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Interesting article/opinion piece on the Tesla development/production method

Discussion in 'News' started by Shumdit, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Shumdit

    Shumdit Member

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  2. reddy

    reddy Member

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    This article should be required reading for everyone who has an 'A' version battery that limits supercharging to 90kW.
     
  3. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    I do agree that they should at a minimum communicate changes appropriately to software. Especially if you are removing a feature set (even temporarily). There should also be a path to downgrade your version if you see fit. You can do it with JAVA, you can do it with Flash, you can even do it with Windows, why is this not already the defacto standard?

    Most of the other issues relating to this for Tesla deals with a lack of communication as far as I can tell. The early adopters are pretty willing to put up with bumps along the road, but open and honest communication is what will keep them happy about it. Misleading or hiding details about something is a sure way to piss anyone off, especially someone who is a diehard fan.
     
  4. mjtgroup

    mjtgroup Member

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    From the article: "Tesla’s unilateral elimination of features already paid for without consumers consent is a troubling precedent for cloud connected durable goods."

    I totally agree. This was precedent setting and the implication for the future can be far reaching. Tesla and air suspension today. Tomorrow . . .?
     
  5. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    Like other owners, I love the car's ability to be upgraded over the internet and am disappointed when some of the toys that had been advertised, bought and paid for were taken away. Maybe there is 'fine print' in our sales agreement that allows Tesla to remove features, but it just feels grossly dishonest.

    Damn it . . . I paid for lowered suspension at highway speeds and it was stolen in the middle of the night by an unseen intruder. I know the argument that it was done for our own good, but that is always the position of 'big brother.' I have the impression that decisions are made at Tesla when execs consider the potential consequences in the press, in the stock market, in the courts, etc. I want them to consider the consequences to the company's integrity when they advertise and sell something and then take it back!
     
  6. GlennAlanBerry

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    I guess you either trust Elon Musk and Tesla Motors or you do not. I would wait until after the next big firmware update that is supposed to give us back more control over the suspension behavior before I got too upset, but that is just me... :)
     
  7. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    Agreed. My feelings on this issue are torn as, like many here, I own a model S and TSLA. As a vehicle owner, I wish my air suspension was the same as when I purchased the car. As a stock holder and a person who wants this company and the EV revolution to succeed I will trust the judgment of management on this issue. While the high speed battery puncture/debris problems ( #1 and #3 ) may have happened so close together by random 'bad luck', another one or two of these without some response by TM may have set back this company and EV adoption back years.
     
  8. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Ah. But I can't safely update to the next firmware update because Tesla BROKE CHARGING (for public stations with voltage sag) in 5.8.4.

    If you trust Tesla Motors to be competent after this, you're crazy.
     
  9. rage_777

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    As a person who does software and has done both the waterfall and agile development, the writer failed to mention the one big thing about agile development: customer involvement. In agile the customer is involved in what is going to be in the next spiral and is suppose to have stand-up meetings in every spiral. Also, there are way too many different versions of agile to be calling what Adobe and Tesla does Agile Development.
     
  10. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    While I don't disagree in theory, in practice there are many organization who claim to do Agile Development but never actually incorporate customer input.
     
  11. GlennAlanBerry

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    @neroden The last two major firmware updates were pushed out in some haste, somewhat as kneejerk reactions (IMHO) to the battery puncture issues and that house fire (due to bad wiring) in California. With their unique ability to quickly push out firmware updates to correct issues, they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Somebody is going to be unhappy either way. They almost have a responsibility to make a change when possible safety issues come up, otherwise they open themselves up to bad publicity, possible liability issues, etc. I think it is a stretch to call Tesla Motors incompetent.

    Keep in mind the array of enemies and naysayers, eagerly looking for any possible problem with Tesla.
     
  12. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    To add to that point. Look how much complaining there was about the slow release of the 5.x firmware. Beta testing for months before release. The are damned either way.

    - - - Updated - - -

    To add to that point. Look how much complaining there was about the slow release of the 5.x firmware. Beta testing for months before release. The are damned either way.
     
  13. mjtgroup

    mjtgroup Member

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    It is bad enough when governments make choices and decisions that impact our lives for "our own good", now we have private industry doing that. Really! Lest anyone question my commitment to Elon and Tesla Motors, I was on the waiting list for 4 years before I got my Model S. I love my car! However, that is not the question. The real question is: When do companies have the right to take away what I paid for WITHOUT informing me or even asking for my consensus?

    I feel like I have been "kicking this can" down the street ever since this event occurred with minimal interest or concern from other Model S owners! I don't get it.

    Maybe I just didn't get a big enough cup of of KoolAid . . .
     
  14. riceuguy

    riceuguy Member

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    1) This isn't agile development; it's iterative...if you know the difference, you'll understand my point; if you don't, you probably wouldn't care!
    2) Do I hate that public chargers are somewhat useless for now (this was a huge pain for me when a perfect storm caused me to rely on a public charger a couple weeks ago waiting at 11 pm with 2 young kids while having to charge at 14mph as a result)? Of course. Is my frustration more than offset by the fact that my car can now help prevent a house fire that isn't even the car or charger's fault, considering my car is parked 10 feet below my bed? You bet it is!

    Look, this is a new approach to car ownership. It's not going to be perfect anytime soon. But you know what? My Infiniti was painfully outdated less than a year after I bought it (e.g., no streaming audio over Bluetooth; a 30 pin iPhone connector and no aux jack; etc.), and you know what they did about it? Suggested I replace the car with a new one. Really useful suggestion. Since I bought the Tesla, it's gotten faster (improved throttle response update), safer (the most recent update, plus the reduced lowering), better battery life (vampire drain issue), faster supercharging, and lots and lots of new features. Yeah, some of the choices about what to remove, add, not add, etc. have been questionable, but they're more than offset by the benefits, and in my opinion people need to stop whining. It reminds me of people who vote for politicians because there's one key issue they agree or disagree with them on (e.g., abortion, gay marriage, unions...doesn't matter what the issue is), but can't understand why that candidate doesn't represent their interests in other ways. You either trust Tesla to do the right thing as often as possible and accept when they don't, or you don't buy the car. It's fine to provide constructive feedback on what they might do better, but calling Tesla Big Brother or saying they have "no right to take away my features" is just not productive, I believe. You can choose to never take an upgrade, but it's not realistic to think that you should be given an a la carte menu of options to accept/reject with updates, so what's the alternative?
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    #15 brianman, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
    When you use words like "Agile" everybody wants to say "Yes, we are."

    If they called it something like "Rushed Development" everybody instinctly says "of course not."

    Fun can be had with clever naming. Politicians routinely leverage this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    While I don't agree with some of their feature decisions in the firmware changes, "incompetence" is off the mark by quite a bit IMO.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Disagree. Creativity thrives on challenges like this.

    Some examples of straightforward things they can do that would make everyone happier:
    1. No matter how aggressive or conservative you area about features, put it in the release notes. Tesla triggered a lot of anger with the "ninja" aspect of the suspension changes.
    2. Put a link to the release notes in the upgrade prompt. The notes are there, as they are part of the update. Let us see them so that we can make an informed decision about updating. Especially important for people that are travelling at the time.
    3. Options. "I'm a fan of optionality" is one of Elon's quotes. I agree. It also applies to enabling/disabling functionality. Creep is an option. If it was forced on, I would have contacted Tesla incessantly to complain when that feature was added. You can disable TC and it resets whenever you park the car (or lock it, or something, I don't recall); this model is great, and remains great for TC -- and was great for Ranged (now renamed Trip) charging back when the Tesla position was less of "just drive it, don't worry about degradation". Again with the suspension change -- make the default whatever covers your PR tail, but leave the old behavior behind a setting (with a confirmation prompt like the 80A charging one if you like) rather than pulling it entirely.
    4. "Everybody wanted 5.x to come sooner, and then they complain about it." What people have complained about is not the initial 5.x, that had some bake time but the insta-suck updates that were pushed afterwards. I thought 5.6 was great. I saw the tire pressure change in 5.8 and thought "great, let's get it" and then found the ninja nerf of the suspension and immediately sighed. I see it fairly simply. Deliver new firmware versions quickly, but provide a way for owners to disable "bleeding edge new stuff" when it first comes out so that bugs don't ruin the party; an example: an option could be added to disable the 5.8.4 charging change (again potentially with a user prompt) and then (I think) most (if not all) would be happier.

    I could go on but I've already been too wordy. Assuming problems are unsolvable or insurmountable isn't the right approach for a company that talks about doing the impossible*.

    * Read the Blankenship remarks here: How Tesla is just like Apple: - GeekWire.
     
  16. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    1. I totally agree with this. I have complained about this in online games and such with their frequent releases (since they will actually commonly push out bugged stuff). This should be even more so. If you made a change to something no matter what it is, put it in the notes... even if it is something silly like: "Fixed a bunch of spelling and grammar mistakes" let us know.
    2. I thought they did this already, but since I don't have a car, I would agree with this if it isn't already there... maybe I am mistaken at which point the notes are actually listed?
    3. this was the one I really wanted to respond to. This is what they are planning to do with the Suspension thing. I think it was just a matter of it being easier to change a variable from 55 to 80 rather than go through the trouble of adding a whole new menu option and UI element, and a sliding bar for how low you want it to go, etc, etc. This takes time. I think elsewhere I equated this to when you have a vulnerability with software, sometimes the first "hotfix" is basically disabling the affected software or feature set. Then later after they actually fix the problem they will put it back in. There is a "safety" concern here, and I get why they did the change. However that being said... refer to point 1.
    4. Again this goes back to UI elements... those take more time. They were concerned about burning people's houses down (whether it was their fault or not) and they wanted to fix this. If it continues to be a PITA then they will likely tweak it again or add in a UI option. Continue complaining that you don't like it for sure. But I do get why they did what they did, however again, see point 1 (that would be your "out" to avoiding the headache)
     
  17. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    After you've already installed the new firmware.
     
  18. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Agree, and that's a response the reasonable people would make. And why is it when those who try to respond with reason are deemed Tesla fan boys? This is not a black and white issue with easy answers.
     

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