Veteran auto analyst Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley has published fresh $TSLA note: 3 Thoughts on Autopilot Recall, dissecting Tesla’s recent decision to recall over 362,000 vehicles equipped with troublesome Full Self Driving (FSD) beta software. While reaffirming risks around sensor deficits and promised capability timelines, Jonas’ note strikes a cautiously optimistic tone on improvements thus far. We excerpt and analyze three key investor takeaways.
Unlike critics reliant on second-hand accounts of Autopilot’s capabilities, Jonas draws directly from over three years of first-hand driving experience utilizing Tesla’s advanced driver assistance platform across multiple vehicles. That personal familiarity informs a balanced, nuanced view.
As Jonas relays, “…it continually gets better, in my view. But I’ve also gotten better at knowing when to use it and, importantly, when not to use it.” It’s an insightful distinction, acknowledging both technological progress and importance of human discretion when activating Autopilot. Jonas believes human oversight remains essential currently, though values the convenience benefits.
A core contention around Tesla’s autonomous claims centers on transparency. With hundreds of thousands of connected vehicles accruing billions of miles, Tesla theoretically possesses immense volumes of data demonstrating (or disproving) safety improvements versus human operators alone.
But Tesla provides little context – a gap competitors often highlight. Jonas argues more robust data publication would strengthen Tesla’s position and counter isolated incidents under investigation presently. It’s a fair call for added visibility validating Tesla’s purported gains.
While the analyst flags slowing EV demand, key team departures and past missed timelines as real investor concerns, Jonas believes reasonable long-term conviction in Tesla remains warranted. He still forecasts strong earnings growth and cash flow generation potential from vehicle manufacturing and adjacent business lines.
And with superior capitalization versus rivals, Jonas sees Tesla weathering macro storms better than competitors, ultimately capturing increased market share as recovery accelerates. There’s justification for caution, but room for upside as well.
So in summary, Jonas’ latest commentary reaffirms existing Autopilot critiques, but attempts balancing those against hands-on usage insights and reasoning behind Tesla’s still enviable market positioning. It’s a pragmatic multi-angle perspective loyal Tesla stakeholders and skeptical observers alike would benefit reflecting on, if more transparency arrives, bullish trajectories may reassert themselves for a company accustomed to polarizing auto opinions.