Elon Musk admits Tesla uses too many robots in its Model 3 factories
Tesla founder Elon Musk has admitted that his company’s factories use too many robots in the production of its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.
In an interview with ‘CBS This Morning’ Musk admitted that he agreed with critics who said that his factories are too reliant on automation when producing its range of electric vehicles.
The large number of robots led to a “crazy, complex network of conveyor belts” he said which has potentially slowed the production process.
Earlier this month Tesla said it had missed its goal to produce 2,500 Model 3s every week just months after it reported a loss of $675.4m (£487m) in the last quarter of 2017 - its largest ever.
In February Musk said that ramping production should help to reverse this loss and hoped that Tesla would start generating positive quarterly income by the end of 2018.
As well as robots, Tesla has in the past blamed bottlenecks in the production of the batteries it makes at its Gigafactory.
Musk said he wants to start using more humans in the factory in the hope that it will be able to churn out more Model 3s in the future.
This aligns with views Musk aired last year in a public spat with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over the dangers of AI.
Having human eyes overseeing the process may also help the quality-control issues that many customers have complained about in recent months.
Earlier this year reports flooded in that many of those who received the first few batches of Model 3s experienced problems such as charging issues, a broken rear light (before being driven home from the dealership), and various other technical defects that shouldn't be happening.
Meanwhile sources told Reuters last week that Tesla would start making its forthcoming Model Y vehicles in November 2019 at its plant in Fremont, California.
Production is then expected to begin in China from 2021 where they will ramp up the number of vehicles made per week.
Early design images for the Model Y suggest it will be a small SUV with an unusual design that doesn’t even include door mirrors. Instead the rear views may be serviced with a camera and displayed on screens inside the vehicle.