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Tesla: Insane or Clever – Monday Note

🔒 mondaynote.com

This article captures very well the way I think about Tesla. It’s all about the software.

Turning to mainstream, legacy car companies, we have to ask what they know about software — and do they even care? The Engine Control Unit, the computer that controls ignition and fuel injection, comes from a vendor like Robert Bosch (my autokorrekt wants to write ogre botch”); the gearbox controller from ZF (as in toothed gears, Zahnrad Fabrik) or Japan’s Aisin; and the entertainment/navigation module from Panasonic and others. And they all use bundled software. To conventional automakers, software is a sourced component, often from the lowest bidder, a hard-to-control annoyance.

It’s a situation that’s reminiscent of the early days of cell phones. Motorola and Nokia had software because they had to, they even boasted about being good at it, only to be displaced by competitors who loved software, namely Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

I’ve told many friends that driving my Tesla Model 3 feels a lot using an early iPhone. The dashboard’s emptiness harkens back to the ridicule of the first iPhone, that it doesn’t even have a keyboard!” Yeah, there is no speedometer in the middle of the steering wheel. The car can become completely different with a software update. Just today I got a new software push that changes dramatically some of the on screen displays.

It’s awesome to experience this, and wether other companies catch up to batteries and motors I suspect is a given. But catching up to the unified software platform that Tesla has is going to be exceedingly hard. For everyone that is, except other software companies. 😎

Posted on May 23, 2019

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