Friday, June 7, 2013

Tesla Is Reinventing the Industrial and Infrastructure Process

Tesla is not only reinventing the car...  They are reinventing applied science, industrial product development and infrastructure planning.

At Toyota "we get a lot of standards and specifications, then we build a prototype and test it. At Tesla they get the standards and specifications set, and then change it on the fly. They spend more time in the validation phase. We spend more time in up-front planning.”

Typically we plan and design infrastructure (e.g., energy and transportation systems) too much. But rarely we go back and validate whether systems really worked as intended...

Unofficial assessments:
  • Did the H-3 Freeway meet its traffic target?  It exceeded it.
  • Did the Kal. Hwy widening relieve Hawaii Kai to Kahala trip times? Travel times were reduced by over ~25%.
Official assessments:
  • Do modern (built after 1995) light and heavy rail systems in any city in the US meet or exceed their planned ridership that justified their construction, after 5 or10 years in operation?
  • Nine out of 10 failed to do this. Several of them spectacularly. The largest US failure (after Tren Urbano in Puerto Rico) will be Honolulu.