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Software Gurus...estimate size of Tesla software development team

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by insaneoctane, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

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    Outside my field of expertise....can someone with some insight estimate the team size Tesla likely has in place to develop their software? I'd like to EXCLUDE FSD and Energy products (ie Powerwall) from this exercise, if possible. Please consider the following:
    • They are developing software for 3 vehicles (MS,MX, M3)
    • They are performing bug fixes, functionality upgrades and regression testing (plus whatever else software engineers do)
    I'll let the cat out of the bag on my intentions here. With the relatively slow progress on some bug fixes (black back up camera, or loading errors with media, etc) and expected enhancements (ie watch Sentry/Dashcam footage in-car), I suspect the team is relatively small compared to what it ought to be....but let's talk numbers before I pass too much judgement ;)
     
  2. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Supporting Member

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    #2 Nocturnal, Nov 26, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    I work in software development, but with products that are already developed (an Oracle ERP system basically). I'd be curious to see guesses from people who work closer to this environment, but I'd be surprised if it were more than 2 dozen people.
     
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  3. tarballqc

    tarballqc Member

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    Yeah 20-30 seems a fair guess, maybe up to 40.

    I guess they are divided into modules. audio, navigation, entertainment, safety...

    PS: I'm working in automotive industry.
     
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  4. focher

    focher Member

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    I'm sure there are hundreds. Autonomous driving, probably only a couple of dozen. But when you add in just the other car features that are more commodity based - driving elements, entertainment, navigation, system monitoring, etc - then there are lots more.
     
  5. BTaylor32185

    BTaylor32185 Member

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    I think that your guesses are way off. Tesla easily has well over 100 software engineers. A simple search on LinkedIn proves this. They have a lot of different types of software to develop / maintain.

    • User Interface software for the vehicles (Everything that you see on the screen in the car)
    • Embedded software for the vehicles (think low level software that controls everything from the motors to the anti-lock brakes)
    • There is another software team developing Autopilot
    • Web Developers
    • Stationary Storage business needs software
    • Solar business needs software
    • They also develop a lot of custom SW in house that is not used by customers
     
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  6. StellarRat

    StellarRat Active Member

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    A lot of the work is probably contracted out.
     
  7. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson Member

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    They are a valley company, the FSD/AI team is 200+

    I expect a few hundred others.
     
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  8. mreynolds767

    mreynolds767 Member

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    They consider themselves a software company
    They employee 50,000 people

    The number is likely in the thousands not dozens.
    I doubt they contract much out at all.
     
  9. techdash

    techdash Member

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    Maybe they're following Boeing's lead and using $9/hour developers for FSD.
     
  10. 1.21GW

    1.21GW Member

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    Hundreds to thousands depending on how you classify it. Everything from the device drivers up to the neural net FSD.

    functional safety, cyber security, etc.. it takes a lot of people.
     
  11. Cogarch

    Cogarch Member

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    Well that escalated quickly...
     
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  12. bbell

    bbell Member

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    It is possible they are forced to deal with development teams for the manufacturers they source components from. For instance the camera firmware/driver is probably not a Tesla creation, but Sony or whoever is the manufacturer of the camera/CCD. Therefore a developer at Tesla is forced to create a bug report back to them (and as you know reproducing it is another thing, since it doesn't seem to happen in all cars, so it is time consuming to get that problem understood).

    This may also relate to Slacker issues, since I wouldn't be sure that the code is all Teslas.

    Other things like USB media access seem to be a fairly low priority, since it seems to hardly get any attention.

    As far as adding features like viewing sentry videos, I would suspect there is a fairly large team working on v11, and a smaller team adding/bug fixing the current v10. This causes us to have to wait for major new features.

    But I will definitely +1 you on the Sentry/Dashcam request!
     
  13. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Member

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    1 man. 6 aliens
     
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  14. CharleyBC

    CharleyBC Active Member

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    One. His name is Elon.

    Seriously, as a software dweeb, I'd estimate the count of software engineers as "huge". A number is hard to pick, but 1000 is a decent start. In addition to the embedded software, there's the Web site, the phone apps, the server stuff, and any number of internal business apps. Excluding FSD from the estimate is probably a false constraint, since that's an extension of AP and EAP that we enjoy already. In fact, calling it "a team" is likely misleading. There are a bunch of teams. There are software engineers there who don't even know one another. Remember, Tesla makes computers on wheels. Software is everything.
     
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  15. RobRain

    RobRain Member

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    One guy, with a really big unruly beard and a 1000km stare.
     
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  16. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Remember, they're developing in house their own chips for FSD. I'm sure they have a large and deep software group. Embedded systems alone is probably a pretty large group. Everything they touch has some amount of software. All their in house management and facilities systems, the cars and the user facing features from the cars, their whole web side of things (order, support, etc), their service centers and stores across the world, the superchargers and the tie in between them and the cars, etc.
     
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  17. pipestem

    pipestem post-newbie

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    #17 pipestem, Nov 26, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    ^^ well said.

    Just for the cars, I will swag > 1000 in software R&D. You need testers, for a critical no fail system like this probably 1:1 or even 2:1 (test:dev). Non critical systems may be as low as 1:3. Add in tech support. In some places testing and tech support create and commit code changes, some places not. Then you have all the IT people that support the R&D infrastructure. The IT guys write code. Then you have support in Project Managers and Product Managers. Don't underestimate software development, it's not easy and it is expensive, very labor intensive. Probably a lot more software engineers than hardware engineers. Would be interesting to find out. I'd like to see their dev/test environments.

    edit:
    Also not sure how they classify the data scientists working on models and algorithms. Obviously investing a lot in deep neural nets - that's a crap load of code. Most places those guys submit. At my job we call those people programmers, because they are. They must have hundreds.

    Most of the hardware engineers are also writing code, sometimes for simulations and optimizations used in development, sometimes for embedded devices for production. Those ADACs and CANs don't write their own code.

    edit 2:
    I don't think many people realize how much Tesla has accomplished in 10 years. Seriously amazing.
     
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  18. inikkor

    inikkor Member

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    Great thread! Perhaps Elon can shed some light.
     
  19. TMThree

    TMThree Active Member

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    There are a lot of software developers within the company. I don't know the breakup of individual components, but I did get a clue for at least the autopilot team size from this article:

    "At least 11 members of the software team, or close to 10% of the total group, including some longtime members, departed in the past few months," Efrati writes. "These departures follow Mr. Musk's removal of the Autopilot group's leader Stuart Bowers around the start of May."
     
  20. jordanair45

    jordanair45 2019 Model 3 SR+ w/ FSD

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    Off topic.

    Give us a software update for the laggy backup camera. Please. It’s way too delayed.
     

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