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Wikiteslamotors?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by mt2, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. mt2

    mt2 Guest

    There has been much speculation on the WhiteStar, with the usual cloak-and-dagger “inside scoop” stuff showing up in places like AutoSpies.com (http://www.autospies.com/news/Spies-break-biggest-scoop-so-far-in-2007-We-spill-the-beans-on-the-upcoming-Tesla-Electric-Sedan-14898/). This is natural, of course, considering the century old tradition of secrecy surrounding vehicle design.

    However, I feel that Tesla Motors should take a Silicon Valley/Web 2.0 approach to designing the car. Spill it all out on the Web! Engage the future customers to help design the car. Engage the designers at every step of the way. Find out what people want. Bounce ideas off us. Tesla is already the most transparent auto company in the world, opening the company up to an international public through their blogs. This has worked well for them so far, and I feel they should extend it.

    A technical discussion may lead an army of thousands to search for lighter materials or interchangeable batteries. A features discussion could point to adaptive cruise control and keyless ignition. A body design discussion could eliminate rear-view mirrors in favor of tiny cameras, or maybe just mounting them inside the car for better aerodynamics. Who knows? The point is that the 60-some-odd designers they are putting on the project are just 60-some-odd minds; some with preconceived ideas. But just suppose a designer says to us, “Folks, we want to cover the wheels, but don’t want to look like the Honda Insight. Thoughts?”

    Of course this doesn’t mean posting the recipe to the secret sauce. Nor should they open themselves up to rants from every garage physicist with a perpetual motion machine. But a well moderated discussion board and some blogs about real-world design trade-offs would be extremely helpful in keeping ideas fresh and minds open. Not to mention the excitement they’d generate!

    Thoughts?
     
  2. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Hmmm

    Insights on the web would be fun, but suggestions from armchair car designers? I'm sceptical, to be honest. How many great leaps forward in automotive design would have been correctly anticipated by ordinary members of the public? Market research tends to drag designs back toward a median of current designs. People rejected the designs for the first mini. Hence Issigonis's famous remark: Market Research is Bunk.

    Then again, does the Tesla Saloon need to stand out visually? Like the Roadster, doesn't it just need to look like a classic example of its type? But even that is an enormous challenge. How many of us could have advised on, or contributed to the Roadster design?

    Car design tends to be the responibility of one key individual - like Barney Hatt. I don't think he'd appreciate customers telling him to change the light clusters etc. Committees or well-meaning communities come up with this:-

    http://graphics.hobbypeople.net/gallery/641222.jpg

    Okay. That's an exaggeration I know. Maybe this is a better example,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabant
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah - I had thought it would be 'neat' to have web visitors participate in the design, but it would probably slow things down and maybe make the design too homogeneous.

    Besides, I think the Tesla founders and early staff want to "make their mark" and have some fun with the process so opening it up to the world could keep them from showing that they can do it on their own.

    Given how great the Roadster looks, I have faith that they can pull it off without outside help.

    They seem to be smart enough to get proposals from outside design firms, so something from a firm like Fisker / Foose / Lotus / Sbarro / Guigario / etc could end up being what they pick.

    Like a lot of us I fancy myself as someone who could come up with a great design, but since I have no experience I would probably fall flat on my face.

    There are so many factors that go into a design from style, packaging, aerodynamics, safety, regulations, etc. There are a lot more constrains than most people realize.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I know that Tesla is no longer saying "The Whitestar will be like a BMW 3,5,or 7 series" anymore. But it's more because people are being so literal about it than any other reason.

    Like this page with a psuedo BMW drawing.
    http://www.autospies.com/news/Spies-break-biggest-scoop-so-far-in-2007-We-spill-the-beans-on-the-upcoming-Tesla-Electric-Sedan-14898/

    But has anyone confirmed the Fisker part of this "scoop'? The cars they have designed are certainly beautiful.

    Not a bad start if you combined the Rapide and the Tesla Roadster...
    http://www.speedsportlife.com/photopost/showgallery.php?si=&limit=&thumbsonly=0&perpage=24&cat=882&ppuser=&thumbcheck=0&page=1&sortby=&sorttime=&way=&cat=882


    I think the big question is where are they now in the process... http://www.teslamotors.com/styling/process.php ...and at what point will they release an image?
     
  5. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    From what I recall, there were early, competing design proposals and sketches from multiple sources for the Roadster. Maybe something similar is being done for the Whitestar. Maybe Fisker has submitted one of the proposals. If any sort of design competition were underway, obviously Tesla would not be inclined to talk about that publicly.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I just have a knack for coming up with good search terms...
     

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