The auto industry is on the verge of a complete, top-to-bottom transformation with Tesla being the primary driver of the revolution thanks to the ideas of — Elon Musk. Recently, Tom Mueller, SpaceX CTO, spoke with astronomers at New York University Astronomy Society regarding the parallels between SpaceX’s and Tesla’s manufacturing efforts.
In some aspects, SpaceX, Tesla’s sister company, has come farther than Tesla in its mission to remake its respective industry. While SpaceX is in position to dominate the market in space launches, Tesla still has quite a way to go before overtaking leaders in the auto industry such as GM and Toyota. Today, these companies can produce more vehicles in a single month than Tesla has produced in 14 years.
The mission of SpaceX from the beginning was to reduce the expensive of launching rockets into orbit and the company has mostly achieved that. A big part of the picture for Tesla is improving both process and product to bring costs down. Additionally, the growth of SpaceX has evolved from ridicule to acceptance to amazement, which is a similar sequence of events in the Tesla story.
While Tesla and SpaceX share a similar background and growth history, the challenges Tesla face are large. SpaceX has found effective ways to improve the manufacturing process of rockets, which is what Tesla is set to do in the car industry. When in place, this will revolutionize the way vehicles are made while driving costs down.
Currently car factories have assembly lines that move a few inches per second. This is less than walking speed. Elon Musk founded SpaceX and believes the robots building the vehicles should move as quickly as possible – so fast they are unable to be seen. With this process in place, manufacturing plants would be able to make ten times the number of cars. With a major cost in manufacturing vehicles being the factory that builds it, reducing the time and effort will only provide a window to increase profits. By making more cars in the same factory with the same number of workers the costs will go down, production will go up and the auto industry will be spun on its head.
Tesla, founded in 2003, was begun by engineers in Silicon Valley with the goal to prove that electric vehicles could overtake gasoline powered ones. Each of the new vehicles released by this company have been better and more eco-friendly than the prior. Growing at a steady rate, Tesla is set to revolutionize the auto industry, reconfiguring the vehicle manufacturing process.
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