Too much automation too quickly proved to haunt Tesla and Elon Musk in the past. However, if the company could implement an automated system specific to improving quality control, it could be a big win for the automaker.
Tesla has a reputation for inconsistencies related to the quality and fit and finish of its vehicles. Even if the automaker shows notable improvements, that reputation will arguably stick with Tesla for years, if not virtually forever. However, if it can find an innovative way to address the problem without slowing down production, much progress could be made.
Sadly, it seems Tesla has come to the conclusion that production and delivery numbers bear more importance than quality control. This isn't something that automaker has chosen or decided on its own, but rather been pushed toward due to market pressure, as well as the constant fear of failing to make a profit, which could eventually lead to bankruptcy.
It has been a tough road for Tesla, as is expected of any new automaker, and especially one making electric vehicles. For years, if ever Tesla missed the mark for production and deliveries, or failed to report a profit, it faced doomsday headlines, its stock plummeted, and it teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.
Today, Tesla can honestly say it has reported a profit for five consecutive quarters, and it continues to meet or beat its production and delivery goals, as well as Wall Street's expectations. What it can't say is that its cars are consistently high quality in terms of their overall fit and finish.
Based on a new job posting on Tesla's official site, the company is seeking out an engineer to be responsible for helping design and install an automated camera inspection system. The system would "keep an eye on" vehicle production at the Fremont factory. The job posting reads:
“The vehicle engineering team at Tesla is looking for a highly motivated Quality Inspection Engineer to apply their experience with vehicle assembly lines and manufacturing software systems to lead the installation and operations of automation camera inspection systems into existing manufacturing lines.”
This won't be the first time an automaker has used cameras to monitor vehicle production and quality, but Tesla is developing a reputation for its computer vision and AI systems used in its Autopilot technology and Full Self-Driving Beta system. If the company can implement that tech into its assembly lines, and actually vastly improve quality over time, without slowing down production, it stands to be a big step forward for the automaker.
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