Teslas Cyber Truck unveil reminds us why we have QA

Teslas_Cyber_Truck_unveil_reminds_us_why_we_have_QA
  • 25th November 2019
  • 1 Comment

The golden rule is to test your features before you show them to your customers to prevent embarrassment. But I guess Elon didn’t get the message.

If you didn’t watch the reveal event for Teslas new electric-powered pickup truck on Friday. Let me just quickly recap the key moments of the event.

Elon comes onto the stage and talks about how pickup trucks haven’t really changed in recent memory, then Elon reveals something which kinda looks like a picture I drew back when me was 5 years old on the stage.

Elon then talks for a bit about the truck (I’m not a car guy, so didn’t pay much attention here). But then he talks proudly about the glass and how tough it is, along with the truck’s metal exoskeleton.

After hitting a regular car door with a sledgehammer and showing the damage possible with a single hit. The Cyber Truck is then the receiver of the same treatment and just as Elon proclaimed. There is no damage.

Then a demo showing the strength of the glass, comparing samples which represent the glass in an everyday car, against this new toughened glass present in the Cybertruck. They did this at first by dropping a metal ball on one type of glass, and then the other. And again, the glass in the Cyber Truck is the clear winner here with the strength able to withstand being unbelievable.

But Elon then prompts one of his stagehands to throw the metal ball at the Cybertruck which is on the stage, to again, show how tough it is.

With the world’s media watching, the guy throws the ball directly at the passenger side window with the faith that the ball should just bounce right off with no mark left behind.

Well, things didn’t quite go to plan…

‘Oh my f*****g god’, Elon then exclaims, as the ball shatters the window, leaving this claim of toughened, shatterproof glass, in doubt.

We can then hear Elon joking, ‘We’ll fix it in post’.

Was this tested before being shown to the public?

I’m not sure of Teslas internal QA or test processes. But this could, and should have been better tested in rehearsals or in the factory prior to being shown to the public and this whole embarrassing situation could have been avoided.

Claiming your truck’s glass is shatterproof is risky for a company and testing helps to mitigate risk so that a company like Tesla, can be confident in the product they are showing to their customers.

Elon has since posted a tweet claiming that the reason the glass shattered was because of the sequence of events that day which exposed a flaw in the glass’s design. At least this shows that they have discovered the root cause of the issue and can now avoid the issue in future public demonstrations.

1 Comment
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Robert Day 28th November 2019

A demo always has the capacity to go wrong; indeed, you should expect it and plan for it. (Having just done a tech demo at a user conference, I can vouch for this!) Always remember the example of Harry Houdini, the escapologist. He was fond of allowing members of the audience to challenge him before his shows. But on one occasion, he invited such an audience member to punch him in the stomach, to prove how strong he was. But the man took Houdini by surprise, quickly delivering a comparatively light blow but before Houdini had time to tense his stomach muscles, which is what he would usually do. The blow ruptured Houdini's peritoneum and was ultimately fatal.

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