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There was never a plan

dckiwi

Member
Aug 12, 2016
487
945
Reston, VA
This is not a rant or complaint about the way Tesla has handled the FSD rollout - there are plenty of threads on that topic.

What I find fascinating is that, despite the fact that Tesla has been working on FSD since AP 2.0 was released exactly 5 years ago, it is clear that no one gave any serious thought to how they might gradually roll out significant new FSD capabilities to customers. It is clear that Elon literally started making it up as he went along in a series of tweets this year. There was never a plan.

The reason I find this so fascinating is that they are solving infinitely more complex problems on a daily basis. Watch any Karparthy presentation and you'll realize what astounding progress they have made over the years. Imagine the amount of talent required to come as far as they have.

And yet the chaos and confusion around the FSD rollout has been comical. When the price of FSD was reduced several years ago, Tesla hurriedly published a blog promising early FSD access to early purchasers. They seemed to forget this promise as soon as they made it. Elon then just offers up on Twitter for anyone interested to 'ask us' if they want access to the beta, then makes up the idea of a 'button' after their service centers get swamped with requests. He then has to stick to his plans for a 'button', while his team scrambled to figure out how to build and release this feature. And then they realize they need some kind of method for assessing beta testers, so they decided to repurpose the Safety Score system built for their insurance program.

In contrast, it would take a single mid-level product manager/project manager to plan a sensible, incremental, and customer-centric rollout of FSD features. Some examples:
  • Converge the production and FSD beta code base first - with most of the navigate on autopilot features disabled. This would give all FSD customers a greatly improved 'basic autopilot' experience. Then gradually enable features - for example, auto steer on unmarked roads, or 'no confirmation' traffic light control.
  • Recognize early on that any rollout of the 'full' FSD beta would need to be gradual (something they are *finally* beginning to plan for now). Develop a gradual rollout plan that takes into account date of FSD purchase, along with other considerations (such as Safety Score). Clearly communicate to customers via e-mail, in-app notifications, etc. Perhaps even give them an idea of where they are in line?
  • Stick with the plan that you communicate to customers. Don't make it up via Twitter and then change the plan every few days. I'm not saying they need to hit specific dates, as that is very difficult when dealing with an engineering challenge of this magnitude. But be consistent with *how* you're going to release these features to your customers.
Again, not a rant. I don't agree with the haters who say that Elon is a charlatan and is selling vaporware. It's clear to me that they have something very, very real here, and they clearly want to get to a wide release. But why they would put so much effort into engineering and innovation, and so little into basic planning and communication, is baffling to me.
 
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dckiwi

Member
Aug 12, 2016
487
945
Reston, VA
I agree completely with everything you've said. My guess is that this event might be relived in college management classes over the years as a case study in what NOT to do. First lesson: Don't run the company information releases via the CEO on Twitter.

Exactly. And in those same management classes they might wonder whether - paradoxically - a company as innovative and groundbreaking as Tesla is literally incapable of much more basic product management and customer communication.
 
I personally think that he is trolling everyone. It’s all fun and games for him. His 420 and 69 childish jokes, the name he gave his newest child, the car model lineup (SEXY - really?). Falcon wing doors?! Let’s not forget the guy named his aeronautics company Space X (SPACESEX - really?).
He probably has a running joke with his friends to see how much money Tesla can make on FSD - “I bet you I can get these dumbasses to pay $12,000 next year)…. BTW, check out this flamethrower that we just made! His cars kick ass, but he is definitely having fun with everyone.
I for one think it’s hilarious. I’m enjoying the show. I’ve made ton off Tesla stock, and have really enjoyed the cars. His shenanigans are a great bonus as long as you take everything he says with grain of salt!
 

Sporty

Member
Supporting Member
Apr 20, 2019
459
468
Seattle
I personally think that he is trolling everyone. It’s all fun and games for him. His 420 and 69 childish jokes, the name he gave his newest child, the car model lineup (SEXY - really?). Falcon wing doors?! Let’s not forget the guy named his aeronautics company Space X (SPACESEX - really?).
He probably has a running joke with his friends to see how much money Tesla can make on FSD - “I bet you I can get these dumbasses to pay $12,000 next year)…. BTW, check out this flamethrower that we just made! His cars kick ass, but he is definitely having fun with everyone.
I for one think it’s hilarious. I’m enjoying the show. I’ve made ton off Tesla stock, and have really enjoyed the cars. His shenanigans are a great bonus as long as you take everything he says with grain of salt!
I bet I can get everyone to run stop lights…
 
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dckiwi

Member
Aug 12, 2016
487
945
Reston, VA
I personally think that he is trolling everyone. It’s all fun and games for him. His 420 and 69 childish jokes, the name he gave his newest child, the car model lineup (SEXY - really?). Falcon wing doors?! Let’s not forget the guy named his aeronautics company Space X (SPACESEX - really?).
He probably has a running joke with his friends to see how much money Tesla can make on FSD - “I bet you I can get these dumbasses to pay $12,000 next year)…. BTW, check out this flamethrower that we just made! His cars kick ass, but he is definitely having fun with everyone.
I for one think it’s hilarious. I’m enjoying the show. I’ve made ton off Tesla stock, and have really enjoyed the cars. His shenanigans are a great bonus as long as you take everything he says with grain of salt!
'Fun and games' and 'trolling' are not the same thing though. I love the 'fun and games' side of Elon - the immature jokes, bad memes, flamethrowers and tequila.

But that is different that *deliberately* trolling your customers - taunting them with a deliberately chaotic product release because you enjoy seeing them suffer. Sorry, I'm not buying that.
 
I personally think that he is trolling everyone. It’s all fun and games for him. His 420 and 69 childish jokes, the name he gave his newest child, the car model lineup (SEXY - really?). Falcon wing doors?! Let’s not forget the guy named his aeronautics company Space X (SPACESEX - really?).
He probably has a running joke with his friends to see how much money Tesla can make on FSD - “I bet you I can get these dumbasses to pay $12,000 next year)…. BTW, check out this flamethrower that we just made! His cars kick ass, but he is definitely having fun with everyone.
I for one think it’s hilarious. I’m enjoying the show. I’ve made ton off Tesla stock, and have really enjoyed the cars. His shenanigans are a great bonus as long as you take everything he says with grain of salt!

I believe Elon has already let on (in court recently) that all of these shenanigans are their way of modern advertising. It's classic "controversy marketing" that we've seen in the past from Madonna, Eminem, etc... only this time with a company instead of a celebrity. It's working *fantastically* for them.

As for "lack of planning", etc... my opinion is that this is the result of a company being run by a mildly autistic overachieving engineer instead of an MBA. I personally appreciate it very much. FSD seems like the only *major* fail (from my recollection), but to be fair all of the autonomous driving companies grossly underestimated the difficulty of making it work.

I do think that Tesla should change their marketing... selling these cars as "Full Self Driving" or "Autopilot" is dangerous in the hands of the general public. At the same time, I also truly believe that vehicle electrification would never have happened without Tesla, and now it seems like it's really almost on the horizon.
 

novox77

Active Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,388
5,143
NH, MA
Tesla has been slowly and steadily getting their sh*t together when it comes to production and delivery. FSD is definitely a case of underestimating the difficulty of the problem. And agree that there's been a lack of planning when it comes to distribution. Service was excellent once upon a time but is now very hit or miss. I tend to think that over time, they'll get better at these remaining pain points. But hey, I might be a fanboy.
 

Rice&Curry

Member
May 9, 2018
518
263
San Jose
This is not a rant or complaint about the way Tesla has handled the FSD rollout - there are plenty of threads on that topic.

What I find fascinating is that, despite the fact that Tesla has been working on FSD since AP 2.0 was released exactly 5 years ago, it is clear that no one gave any serious thought to how they might gradually roll out significant new FSD capabilities to customers. It is clear that Elon literally started making it up as he went along in a series of tweets this year. There was never a plan.

The reason I find this so fascinating is that they are solving infinitely more complex problems on a daily basis. Watch any Karparthy presentation and you'll realize what astounding progress they have made over the years. Imagine the amount of talent required to come as far as they have.

And yet the chaos and confusion around the FSD rollout has been comical. When the price of FSD was reduced several years ago, Tesla hurriedly published a blog promising early FSD access to early purchasers. They seemed to forget this promise as soon as they made it. Elon then just offers up on Twitter for anyone interested to 'ask us' if they want access to the beta, then makes up the idea of a 'button' after their service centers get swamped with requests. He then has to stick to his plans for a 'button', while his team scrambled to figure out how to build and release this feature. And then they realize they need some kind of method for assessing beta testers, so they decided to repurpose the Safety Score system built for their insurance program.

In contrast, it would take a single mid-level product manager/project manager to plan a sensible, incremental, and customer-centric rollout of FSD features. Some examples:
  • Converge the production and FSD beta code base first - with most of the navigate on autopilot features disabled. This would give all FSD customers a greatly improved 'basic autopilot' experience. Then gradually enable features - for example, auto steer on unmarked roads, or 'no confirmation' traffic light control.
  • Recognize early on that any rollout of the 'full' FSD beta would need to be gradual (something they are *finally* beginning to plan for now). Develop a gradual rollout plan that takes into account date of FSD purchase, along with other considerations (such as Safety Score). Clearly communicate to customers via e-mail, in-app notifications, etc. Perhaps even give them an idea of where they are in line?
  • Stick with the plan that you communicate to customers. Don't make it up via Twitter and then change the plan every few days. I'm not saying they need to hit specific dates, as that is very difficult when dealing with an engineering challenge of this magnitude. But be consistent with *how* you're going to release these features to your customers.
Again, not a rant. I don't agree with the haters who say that Elon is a charlatan and is selling vaporware. It's clear to me that they have something very, very real here, and they clearly want to get to a wide release. But why they would put so much effort into engineering and innovation, and so little into basic planning and communication, is baffling to me.
I fully agree,- look at Space X - the best example of of everything working without any flatbed truck to haul you back to a service center. It is not about the technical competence of Tesla but more on how they are managing the release management and roll out process.

 
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I believe Elon has already let on (in court recently) that all of these shenanigans are their way of modern advertising. It's classic "controversy marketing" that we've seen in the past from Madonna, Eminem, etc... only this time with a company instead of a celebrity. It's working *fantastically* for them.

As for "lack of planning", etc... my opinion is that this is the result of a company being run by a mildly autistic overachieving engineer instead of an MBA. I personally appreciate it very much. FSD seems like the only *major* fail (from my recollection), but to be fair all of the autonomous driving companies grossly underestimated the difficulty of making it work.

I do think that Tesla should change their marketing... selling these cars as "Full Self Driving" or "Autopilot" is dangerous in the hands of the general public. At the same time, I also truly believe that vehicle electrification would never have happened without Tesla, and now it seems like it's really almost on the horizon.
I completely agree. To be honest I never even realized the similarities to Eminem etc.. very spot on. I agree that he creates enough buzz all on his own. But I love him so much for how much money he has made us with his crypto tweets and on Tesla stock. It’s crazy, he literally paid for my Model Y when you think about it.. between dogecoin and GameStop, I was able to afford one of his cars. Brilliant.
 
'Fun and games' and 'trolling' are not the same thing though. I love the 'fun and games' side of Elon - the immature jokes, bad memes, flamethrowers and tequila.

But that is different that *deliberately* trolling your customers - taunting them with a deliberately chaotic product release because you enjoy seeing them suffer. Sorry, I'm not buying that.
I agree to a certain degree. However, I don’t think he deliberately has ever tried to hurt anyone. He’s mildly on the spectrum. We need to consider that too.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,878
2,843
In a galaxy far, far away
Evaluating progress made and how much work is still need,
reminds me the 80/20 Rule used to discribe a project duration,
by saying that the first 80% will be easy but the last 20%
will take... 80% of the total project length.

But to reply to your question, would having a well defined plan could be really helpful?
I remember in a recent video, Sandy Munro mentioning that when working at Ford, there was a 3, 5, and 10 years plans.
However, when he visited Toyota for the first time, he learned that Toyota had even a 100 years plan.
Do you this would be necessary, or even useful?

Well, if concerned about Tesla FSD status, you can look at some current "state of the art" from other FSD competitors: /s

 
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Microterf

Member
Sep 18, 2020
395
626
Ohio
I think all techies/engineers can relate somewhat to Elon's timeline issues. We've all made those promises about solving a problem or doing something based on thinking "I should be able to do it by then". It's the nature of the beast.

Until now, this hasn't been a problem for Tesla because there really hasn't been any viable competition, so we bitch about it, but we still buy the products because they are the best for what we want.

I don't think they need to be run by MBAs, but with new startups like Rivian and Lucid, those will be the real competition for Tesla and it will force them to treat their customers better/ become more organized so they can execute better.

I really don't think the traditional OEMs run by MBAs will pose a threat to Tesla. They could, but they won't because they lack the ability to innovate quick enough.
 

Bladerskb

Senior Software Engineer
Oct 24, 2016
2,616
4,383
Michigan
Evaluating progress made and how much work is still need,
reminds me the 80/20 Rule used to discribe a project duration,
by saying that the first 80% will be easy but the last 20%
will take... 80% of the total project length.

But to reply to your question, would having a well defined plan could be really helpful?
I remember in a recent video, Sandy Munro mentioning that when working at Ford, there was a 3, 5, and 10 years plans.
However, when he visited Toyota for the first time, he learned that Toyota had even a 100 years plan.
Do you this would be necessary, or even useful?

Well, if concerned about Tesla FSD status, you can look at some current "state of the art" from other FSD competitors: /s


This isn't the current state of the art from other FSD competitor for parking.
The current SOTA is Waymo in Chandler.
It amazes me how the fans say Tesla is not a auto company yet all they recognize is traditional auto companies.
Not even to startup EV companies. The SOTA in parking consumer cars is Xpeng which actually avoids and steers around obstacles, stop at parking intersection and plans new routes.
 
“... selling these cars as "Full Self Driving" or "Autopilot" is dangerous “
There’s nothing wrong with the ’autopilot’ product name. It does as much for driving, as its aviation counterpart. FSD on the other hand is very clear, and I doubt can be delivered as it’s name implies. Sorry, ‘implies’ is not the right word. ‘Affirms‘ would be better. Full Self Driving leaves no room for ambiguity. You don’t even need a steering wheel.
 

gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,649
3,446
Seattle, WA
There’s nothing wrong with the ’autopilot’ product name. It does as much for driving, as its aviation counterpart.

Stop saying this. Autopilots in airplanes are L3. They are required to give you fair waring to failures, can handle non-attentive pilots for more than 3 seconds and allow those pilots to perform other tasks, are regulated and tested by the FAA, and are never, ever released to the public in perpetual "beta" without manuals and tested while flying in formation with other pilots that don't know you are testing them.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
2,067
1,589
Bay Area CA
Please point to another company that has done better and achieved more than Tesla.

So much these days is utter hogwash. Highly-scripted and just empty marketing with little to no substance. Tesla and SpaceX are the completely opposite.

When Tesla was small they had the bandwidth for ~individual customer care, but those days are long gone. There are >2M Tesla owners and tens of thousands new additional owners monthly. It's projected to be >100k monthly new owners within a year or so. All of this is going to be achieved by prioritizing substance over marketing.

This is not a rant or complaint about the way Tesla has handled the FSD rollout - there are plenty of threads on that topic.

What I find fascinating is that, despite the fact that Tesla has been working on FSD since AP 2.0 was released exactly 5 years ago, it is clear that no one gave any serious thought to how they might gradually roll out significant new FSD capabilities to customers. It is clear that Elon literally started making it up as he went along in a series of tweets this year. There was never a plan.

The reason I find this so fascinating is that they are solving infinitely more complex problems on a daily basis. Watch any Karparthy presentation and you'll realize what astounding progress they have made over the years. Imagine the amount of talent required to come as far as they have.

And yet the chaos and confusion around the FSD rollout has been comical. When the price of FSD was reduced several years ago, Tesla hurriedly published a blog promising early FSD access to early purchasers. They seemed to forget this promise as soon as they made it. Elon then just offers up on Twitter for anyone interested to 'ask us' if they want access to the beta, then makes up the idea of a 'button' after their service centers get swamped with requests. He then has to stick to his plans for a 'button', while his team scrambled to figure out how to build and release this feature. And then they realize they need some kind of method for assessing beta testers, so they decided to repurpose the Safety Score system built for their insurance program.

In contrast, it would take a single mid-level product manager/project manager to plan a sensible, incremental, and customer-centric rollout of FSD features. Some examples:
  • Converge the production and FSD beta code base first - with most of the navigate on autopilot features disabled. This would give all FSD customers a greatly improved 'basic autopilot' experience. Then gradually enable features - for example, auto steer on unmarked roads, or 'no confirmation' traffic light control.
  • Recognize early on that any rollout of the 'full' FSD beta would need to be gradual (something they are *finally* beginning to plan for now). Develop a gradual rollout plan that takes into account date of FSD purchase, along with other considerations (such as Safety Score). Clearly communicate to customers via e-mail, in-app notifications, etc. Perhaps even give them an idea of where they are in line?
  • Stick with the plan that you communicate to customers. Don't make it up via Twitter and then change the plan every few days. I'm not saying they need to hit specific dates, as that is very difficult when dealing with an engineering challenge of this magnitude. But be consistent with *how* you're going to release these features to your customers.
Again, not a rant. I don't agree with the haters who say that Elon is a charlatan and is selling vaporware. It's clear to me that they have something very, very real here, and they clearly want to get to a wide release. But why they would put so much effort into engineering and innovation, and so little into basic planning and communication, is baffling to me.
 

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