A crucial issue in the presidential election Biden vs.  Trump of 2024

A crucial issue in the presidential election Biden vs. Trump of 2024

A crucial issue in the presidential election Biden vs.  Trump of 2024

Welcome back to the latest episode of The Future of Automotive on CBT News, where we put recent automotive and mobility news in the context of wider themes impacting the industry.

I’m Steve Greenfield from Automotive Ventures and I’m glad you could join us.

A Washington Post article this week points out how important electric vehicles will be to this year’s presidential election in general, and the Biden/Trump presidential debates in particular.

It’s hard to believe we’re just over 5 months away from the presidential election and just days away from the first Biden/Trump debate.

Just two years ago, Senate Democrats banded together to advance sweeping legislation aimed at combating climate change, in part, by accelerating the transition to electric vehicles with tax credits and other incentives.

But now, facing a tough re-election climate in November, some Senate Democrats fighting for their political lives in red states are distancing themselves from aspects of President Biden’s electric vehicle policy as Republicans go on the offensive against his environmental agenda Biden.

Donald Trump has made it very clear that he will continue to criticize environmental issues in general, and electric vehicles in particular. Trump vowed to roll back Biden’s electric vehicle efforts and warned (quote/unquote) that “you won’t be able to sell those cars” if he becomes president.

The EV issue is such a hot topic because it combines several potent political ingredients — China, class warfare, and what the GOP will likely describe as a Congressional spending spree. Defenders of the policy point out that the EV transition is crucial to slowing the worst effects of climate change and point to tens of millions of dollars in investment in EV-related plants in the United States, which should create high-paying manufacturing jobs.

Still, it’s an easy line of attack for Trump, who called Biden’s regulations “ridiculous” in a recent meeting with oil industry executives from whom he asked to raise $1 billion for his campaign.

At a rally in Las Vegas earlier this month, Trump railed at length against electric boats, saying he would have trouble knowing what to do if the boat sank in shark-infested waters. “Do I get electrocuted if the boat sinks, water goes over the battery, the boat sinks? Do I stand on top of the boat and get electrocuted, or do I jump the shark and not get electrocuted?” he asked. “I’ll get electrocuted every time,” he said. “Don’t go near the shark.”

Last week, Trump told Senate Republicans behind closed doors that he would “get rid” of Biden’s “disastrous” electric vehicle policy if elected president.

Last month, the Biden administration announced steep new tariffs on electric vehicles made in China.

In Ohio, an auto manufacturing state where cars are central to politics, former auto dealer Bernie Moreno criticized the “manic” shift to electric vehicles, saying it could destroy the auto industry.

Many of the electric vehicle tax credits approved in the Inflation Relief Act went to buyers in California and on the coasts, making it harder to sell the plan to red states. Republicans and some Democrats have also argued that the Biden administration was too permissive with Chinese-made battery parts that make up the vehicles, while Republicans plan to argue that lawmakers authorized billions in spending in the legislation without significantly reducing inflation.

Trump’s constant demonization of vehicles — “POWER TO HELL,” he wrote of EV advocates in a Truth Social post last Christmas — has only made EVs more unpopular among Republicans.

The gap between Democrats and Republicans on EVs is staggering. More than 61 percent of Democrats said they think their friends would think it would be a “smart move” if they bought an electric vehicle, compared to just 19 percent of Republicans.

Maybe we should all get our buzzword bingo cards ready for this upcoming first debate to see how many times the words “EV” and “China” are mentioned by each candidate. I bet the issue will get a lot of airtime.

Let the fireworks begin!

So with that, let’s move on to our Companies to Watch.

Each week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to watch. If you read my Weekly Intel Report, we introduce you to a company to watch and take the opportunity to share that company with you.

Today, our new company to watch is TERN AI.

It is no exaggeration to say that the most critical systems of our modern world rely on GPS, from aviation and road networks to emergency and disaster response, from precision agriculture and power grids to weather forecasting and military defense.

But in some ways this critical dependency becomes a problem.

We have an increased threat from foreign adversaries who have demonstrated capabilities to jam, destroy, spoof GPS signals, which is scary.

Tern AI, a startup that just came out of stealth mode in February, has come up with a so-called independently derived positioning system (or IDPS instead of GPS) that can recognize the position of a vehicle or a person without relying on satellite signal. This means no blocking threats, construction or dead zones prevent an accurate position.

The current system works through GPS receivers in cars or phones that pick up signals from satellites orbiting the Earth. The signals contain information about the satellite and the exact time the signals are sent. GPS receivers then use the time it takes to travel through each signal to calculate the distance to each satellite. By triangulating distances, the receiver can determine its exact position, which is then displayed in applications such as Google Maps or Waze.

The Tern AI IDPS is powered by an AI model that ingests real-time vehicle and phone sensor data, as well as third-party map data, to provide a consistent and accurate position. This model can be downloaded as a software package to the infotainment system of a compatible vehicle. If the vehicle is not compatible, the system can be downloaded to a smartphone. Tern’s model can use the phone’s sensor data to help determine a position, but in some cases the smartphone will need to pull the car’s sensor data from the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port.

Tern AI’s biggest selling point is that it uses AI to analyze sensor data, such as speed and motion sensors, that are already available in smartphones and vehicles. Tern does not rely on computer vision and cameras to help it determine positioning.

Tern’s IDPS can position vehicles with an accuracy of 4 meters.

If you want to know more about TERN AI, you can check them out at

So that’s it for this week’s Future of Automobiles segment.

If you’re an AutoTech entrepreneur working on a solution that helps car dealers, we want to hear from you. We’re actively investing in DealerFund.

If you are interested in joining our Investment Club to make direct investments in AutoTech and Mobility startups, please join. There is no obligation to start seeing our trade flow and we continue to have attractive investment offers available to our members.

Don’t forget to check out my book, The Future of Auto Retail, which is available on And keep an eye out for my new book, The Future of Mobility, which is almost ready and coming out soon.

Thanks (as always) for your continued support and for tuning in to CBT News for this week’s Future of Automotive segment. See you next week!