Essay: My advice to Elon Musk on how to fix the Tesla Model 3

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April 13, 2018- by Steven E. Greer MD

Based on two things that I have recently learned, I believe that the best strategy for Tesla now would be to scrap the Model 3 and start from scratch with a Model 4.

I learned the following:

First, I sat in a Model 3 yesterday. Production problems aside, it is a poorly designed car. It feels small and cheap. I had to scrunch to get inside and I am not tall. The design to have no instrument panel and just an iPad-like screen in the center of the dash for all information is a stupendously horrible idea. People do not want to drive an iPad. From the outside, the car is ugly too.

Secondly, Elon Musk gave CBS News a puff piece PR tour of the Model 3 plant and was too honest. The production problems are unfixable. It is not just the batteries. They arrogantly ignored a century of car building lessons and created an excessively automated plant. There are apparently too many robots getting in the way of one another, for example.

The entire Model 3 is plagued by hubris of Silicon Valley. I see the same arrogance plaguing Elon Musk’s SpaceX too. For example, his mission control room is staffed by casually dressed young people who behave like children, cheering prematurely after liftoff, etc. Elon also insists on trying to land rockets on floating barges, and they always crash. That is because the floating barges rock up and down with wave motion. Waves are chaos and unpredictable. No artificial intelligence algorithm will ever allow the rocks to land reliably. It would be best to have the rockets land in water and tow them in, like the Space Shuttle did, but arrogant Silicon Valley Elon Musk thinks he is smarter than NASA. Again, Elon Musk and his huge Silicon Valley ego are ignoring all of the lessons learned by NASA, just as he ignored car manufacturing paradigms at Tesla.

Tesla should quietly stop taking new orders for Model 3 and complete the open orders. The excuse they could use would be that they cannot promise delivery on time. Then, Tesla needs to start on a whole new car that looks better and is designed better.

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