'Why Tesla Soared as Other Automakers Struggled to Make Cars '

'When Tesla couldn't get the chips it had counted on, it took the ones that were available and rewrote the software that operated them to suit its needs. Larger auto companies couldn't do that because they relied on outside suppliers for much of their software and computing expertise.'
'Many, including Ford and Mercedes-Benz, have said in recent months that they are hiring engineers and programmers to design their own chips and write their own software.'
It would be a mistake to design their own chips. They're not doing anything special that requires custom chips. They should design their software to work with any set of hardware, re-write only their device drivers, the bits of code that address hardware. That's how Linux works. Then they could buy any chip. Not only would this make them flexible it would give them bargaining power.
1 Like

There’s a lot more to it than that. If the manufacturers would have to start from scratch to port their software over to another chip. Even if they had all development in house you’re talking months before initial deployment. Tesla had already had a jump by no depending on one chip set. The rest are now paying the price for their short sightedness.


Yeah, a lot more to it. For example, the chips used by the older carmakers come from old-generation chip fabrication facilities, and no chipmaker wants to build new facilities using the old (large chip) technology to address the shortages.

Oh, I think Toyota or Honda in Japan has a pretty good relationship with Asian chip providers.

They have to make their software chip-independent sometime.

To actually run the car you don’t need sophisticated chips (just to run video games). They should separate the electronics needed to run the car from navigation and entertainment.

Japan? The major manufacturers are in Taiwan and Korea, countries that have better relationships with America.

Tesla’s soaring sales in the United States;

2020; 292,902

2021; 301,998

Most manufactures saw an increase in sales over last year due to the lock-down and unemployment in 2020.

In my area sales of Chevrolet were -22%, Ford -6%, Mercedes - 1%.
Acura, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mini, Porsche and most popular makes recorded an increase in sales.

Hope Tesla goes on, bought stock in a company building a plant to make body parts for Tesla

No, they don’t. The chipmaker is a big part of that.

Yes, you DO need sophisticated chips. My rather simple '14 Mustang has 17 different computers on the comm bus. All but one, the radio, are required to run the car. Actually, the radio rings warning beeps and bells so it is still important. And they are seperated but each communicates and shares data.

Keep in mind, chips run on machine level code. Each chip has different coding requirements. Linux is an operating system, like Windows, and is not used, as I understand it. Mostly because it takes up a lot of space and slows things down.

This was explained patiently to my mechanical engineer self by my brilliant systems engineer employee…so I may have a few details wrong!

1 Like

That’s not that easy to do. They’d have to design that up front. Unix (which Linux was based off of) was designed from the start to do that.

They do.

Tesla has the advantage of having started with a blank slate not very long ago, so its systems and structure are based on fairly current technology, whereas old established companies have to constantly update with consideration for retroactive functionality. It’s just harder for GM to adapt than it is for Tesla. We are seeing VW do a massive overhaul of itself to move from diesel to electric, because they had no choice, and perhaps Fiat-Chrysler-Stellantis will do the same to be competitive, but it seems less resolved and much more likely to simply fail and sell Jeep to the highest bidder.


Exactly. Tesla is one of the few makers that actually had a ‘clean sheet’ design, everyone else has years of prior systems to deal with.

They have, or at least had, a deep seated hate for Japan because of WWII. I was in Seoul, South Korea about 5 years ago. I saw exactly no Japanese cars or trucks on the road. None. I did see a Toyota dealership, but no other Japanese dealerships. I saw Fords and Chevys though.

Tesla signed deal to buy 75,000 tons of nickel ore from mine in northern Minnesota close to Mississippi headwaters and pristine wildlife area. Don’t like mining in mn.

As well they should, but Japan’s abuse of the Korean people predates WW II by many years.

1 Like

How about the sandpiper oil line Going right through the Mississippi river watershed, ? One route was just north of Pine River.

I don’t see how your comment makes sense.

It has 17 simple computers. Unless a car is driving itself it doesn’t need a lot of processing capacity.

I used to write it professionally.

Why you separate the hardware-facing portion into device drivers that present a common interface to the operating system.

This is completely wrong. Linux is completely customizable; you don’t even need to load the software that drives the display or reads the keyboard (for example). It’s smaller than Windoze by a lot. Apple switched to BSD (a similar Unix) for OS X. A friend manages the computer for the Cassini mission, all Linux.

I didn’t say it was easy. It’s easier than not doing it.

1 Like

Are you saying Linux is used? Or should be used in cars?

What is wrong? That Linux is an operating system? Or that it is used in cars?

Some are simple, many are not so simple. The engine computer and the ABS/TCS/ESP computers are not so simple. They also must operate at a very high rate and have significant amounts of error checking within that rate. They also must have diagnostics which take up 80 to 90% of the space. None of these computers can have any significant latency or drivers die.

Cars can’t be built without them… Gummint regs say so.

Heck, the computer controlled shocks had a loop time of 1msec 25 years ago. Now it is 500 microseconds. Just for the shocks

The point is…it’s too late to effect anything NOW. Any redesign they do will be for a future event like now. And most manufacturers (especially US) don’t look much past the next quarter.

1 Like

In computer speeds…what you’re saying isn’t that fast. They are significantly slower than todays gaming laptops. A decent gamimg laptop runs at over 500 bips (500 BILLION instructions a second).