Tesloop's have a mission to create a community of travelers who enjoy a sustainable and enjoyable travel experience. What sets Tesloop apart from their competitors is that they aim to make this process convenient and affordable. In the run up to his session at Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, we managed to grab a quick interview with Co-Founder & CEO of Tesloop, Rahul Sonnad.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience and your position within Tesloop?
I'm co-founder and CEO. We started Tesloop in 2015, and prior to that, I had been an investor and extreme follower of Tesla. I viewed them as on the verge of creating the world first digital transportation platform.
How did you feel when your son pitched the idea of Tesloop?
While I admired his drive, I thought it was a somewhat silly idea for a summer job and dangerous to do so much driving.
To what extent does Tesloop utilise the Tesla Autopilot function?
We have a policy that all driving on the highway is done with autopilot. I've personally driven about 20k miles on autopilot. My colleagues have driven 40 k- 60k each.
How will the rise of fleet mobility affect the automotive industry?
There are 3 major things going on: 1) Electrification 2) Autonomy and 3) Deep connectivity. Together these make a fleet effectively a server farm. Instead of storing files or streaming video, these servers move people. instead of managing driver psychology fleet mobility means you are optimizing utilizaiton of the vehicles.
To what extent do you believe startups will affect the automotive industry?
I personally do not see companies like the traditional automakers, rental car companies, or airlines moving in a direction that will allow them to thrive. Therefore, startups and horizontal migrants (i.e. google/apple), will have a huge impact.
How can fleet optimisation help minimize costs and improve efficiency?
Electric cars can be driven 16 - 17 hours a day. This radically changes the cost equation, especially when drive trains can last million + miles. Most of the optimzation is very algorithmic based on traffic, charging and pricing.