Nvidia and pedestrian death

NVDA in particular has been hit hard the past 2 days after the report that they’re temporarily suspending their on-road tests of autonomous vehicles (AV) due to the death of the pedestrian last week “at the hands” of an AV.

Apparently Nvidia’s CEO clarified that the Uber car that caused the death was not running on Nvidia’s autonomous car program, but Uber’s own. Nvidia simply paused to see what they could learn from the accident to improve their own system before continuing.



And worth noting that roughly 1.3 million people die in road crashes per year. Over 3,000 per day.


Hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than demanding autonomous cars never kill anyone, but it’s okay for humans to slaughter each other by the millions annually.


I had some thoughts earlier this morning about how the past 6 or so market days have played out and some of the interrelationships between some of the companies that have caused the recent market reactions to make a decent deal of sense.

Here is a listing of the issues:
-Trade with China and other countries
-Facebook’s issues
-How Facebook uses AI (which was prompted by this interesting Twitter thread - https://twitter.com/fchollet/status/976563870322999296 )
-Tesla’s many overall issues with

   -burning through cash 
   -not meeting production targets 
   -not meeting the promise to have an autonomous trip from LA to NYC as promised for sometime in 2017
   -getting impacted by the pedestrian death
   -having their credit rating dinged (logically so, based on the above)

-Autonomous driving getting the blackeye in the press from the pedestrian death
-Amazon taking a hit from the POTUS apparently taking issue with them in some regard
-The market in general taking a beating due to the impacts of recently near-term market leaders Facebook, Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, and a few others having material headline issues specific to their companies
-Netflix and several other companies had simply gotten ahead of themselves share-price-wise; this piece on Seeking Alpha from this morning talks a bit about this factor - https://seekingalpha.com/article/4159862-market-finally-beco…

The report of NVDA’s suspension of on-the-road testing, which is only temporary, was simply a match thrown into the tinderbox of the market that includes the above conditions. In light of all that, the market seems a little less crazy to me in the drop of NVDA’s share price that coincided ironically with Jensen Huang giving a 2+ hour keynote presentation detailing the many advances they’ve been making and the numerous markets they’re involved in and helping make the world a better place.

What I have done with my share-holdings in the past 2 weeks, is simply hold them. From what I can tell, nothing has materially changed for the companies I hold:

Ticker		% of total port
NVDA		22.05%
ANET		12.21%
MELI		8.50%
AAPL		5.80%
PSTG		6.27%
UBNT		5.39%
SQ		4.72%
BOFI		4.77%
AYX		3.98%
Options		4.50%  (this is mostly UBNT call options)
SHOP		3.63%
TTD		3.05%
SWKS		2.46%
NKTR		2.61%
HUBS		2.14%
SBUX		2.31%
cash		0.94%  (I do kinda wish I had had a bigger cash position heading into these past 2 weeks)
SWIR		1.94%
IRBT		1.57%
CELG		1.11%  (this is a 2020 options position, excluded from the above options %-age)


Hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than demanding autonomous cars never kill anyone, but it’s okay for humans to slaughter each other by the millions annually.

I don’t think anyone is “demanding” that. I do think they’re look at the video and saying “What went wrong? Maybe this isn’t as easy as we thought.”

The video you have probably seen is deceptive. Here’s one of the same street and the same time of day. The car is coming out of a tunnel, but the “car” doesn’t see it. Neither does the “human assist” driver, who is obviously not assisting, but playing with her phone. (I am not surprised; put a human in a boring situation with a phone and they will always opt for the phone.)

Video halfway down the page:

There weren’t stop lights in the horse and buggy days, even though they sometimes went fast and had intersections, too. With new technologies come new needs, and it’s prudent to pause and say “OK, what can we learn here?” If that surprises giddy investors, well, take a look at what Facebook and Google (and AOL, back in the day) went through on their paths forward. It isn’t a straight line up. Never has been. Even Microsoft and Apple had a few struggles along the way.


GoofyHoofy - Agree, of course. My point is just that autonomous cars are coming, will be much better for humankind in the long run and any big stock price drops due to fears of this technology slowing down are likely to be good buying opportunities. Anything that kills millions of people per year is ripe for disruption.


I don’t have anything pithy to add on stock investment advice. Just this…

As a lifelong reader and fan of sci-fi, and an employee and leader in some cutting-edge telecom technologies for most of my professional life, progress will not be linear. More than one pedestrian will die. More than one patron will suffer, and likely die. Financially, figuratively, literally.

Technological progress will continue. Invest accordingly, according to your risk tolerance for stocks and our human race.



but it’s okay for humans to slaughter each other by the millions annually.

I know of no one who believes that.

1 Like