say in the near future will still be , uh , battery electric. Uh , that's just simply at this point , uh , most , uh , practical , uh , I would say , uh, hydrogen, we are hydrogen cars. We only have globally only one, and that's done by over tech , uh, together with university of Todd two . Uh , that's very unique , uh , and , uh, it might be as one of the options also , uh , for the future deployments, especially in these areas where you need , uh , uh , longer time spent to, to run continuously. But also, I , I think also the super capacitors are very interesting , uh , uh , technology, if you want to actually keep the bus running , uh , 24 7, then super capacitors can be , uh , very clear alternative to the battery, but , but I think it's quite clear that it will still be electric , uh ,

Speaker 1:

Only how come, why not , uh , why not diesel

Speaker 2:

Diesel is , uh , definitely , uh , uh , the , the fuel of, of yesterday and , uh , well, the real transportation , um , globally, amids , uh , roughly 20% of the CO2 , uh , uh , out of greenhouse gases . I seen calculations that is roughly 25%. We cannot , uh, address climate change without , uh , addressing road transport. And , uh , and also, I mean, I drive my electric car myself also , uh , uh , on everyday life. Uh , and , uh , I think also , uh , for many reasons , uh , if you have tried a good electric car, you don't want to back to diesel, you , you simply don't want, because it's , uh , in many ways, so much better and, and makes so much , uh , more sense. Mm

Speaker 1:

Okay. Yeah. Makes sense. And where would they charge and how , uh , will there be , uh , like a person putting them to charge in a , in a , in a Depot or something, or, or would they somehow charge themselves?

Speaker 2:

Well , that's , that's a good question. We haven't , uh , really , um , um , let's say paid so much attention on, on building autonomous , uh , charging , uh , for our cars, because currently it's just so easy to, to just put them to charge and, and , uh , it's, it's not the kind of a bottleneck, if you have , uh , if you have hundreds and hundreds of car in one single spot operating, then you might find ways to, to actually charge them , uh , uh , automatically. And, and that would save you some , uh , considerable time currently we haven't , um , um , emphasize , or like we haven't taken this as, as a kind of main concern, but , uh , but , uh , of course, I mean, it's not that difficult to imagine that , uh , the car can find the connection itself and, and as we can , um , make the car finding any spot autonomously, then if this spot has , uh , and the program, the , a car to go there , uh , for example, every five hours or, or whatever, or , or upon need , I mean, even, even lawn mowers can , uh , charge autonomously. So why, why couldn't we have this technology for, for cars it's quite quite logical that it'll get there, but current, yes, we haven't , um , uh , done it mainly because there is no real , uh , need. We still have , uh , with , uh , at our commercial projects and testing alike, we have still people involved , uh , helping , uh, what , for whatever reasons and, and, and thus , uh , it's not that much of a concern

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm <affirmative> okay. Makes sense. Uh let's um , let's try to do , um , like a lightning round , uh , I will ask or question or a state , uh , state a statement, and I would just like to get like, maybe two or three sentences, just like a comment on that. Let's try. Uh , okay. So when most of the vehicles are autonomous, who, who owns those vehicles,

Speaker 2:

Probably fleet operators, and , uh , the most likely fleet operators are either , uh , uh , public transport companies , uh , or , uh , municipalities, or , uh , why not those or real estate developers who own a large , uh , large , uh , business districts, for example.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. What do you think of the Teslas plan that , uh , you arrive to work and then you enabled your car to do autonomous drive? So basically he can , it can , uh , act as taxi, and then you just say that , okay. At 5:00 PM, I need to go back and then, well,

Speaker 2:

They don't yet have technology to do it, but in theory, why not? I mean, but then again, why own the car in the first place , uh , when you can , uh , take the bus to ride when , keep it in the crash in the first place? So , uh, I mean, Tesla is , uh , taking a car to be autonomous. Uh, it's a little bit like , uh , making a horse , uh , faster , uh, but we are like rethinking the transport. Mm-hmm <affirmative> , uh , we are in a way taking the next step. And I , I , I don't say that we don't have room to coexist. Of course we do. There will be still cars , uh , that are driven by people will be still cars , uh , uh , that are like semi autonomous. And like, sometimes people drive, sometimes they can , uh , drive themselves. But , uh , I think , uh, especially if you talk to today's teenagers, they immediately, they don't think , think of cars, like, like we do, like, or even, even for that, my , for my grandfather, who's 86, the car is like , uh , real estate. I would say, it's just like, you need to own a car. You have to take care of it. You spend a lot of , uh , time and , and money to, to keep it in good shape for my parents. It's still ownership. Mm-hmm <affirmative> for me. Uh , my generation, it is like , um , monthly cost. Uh , I still need a car. Uh , I think I need a car. I , I pay every month, some costs related to that car, but for my children's generation, they just want to understand how to get from point a to point B and, and owning or, or renting a car is not probably the , not, not best, best , uh , way to do it in , in many cases. And , uh, this is actually, I mean , uh , the owner , the concept of ownership and concept of , uh , having your , um , um , you know , roots very , um , very much in the soil is, is changing. Uh , the world is becoming smaller. Uh , we are moving more, we are becoming more global and if you become more global, it makes less and less sense to, to own a lot of things. And, and , uh , call , uh , is, is one of those. So I , I believe that the , the whole concept of, of , uh , moving from one place to another is, is changing. And, and , and by that, I don't think we need to change a hundred percent even if, if we help to change one or 10%, that will already be a huge shift.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . I believe there is a one good argument why we should, we would still own , um , a car if it's autonomous and that's , uh , the, the luggage space that I can carry around. Some stuff that I sometimes need. Um , just out of comfort. I don't know if you have things like this in a trunk. Uh , I

Speaker 2:

Do, but I also the brief , uh , which is actually much , uh , cheaper and more effective than , uh , three tons of, of Tesla to , to carry around. So of course I have some hand and chiefs and, and , uh , and my keys , uh , and some other stuff in my car, but I really don't need that much of , uh , metal to carry out my, my personal thing or carry around . Uh , I think like a backpack or briefcase , uh , will actually substitute that quite well. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Makes sense too . Uh , another lighting question is that , um, when all vehicles are , uh , autonomous, then we really don't need traffic, traffic lights. Do we,

Speaker 2:

When all vehicles are autonomous, well, we do need them for people. Uh , but , uh, but , uh, well, we still need some , um , regulations so that the autonomous cars know like how to behave, but of course, if they can communicate with each other, then yes. So I think there is less need for , uh, for , um, for some limitations or, or some regulations, but I , I , I'm not the , I'm not the ideal city planner or traffic planners, so I , I need to think of that , uh , little bit longer, but , uh , but yeah, for people we still need traffic lights. Let's put this one. Okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. To give , have people , people safe . Okay. Um, the CEO of timer did , uh , said that , um, uh , when vehicles are autonomous and more people are actually choosing to live , uh , further from the city because they can work while they commute. How do you feel about that?

Speaker 2:

That's absolutely true. I have had the luxury of having a driver take me around for five years or even more for my life. And that has been the time where you actually can use , uh , uh , time, very effectively to, to brief yourself, to communicate with people, things that sometimes are not possible or legal to do when you are driving , uh , reading stuff , uh , whatever it is. So yes, it is a huge luxury. And then saving a lot of time. My daily commute is more the a half an hour , uh , each direction. And, and this is the time where I can listen to music or audiobook , but , uh , or , or take a phone call with hands free , but I can read , or, or like prepare, for example, any, any documents. So I could do it if, if I , I would have like this imaginary driver or the car driving , um , me , um , yeah , so yeah, of course it's , uh , the former CEO of timer , uh , is definitely visionary and , and he knows what he , what , what he's saying. Uh , by the way we have had board members of timer , uh , uh , Tim Hudkins , uh , his CEO of , uh , of , uh , <inaudible> . He has taken a ride with our car and he was super skeptic in the beginning. You know, how can a small external company do something , uh , that , uh , even Daimler hasn't done , uh , yet , uh , and he was super satisfied with the ride. He took a ride in , in new LA Vista , and then after that, he invited us to, to Germany, to, to , so of all events that are, are basically linked to Dutch telecom com . Uh , so yeah , very, very good cooperation , uh , potential for us.

Speaker 1:

Oh , nice. Yeah . Uh , amazing how , yeah . Uh , timer is such a massive company. Like they , they have their own power plants and everything, so, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

And they are, I mean , uh , I have talked with , uh , with high level , I , uh , uh , people also on the , uh , race for electric and , and I'm pretty sure that , uh , that , uh , they understand it very well, that , uh , that they were a little bit late at the start to understand that, you know, the time of , uh , AMG, I , I'm sad saying that, you know, whereas I don't miss diesel engines, I will probably, we miss , uh , a good AMG engine , uh , with , uh , with a lot of , um , a lot of acceleration and, and noise. Uh , and , uh , but even, even people in timer have to admit and, and they do admit that the , um , age of V twelves , uh , is, is definitely over. And , and , uh , they are , uh , now putting so much energy to, to electric vehicles and they have already a lineup of like, I think five or six different electric vehicles. And , uh , I'm pretty sure that , uh , that they will, they will become one of the best in this , uh , knowing timer they are aiming for. Perfect. And , and , uh , I'm pretty sure that they will, they will get , uh , very good competition , uh , for Tesla who has enjoyed this kind of , um , unique , uh , position for, for quite some time already . Mm

Speaker 1:

Okay. To, to wrap up , um , maybe , uh , maybe you have , uh , suggestions for people who would like to take advantage of , uh, the , the , the , the technology developing, they , they want to perhaps build , uh , successful businesses in the wake of , uh , all these mega trends. Um , what is, what is your suggestions for, for people like that?

Speaker 2:

Well , uh , the most important thing is to , uh , try to understand as , as clearly as possible what the mega trends are. Uh, the , the humankind , uh , fighting , uh , climate change is definitely one mega trend , uh, need to become more sustainable as a human community is definitely a mega trend , uh , transportation , uh , uh , changing , uh , and then the young generation thinking , uh , of differently of, of owning things versus , uh , just, you know, using, or, or getting the service done is , is , is definitely mega trend . And also technology is , uh , is the biggest , um , biggest , uh, single thing that is changing our lives , uh , everywhere when , uh , simple , um , manual tasks can be , um , done by technology at the same level or better than human beings do it. Uh , their te will do it for us , uh , for a good reason. And , uh, and this , you know, we already have four or five mega trends . And, and , and if you find a good combination , uh , that your solution answer to those , uh , mega trends , uh , it's quite likely that you have a winning idea. Mm ,

Speaker 1:

Nice. Um , David , thank you so much for joining in this podcast. I got , uh , so many good ideas from here. I wish , uh , the best luck for ATech and hope to see more of your vehicles on the roads soon. Thank you very much . Okay .