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Elon Musk wants Teslas to automatically call a tow truck when something breaks

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As Tesla ramps up production and gets more cars on the road, the company is still working out a few speed bumps when it comes to service. When something goes wrong, getting it fixed tends to take longer than many owners are willing to wait.

In September of last year, Elon Musk promised to make fixing service times a priority. On an earnings call today, he outlined two ways they’re working on it: more spare parts at service centers, and giving Tesla cars the ability to automatically get the process started by calling a tow truck as soon as it detects an issue.

Said Elon on the call:

The next thing we want to add is if a car detects something wrong — like a flat tire or a drive unit failure — that before the car has even come to a halt, there’s a tow truck and service loaner on the way.

False alarm? Don’t want a tow truck to show up? You’ll be able to cancel it through the in-dash display.

If they can get it to work, it sounds great — but it’s not an easy challenge. Pulling it off in one or two major cities? Simple enough. But nationwide, or worldwide? That’s a much bigger logistical problem.

Elon didn’t give a time frame for when such a feature might roll out.

Regarding spare parts, Musk said that some of the existing processes for getting parts to service centers are “quite boneheaded,” and that they’ve “just been like … super dumb on some of the things [they’ve] done.” As an example, he mentioned a service center in China that, when ordering parts that are made in China, must first wait for those parts to be shipped from China to a warehouse in the U.S. and then back.

 

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I look at Tesla going the way of the Yugo and the DeLorean. Elon Musk would be another nobody if the federal government under the Obama administration did not pour billions of dollars into his "bright ideas".  I give them five years tops.

 

Newsflash to Tesla: Made in China translates to this is crap.

Edited by goodmichael

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This is something I see having a great impact on the roadside service and breakdown towing segment of the industry. I spoke on this with John Borowski during the American Towman seminar series in 2017 as one of the subjects impacting our Vision 2020, or the future of the industry.

 

Regardless of Tesla's future involvement, automated vehicles in general are here to stay. I envision a time when self-driving or even highly automated vehicles will self-diagnosis faults and refuse to leave the parking spot until they are fixed, or route themselves to a service center when service is due. This will greatly reduce unexpected roadside failures or general breakdown tows, because the car will schedule and deliver itself for service on-time and BEFORE a full failure occurs.

 

On a side note, given several states are now allowing for the "vehicle" to be the licensed driver I fully expect a sharp reduction in DUI impounds and unlicensed/uninsured impounds. The vehicle can not be cited for DUI, and as part of its self diagnostic it will not drive anywhere with expired credentials.

 

Both scenarios are game changing for a large portion of our industry, just think about it.

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