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Elon Musk admits that he ‘underestimated humans’

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk admits that he made a mistake, recently explaining  on Twitter that “humans are underrated”. Why? Excessive automation of assembly lines at Tesla, and delivery delays.

By trying to develop overly automated production lines for his new electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, Elon Musk added to production difficulties with the earliest models. “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake”, he admitted on Twitter on the 13th April last. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.” The Model 3 is the first electric car that Tesla are releasing for mass production, according to CBS News. It was intended to be more affordable, with prices starting at 35,000 dollars, which incited many people to pre-order the model. The company had promised to produce 5,000 new cars every week.

However, the robots did not keep pace, and Tesla produced only around 2,000 models per week. There were delivery delays, and clients started to express their discontent. Part of the reason for the production delays was that the technology used by the Fremont factory in California found it difficult to keep up, explained Musk: “We put too much new technology into the Model 3 all at once”, he declared, adding that instead of speeding up  the production of the Model 3, the robots in fact slowed it down.

Elon Musk ordered the company to suspend production of the Model 3 for the second time in the past few weeks. This is a temporary machine halt which will allow Tesla “to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates”, as can be read in USA Today. “It’s not unusual, it’s very common in chains of production like these”. In other words, there is no need to worry. Musk even explained that he slept in the factory in order to supervise the works. “The couch is so narrow that I ended up sleeping on the floor one night”.