Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

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Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by yong » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:21 pm

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Automo ... =%%user_id%%

Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Self-driving AI sends shivers through traditional supply chains
HIDEYOSHI KUME, Nikkei xTech/Nikkei Automotive staff writer
February 17, 2020 13:54 JST


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A teardown of the Model 3 shows Tesla so far ahead of more established peers that its technology could end the auto supply chain as we know it. (Nikkei xTech)


TOKYO -- Toyota Motor and Volkswagen each sell 10 million cars, give or take, every year. Tesla delivered about 367,500 in 2019. But when it comes to electronics technology, Elon Musk's scrappy company is far ahead of the industry giants.

This is the takeaway from Nikkei Business Publications' teardown of the Model 3, the most affordable car in the U.S. automaker's all-electric lineup, starting at about $33,000.

What stands out most is Tesla's integrated central control unit, or "full self-driving computer." Also known as Hardware 3, this little piece of tech is the company's biggest weapon in the burgeoning EV market. It could end the auto industry supply chain as we know it.

One stunned engineer from a major Japanese automaker examined the computer and declared, "We cannot do it."

The module -- released last spring and found in all new Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles -- includes two custom, 260-sq.-millimeter AI chips. Tesla developed the chips on its own, along with special software designed to complement the hardware. The computer powers the cars' self-driving capabilities as well as their advanced in-car "infotainment" system.

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The Model 3's "full self-driving computer" consists of two boards: one with custom AI chips for autonomous driving, and a media control unit for the "infotainment" system. A water-cooled heat sink is installed between the two boards. (Nikkei xTech)

This kind of electronic platform, with a powerful computer at its core, holds the key to handling heavy data loads in tomorrow's smarter, more autonomous cars. Industry insiders expect such technology to take hold around 2025 at the earliest.

That means Tesla beat its rivals by six years.

The implications for the broader auto industry are huge and -- for some -- frightening.

Tesla built this digital nerve center through a series of upgrades to the original Autopilot system it introduced in 2014. What was also called Hardware 1 was a driver-assistance system that allowed the car to follow others, mostly on highways, and automatically steer in a lane. Every two or three years, the company pushed the envelope further, culminating in the full self-driving computer.

There should be nothing stopping Toyota or VW from doing the same much earlier than 2025, considering their immense financial resources and vast talent pools. But technological hurdles are not the reason for the delay, according to the Japanese engineer who said "we cannot do it."

The real reason for holding off? Automakers worry that computers like Tesla's will render obsolete the parts supply chains they have cultivated over decades, the engineer said.

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Such systems will drastically cut the number of electronic control units, or ECUs, in cars. For suppliers that depend on these components, and their employees, this is a matter of life and death.

So big automakers apparently feel obliged to continue using complicated webs of dozens of ECUs, while we only found a few in the Model 3. Put another way, the supply chains that have helped today's auto giants grow are now beginning to hamper their ability to innovate.

Young companies like Tesla, on the other hand, are not shackled to suppliers and are free to pursue the best technologies available.

Our teardown underscored this in another way as well.

Most parts inside the Model 3 do not bear the name of a supplier. Instead, many have the Tesla logo, including the substrates inside the ECUs. This suggests the company maintains tight control over the development of almost all key technologies in the car.

And with this hardware in place, Teslas can evolve through "over the air" software updates. Right now, the vehicles are still classified as Level 2 or "partially autonomous" cars. But Musk has stressed that they have all the necessary components -- "computer and otherwise" -- for full self-driving.

From software to electric drive systems, Tesla is steadily bringing more development tasks in-house. If this strategy succeeds, competitors will have little choice but to follow suit, upending their old business models and supply chains as they try to overcome Tesla's head start.
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by Equinix » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:36 pm

Elon​ Musk​ Image

SpaceX
Tesla
Solar City (now part of Tesla)
The Boring Company
Starlink

This book about Elon Musk is a good read.
If anyone wants a copy let me know and I'll upload it =)

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Jerry Atrick
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by Jerry Atrick » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:45 pm

Equinix wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:36 pm
Elon​ Musk​ Image

SpaceX
Tesla
Solar City (now part of Tesla)
The Boring Company
Starlink

This book about Elon Musk is a good read.
If anyone wants a copy let me know and I'll upload it =)

Image
Also a Co founder of Paypal.
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by cptrelentless » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:46 pm

And yet he can't smoke a joint properly. Or keep his mouth shut on Twitter. When articles quote un-named parties it means they are pulling those quotes out of their arses, the autopilot functionality is still problematic, look at all the videos on the "Come to me" function on Youtube, where it stacks into things just trying to go a few yards without a driver. There's going to be whole teams at VW and Toyota taking those cars apart and having a look inside, checking patents etc, like they do with all their competitors. Changes in the supply chain are no big deal to them, they plan their models years ahead.
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Marty
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by Marty » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:00 pm

One stunned engineer from a major Japanese automaker examined the computer and declared, "We cannot do it."

What absolute nonsense and propaganda. Japan always leads the world in electronics technology. Case in point: Steve Jobless of Crapple computer went to Japan, saw the smartphone technology they already had, copied it, and 5 years later is credited with the invention of the Eye-phone.

Same thing happened with automobiles, escalators, ad infinitum. Then they accuse the Japanese of being the copy cats! Unconscionable.
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:36 pm

Is Trump pouring government development assistance into this company?
It seems to suit his USA-first agenda perfectly.

Or hasn't he drained the Washington swamp of the old-car and old-fuel lobby yet?
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by clutchcargo » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:13 pm

Can't say Musk is not a smart or lucky guy as the case may be.

A few months ago Tesla was one of the most heavily shorted stocks and some analysts were suspicious the company was viable. Then, it seems the shorters got it wrong and investors got behind the electric car future and rode the stock up big time. Then I read the Tesla's market capitalisation was greater than GM, Ford et al combined. Some say it's an unsustainable bubble that's gonna crash..

So what does Musk do? He does a capital raise from investors for more funding to lock in the high share price and ensure the company is well funded going forward.
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by pczz » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:48 am

The real reason they have so manybits in their cars is to bleed you dry on repairs. noone can really fford $20000 to replace the fried chip on their self crashing superchip, but they will stump up a few hundred every year for compaonenet a, component b etc
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by Marty » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:52 am

Get a Nissan Leaf. Better, proven, more reliable. Tesla is a Beta test.
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Re: Tesla teardown finds electronics 6 years ahead of Toyota and VW

Post by Kammekor » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:22 am

6 years ahead?

When the USA had the A-bomb they guessed it would take the Russians at least a decade to do the same. If i recall well it took them three years. Initial design / development takes a lot longer than analyzing / copying / improving it.
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