Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently spoke about Tesla’s 6+ businesses recently at the All-In Summit 2022. Elon Musk was a guest at the All-In Summit 2022 held by All-In Podcast hosts Jason Calacanis, Chamath Palihapitiya, David Friedberg, and David Saks. Founded in 2020, the podcast covers topics such as economics, technology, politics, and even poker. Elon Musk was one of many speakers at the summit and Episode 69 (below) includes the entire hour and 20 minutes of his full presentation.
Elon Musk On Tesla’s 6+ Businesses
Tesla should really be thought of as roughly a dozen technology startups, many of which have little to no correlation with traditional automotive companies
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2020
CleanTechnica has touched upon Tesla’s several businesses before, and we’ve noted what Elon Musk has also previously said about Tesla being made up of startups. However, it’s always refreshing to hear Elon Musk talk about the various problems that Tesla is helping to solve, whether with regard to climate change, autonomy, or robotics.
Tesla is really a dozen or more startups if you look at all the things created from scratch that aren’t present in other car companies
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
One of the questions asked by Chamath was related to Tesla and its several startups. He referred to an article that he’d read in Bloomberg that said that since Tesla went public, it was up 22,000% and had 11 quarters of sequential profitability.
“Analysts, when they put up their projections, it’s one of the most enormous spans for any company in America. The price targets for Tesla, despite all of the success, some have it at $200, some have it at $1,600. It’s all over the place. You tweeted a couple of months ago, ‘Tesla’s not a company. It’s like six companies inside of a company.”’ Chamath asked Elon to share more about each of these companies inside the super company in order for people to understand the hard work Tesla and its team of employees had to do to be where it is today . Elon answered and spoke of these aspects of Tesla:
- Sales and service.
- Vertical integration.
- Chip team and Dojo supercomputer
- Tesla Insurance
Sales and Service
“What they do is they assemble vehicles, they send them to dealers and they manage a supply chain. They might make the engine or typically make the engine, but most of the parts are made by suppliers and a lot of the actual technology development is done by suppliers and most of the vehicle software is done by suppliers.
“So the actual amount of real work done by car companies — of what you think of sort of like GM or Ford — is not actually that much. They don’t do sales, they don’t do service. In the case of Tesla, for example, we do our own sales and service. We don’t have dealerships.”
“Then, Tesla also has by far the biggest network of Superchargers, so it will be the electric equivalent of gas stations. So, we built the entire global Supercharger network, which is still the most advanced and by far the best way to charge your car while traveling long distances or if you live in a city and don’t have the ability to charge your car — street parking or an apartment.
“We developed the Supercharging network. We’ve seen it. I think we have — I don’t know — 15,000 Superchargers globally. You can travel anywhere in America right now with the Tesla Supercharger network.”
Elon explained that at Tesla they make the battery pack, the power electronics, and the drive units.
“We’re more integrated in the parts. We actually make so much of the car internally. We’re vertically integrated not necessarily because we think there’s some religious reason to be vertically integrated but because the pace that we needed to move was just much faster than the supply chain could move. And to the degree that you inherit the legacy supply chain, you inherit the legacy constraints including speed, cost, and technology.”
Software & AI
“Tesla is as much a software company as it is a hardware company. So, the software that runs in Tesla operates the car, operates the screen, does the charging. All of that stuff is developed by Tesla.”
Elon also explained about Tesla’s AI team.
“Tesla has built an Autopilot AI team from scratch. That is the best real-world AI team on earth. If anyone else has got a better one, I’d like to see it demonstrated in a car. The Full Self Driving Beta at this point can very often take you with zero interventions across the Bay Area from San Jose to Marin. So, through complex traffic, it’s really quite sophisticated.”
Elon Musk also invited anyone listening to join the beta testing team or watch the videos shared by Tesla owners who are beta testing FSD. He added that Tesla will be expanding FSD Beta to a million people from the current 100,000 by the end of the year.
Tesla’s Chip Team and the Dojo Super Computer
“We also built a chip team because there wasn’t a hardware that we could run a freakin AI on. We couldn’t just unfold a trunk with a whole bunch of GPUs”
Elon pointed out that a trunk full of GPUs would have been very expensive while requiring a lot of both power and cooling just for it to perform what Tesla designed the FSD computer to do.
“We started our chip team from scratch. Designed it. It was the best in the world — and still is the best in the world several years later. We’re also designing a Dojo supercomputer to be able to process all the videos that are coming in from millions of miles of data.”
Elon compared to what Tesla is doing with Google. He spoke of how Google has all of this data from all of its searches and said that humans are training it.
“The same is true of Tesla. You really need billions of miles and ultimately, tens of billions of miles of training data combined with a vast training computer and then optimize inference hardware in the car, and say the AI in training, especially in software across the board, will be able to achieve a full self-driving solution.”
What Elon spoke of during the podcast still doesn’t cover all that Tesla is doing. Chamath pointed out that the Gigafactory looked like a computer chip and that it is the machine that makes the machine. Chamath and Jason also pointed out Tesla Insurance and the robotaxi goals which would enable Tesla to compete with Uber and Lyft. Elon elaborated on just how impactful Tesla Insurance will be on the industry.
“The car insurance thing is a bigger deal than it may seem. A lot of people are paying 30-40% of their lease payment for the car in car insurance. So, the car insurance industry is incredibly inefficient — because, firstly, you’ve got so many sorts of middle entities. You’ve got from the insurance agents all the way to the final sort of re-insurer. There’s like, half a dozen companies each taking a cut.
“It’s all very statistical. Even if you’re a very good driver, you could be like 20 years old and a great driver but it’s all statistical, so you either can’t get insurance or it’s extremely expensive. Tesla allows for real-time insurance based on how you actually drive the car. If you drive the car in a safer way, you actually have lower insurance.”
Elon explained that Tesla Insurance is based on how each owner drives instead of how historically people of whatever demographic have driven up till now. Tesla’s customers can lower their insurance by driving safer, paying attention to their Safety Score. They can practically lower their rates in real-time.
Want more? You can watch the full podcast here.
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