Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

Elon Musk says Telsas will come when you call them (Disruptive Innovation)

Elon Musk has just announced a new feature in Telsa vehicles called Summon. Summon is a parking feature that allows the owner of the vehicle to call it to their phone’s location by using a smartphone. This new feature will be released through a over-the-air software upgrade and will be accessible in vehicles made in the past 2 years. Musk also announced that owners will be able to “drive their car like a big RC car if in line of sight.”

Tesla is widely known for their amazing innovations in auto-piloting vehicles, and this is another step in that direction. The “controlling a car like an RC car” is a little frightening to me at first glance, but it’s only if the car is within a certain range of the smartphone.

We have discussed disruptive innovation in class recently and this is a great example of sustaining innovation. Elon Musk understands that in order to stay profitable, you must continue to innovate your products and provide users with better and better experiences. Even though there aren’t really many competitors in the auto-piloting motor vehicles space, Telsa continues to disrupt.

6 Responses to Elon Musk says Telsas will come when you call them (Disruptive Innovation)

  • Great post, Christopher. I think it’s worth noting that because these types of innovations and their nature have serious implications on public safety, it can be argued that Summon faces non-market contexts, due to the heavy amount of scrutiny it will be under by regulators and legislation. Do you think that this is something that will make it mainstream anytime soon? I think innovation like this has a long ways to go, however self-driving capabilities may point otherwise. What do you think are some of the main limitations or barriers are to bring this to market?

  • I also think this is a great example of sustaining innovation. Elon Musk continues to add new features to the Tesla cars, with the Summon feature, and also with the self-driving technology and their over-the-air software updating services. One issue for some people in the market is that the Tesla brand is just to expensive for them. Which makes me think when will the other companies also use disruptive innovation and come out with a low-end version that does most of what Tesla cars can also do. I think with the amount of people that are interested in Tesla cars but cannot afford it, it may be a great market to get into.

  • This adds another dynamic into the car/cab industry. I wonder the affects this will have on Uber, Lyft, or regular cabs. This also benefits people who carpool, but might have an emergency come up and need their car. This offers a new realm of possibilities for car owners.

  • Very interesting. I just recently watched a video of someone using this feature to move his car because of the 2 hour street parking time limit. The person was standing in their looking out the window and moved the car forward and then backwards every 2 hours. How do you think this technology will evolve 5 or 10 years later?

  • Tesla is certainly disrupting with an innovation like this, but there is a huge concern around the technology required for something like this to be feasible. Autonomous cars are already having difficulties being integrated into the current infrastructure, with numerous accidents reportedly being due to the technology inside the vehicle. Computer Vision Technology (CVT) is still a developing form of Artificial Intelligence, and I wonder if Musk is being too ambitious in announcing this to markets just yet. The major implications a feature like this would have on the current roadway/traffic systems also need to be considered before too much money in sunk into this project.

  • This is very interesting but I do wonder how would feel about the ability for the car to be driven like an RC car. The ability to summon the car seems great and I think the feature would be incredibly useful but playing something as simple as a mobile game on your phone is difficult enough I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to control your car like an RC car safely with your phone. I wonder how laws and regulators deal with innovations like this as it is most likely new territory in terms of self-driving regulation.

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