Cybertruck arriving next year (like fully autonomous self-driving and the second coming of Christ)

Originally published at: Cybertruck arriving next year (like fully autonomous self-driving and the second coming of Christ) | Boing Boing


Judging from the photo, Musk seems to be under the impression that automotive fit and finish is another aspect of the 1970s design comeback.


Indeed - yet I find the fit and finish defects surprising given how automated the manufacturing and assembly process seems to be. Although this is the new Berlin factory so may be better - and more automated - than the older US ones.


Technology doesn’t make cars good, it makes them fast and without pesky union labour. Quality comes from logistics and process– building relationships with suppliers, inspections, workplace culture, process/line iteration, and a bunch of other things Tesla is really bad at. The line workers joke that Musk likes space so much because you can see a Model 3 panel gap from there. When your own employees make quality jokes like that, you have a serious culture problem.

Making cars is hard, and that’s why all these tech companies who think making cars is just like making enterprise software are struggling so much with it. Every hip startup electric company that produces a bunch of renders and promises a car next year are finding this out. I’m glad to see Rivian finally saw the light of day, but they have a long way to go before it’s a viable product.

Just wait until all these car startups find out you have to support a car for 50 years. This is what keeps me from considering a Tesla, Rivian, etc– am I going to be able to buy parts for it in 15, 20, 30 years? Doubtful. However I can go buy a rear main seal for a ‘71 LeSabre right now. That’s why I’m glad the established companies are finally making good electric cars. The Chevy Bolt is outstanding and I trust GM will be there to sell me parts when it needs a new planetary gearbox or AC motor in 15 years.


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Musk has obviously never worked as a dishwasher because if he had he would probably not want to drive around in something that looks a lot like a commercial dishwasher.


It falls with the GAAP standards those pesky accountants keep talking about. :wink:


I buy all of that - everything you say.

But automation should improve consistency and accuracy. Maybe:

but it does make them better. The fit and finish of the average car noticeably improved during the years that all those big robots started getting installed in motor assembly plants.

Of course, automation has to be done right, by people who know what they are doing, as you clearly imply. For example, it was also noticeable that Japanese cars had better and more consistent fit and finish for several years with human assemblers even before they automated, while other firms did not. So it IS also a culture thing and one suspects that Tesla’s US-based humans don’t quite have the right culture, as well as perhaps not the right tools and background in motor manufacturing.

It will be interesting to see if the standard of what comes out of the Berlin plant differs from what comes out of the established US Tesla plants (and if it does, whether it is the state-of-the-art automation or the culture that differentiates - but of course it will be the mix of both and not measurable in that way).


Let’s be clear. Nobody besides techbros and other vermin are going to purchase this shiny turd.

On another note, as a sixth and seventh generation Texan, and having lived in Austin for 40+ years, horseshit like “Cyber Rodeo” is making me implode with cringe.


Removing the door handles from the first iteration is going to come back to bite customers in the ass down the line.

But it looks cool to the teenage male aesthetic he’s going for.


And not only parts, but software with these things. Every time a municipality issues a new law regarding “autonomous” vehicles or an exploit is found, they’ll either require an update or be bricked. At some point municipalities are going to require that the onboard systems are part of the annual inspection process (if they’re not already) and if they are found to be out of date won’t even be allowed on the road. I guarantee that Tesla is not going to be sending out patches on a 2022 model in 2052. and they’re going to sue into oblivion any mechanics or DIYers who try to override the system or any users who try to replace the software with some sort of open sourced os.

Also: people keep picking on the fit and finish of this display truck, but issues like panel gaps are fairly forgivable with a prototype (although this one is really bad). What I don’t hear people say is that this is a hideous, display only vehicle that seems to provide zero advantages over any other truck on the market. As pointed out in the article, they’ve already been beat to market with other electric trucks, which was basically the only advantage it had in the market.

Also also:

Ugh. Is Edgelord a font now?


Believe me, it’s been said. Many, many times.


I thought that was held to be the result of things that automation is a prerequesite for, not automation itself. Like Six Sigma but before that – the kind of things Toyota was doing in the 80s. Autonomation - Wikipedia

The implication of the Tesla fit n finish problems looks a lot like an effort to “disrupt” all that expensive manufacturing philosophy stuff and realizing that nope.


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It’s already a CEO, so sky’s the limit, amirite?


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I also like the Japanese automakers’ design philosophy of poka-yoke (fun to say!) because, when implemented well, it makes it difficult for assemblers to accidentally put the car together in anything other than the correct way.


Sadly, they really don’t. There’s a common misconception that they’re legally required to make spare parts available for 10 years, but even that’s not true, at least in the U.S.:

And things are definitely trending in the wrong direction. It used to be that things like headlamps and taillights had common designs that were used across multiple models over a number of years, so it was easy to find spares that would work on your car. Nowadays a damn taillight for a 2009 Cadillac can cost thousands of dollars because GM isn’t producing them anymore and they’ve got a needlessly complex and unique design:

That’s a critical, legally-required part for a car from a major auto manufacturer that’s been in business for over a century. If they can’t get that right we’ve really got no hope when it comes to spare parts or software support from smaller automakers.


commercial fusion reactors are 20 years away ! always have been , always will be !!
< and , we like it that way ! >


Yes to some extent, but as with the chicken and the egg, it is not about which came first, it is that they are a virtuous circle. Although to bear out your point, IIRC it was the Japanese (who had the quality culture first) and then the Germans who perhaps achieved more automation earlier.