One major car manufacturer is skipping the beta testing phase of a new model, turning the heads of other industry professionals.
Tesla is making what some people deem as a risky move by opting out of the beta testing phase of its new Model 3.
This may not seem like a big deal to some. However, not only does is this contrary to how the automotive industry traditionally handles rolling out a new product to ensure all bugs have been worked out, but it also eliminates the ability for users to provide vital feedback to improve upon the product.
- Historically, automotive companies will initially use prototype tooling, as prototype tools are generally cheaper.
- Then, once kinks are worked out and everything is finalized, the company will then move to final production tooling, which features the permanent parts in the model.
This approach can not only be more cost effective, but it also leaves room for the manufacturer to tackle any problems that may arise, whether that be in the design, parts or assembly process.
Instead of relying on beta testing, Tesla is opting to use “advanced analytical techniques” to work out any bugs aided by a simulation of the production process.
The company cites the reasoning for this breach of protocol to their experience beta testing the Model X, which they believe did more harm than good. It’s a characteristically unconventional move that could end up costing Tesla in the long run if serious issues become apparent following the release of the Model 3.
This isn’t the first time Tesla’s testing protocols have raised eyebrows among industry analysts.
- Following the crash of an Autopilot-enabled Model S, many people wondered if it was safe or ethical for Tesla to test what was essentially a beta version of its autonomous driving software on the general public.
- Elon Musk even had to clarify what he meant by the use of the word “beta” after Germany’s Federal Office for Motor Vehicles refused to approve the Autopilot feature for use on German roads as long as it was still in its testing phase.
Musk explained that Tesla’s Autopilot system would be in beta until it had logged “at least 1 billion miles” of driver data. Tesla’s fleet has since hit that 1 billion mile mark, and the Autopilot system has progressed to its next phase of development.
As long as Tesla continues to sidestep conventional testing procedures, however, the company may risk losing the confidence of both investors and potential customers.
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