Believe it or Not, SpaceX has Helped Tesla in a Big Way
Two ambitious, modern companies working together – now that’s the way of the futureby Robert Moore, on
So, Tesla just had its second-quarter earnings call for 2017 with all the suits that want to know what’s cracking. One of the most important aspects of the call was the Tesla has delivered 47,000 vehicles in the first half of 2017, and another was that the Model Y would, indeed, be built using the same underpinnings as the Model 3 instead of an all-new platform. But there was another interesting tidbit of information mentioned during the call, all thanks to some curious investors during the Q&A portion of the call. Since Elon Musk is Wonderboy and runs all different kinds of companies, including SpaceX, investors were curious as to how innovation at SpaceX could be applied to Tesla, and sure enough, the truth comes out. SpaceX innovation has already helped Tesla in a big way, ultimately shaving eight hours off of the production time for each and every vehicle – now that’s some serious savings because, you know, time is money. So, how did SpaceX lend a helping hand to sister company Tesla?
Well, unfortunately, it has nothing to do with strapping a Falcon 9 rocket to a Model S and breaking the land-speed record or sending an autonomous car into low-earth orbit. But, it did arise from the need to determine the quality of a specific object – a process that apparently took eight hours per vehicle to complete. The object in question is an aluminum casting. We’re not sure what the casting is for, but it’s apparently quite important. So, Tesla decided to reach out to SpaceX, since SpaceX knows all about that kind of thing, and the SpaceX team was able to hook Tesla up with the ultrasonic sensors that enable much faster inspection time. Now, if that’s not sharing innovation, I don’t know what is. Keep reading to learn a little more.
These Two Companies are More Important Together Than Apart
Both Tesla and SpaceX are doing big things. Tesla initiated the EV push with the Tesla Roadster, which ultimately led to vehicles like the Model S, Model X, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt EV, and the desire of just about every major auto manufacturer to jump into the all-electric ring for an epic throw down against one of the world’s best innovators – Elon Musk himself. Then you’ve got SpaceX, which is about three steps away from revolutionizing space travel thanks to that reusable Falcon rocket which has not only proven reliable but cost effective as well. The company will likely have its hands in getting the first humans to that red ball of rock we call Mars, and could essentially play a pivotal role in turning the humans into a spacefaring species.
The company will likely have its hands in getting the first humans to that red ball of rock we call Mars
But, building electric cars which produce zero pollutants, and rockets that blow through fuel faster than anything else on earth seems like the would share zero commonalities. And, that may be true on the surface, but when you look deeper, you realize that both companies are tasked with building reliable equipment and coming up with new, innovative ways to do things, and that’s where they really share common ground.
In that quarterly earnings call, Elon Musk summed it up quite well, saying “This cross-fertilization of knowledge from the rocket and spacecraft industry to auto and back and forth I think has really been quite valuable. The joining of minds from both firms are clearly a major benefit to both, and who knows, the first long-range spacecraft could very well use AutoPilot 4.0, don’t you think?
What About Elon’s Other Companies?
Having a man like Elon Musk at the head of companies like SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and Neuralink, has a major benefit. All of these companies get to work together when needed, which prevents the need to look outside of the family tree for assistance. SpaceX has actually turned out to be quite the go-to for Musk’s other companies as it has also led a helping hand with the tunnel boring machine that The Boring Company is using to dig a tunnel under in the SpaceX parking lot and will dig the potential tunnel that will link several major cities on the East Coast, including Washington D.C.
As for Musk’s newest company, Neuralink, it really hasn’t had much to contribute yet, as its sole mission is to link man and machine together as one, but that doesn’t mean that the future doesn’t hold some kind of collaboration. After all, we don’t know what the future holds – our first long-range rocket or the Teslas of 2020 could read commands and be controlled directly by our minds, something that would surely come from developments made by Neuralink.
Our first long-range rocket or the Teslas of 2020 could read commands and be controlled directly by our minds
And of course, we can’t end this quite yet without mentioning the undeniable link between Hyperloop One and The Boring Company. Obviously, two different companies – one is busy building a track with little carts that will haul either cars or shuttles full of people at excessively high speeds, while the other is focused only on digging holes and turning the Earth into a big block of swiss cheese. But, when you consider the fact that those Hyperloop tracks and enclosed chambers will serve as the basis for all of the tunnels Musk digs in the world, the two have a hell of a lot in common. You can bet that we’ll definitely be seeing more collaboration between these two companies in the future as well. You’ve got to hand it to Elon – the man is ambitious and never stops coming up with new ideas. The world needs a lot more of this.
Read our speculative review on the 2020 Tesla Model Y
Read our full review on the Tesla Model 3.