The Tesla Model Y’s wiring seems to hint that little by little, the electric car maker is still moving towards a production line that is so automated, it is worthy of being dubbed an “Alien Dreadnought” factory. The most recent hint of this came in a video from auto teardown expert Sandy Munro, who is currently engaged in a thorough analysis and teardown of the Tesla Model Y.
Munro’s Model Y teardown has reached a point where the auto veteran is now looking into the all-electric crossover’s wiring system. Much to his pleasant surprise, Munro found that some of the Model Y’s wiring has become very different from those found in an early-production Model 3 he tore down and studied back in 2018. One of the key differences could be found in the wiring that connects the Model Y’s charge port to its battery pack.
As noted by Sandy Munro in his video, the heavy cables that connect the Model Y’s charge port to its battery pack are fitted inside a metal pipe. The auto veteran noted that this strategy has several advantages. By using a metal pipe, Tesla can ensure that the Model Y’s wiring is always a perfect fit during the vehicle’s assembly. The system also saves up space and weight compared to traditional cables, such as those found in the early-production Model 3.
This novel wiring system echoes a lot of the discussions in a previous Tesla patent published back in late 2018. In that particular patent, Tesla discussed how flexible wires are not optimized for production processes that are heavily reliant on automated machinery. Tesla’s patent then suggested the use of rigid cables, which could be easily picked up and installed by machines with very little margin or error. Interestingly enough, the Model Y’s wiring system that Munro recently discovered seemed to be quite similar to the structural cabling design that Tesla described in its patent.
The fact that the Model Y’s wiring seems to be optimized for automated production lines bodes well for Tesla. Elon Musk has always envisioned that Tesla factories will eventually run with minimal human staff, as robots would dominate the manufacturing line. Prior to the Model 3 ramp, for one, Musk described his vision for a factory that was so automated, Tesla’s internal name for it was the “Alien Dreadnought,” a reference to the hyper-advanced extraterrestrial ships in science fiction.
The pursuit for the Alien Dreadnought factory eventually had to take a step back during the Model 3 ramp, after the vehicle’s hyper-automated lines ended up performing less effectively than a production line that employs both humans and machines. Elon Musk, for his part, later admitted that he overreached with the Model 3’s automation. The CEO even remarked later that ultimately, he learned that “humans are underrated.”
If Munro’s discoveries on the Model Y’s wiring are any indication, it appears that Tesla is still making a lot of headway in optimizing its vehicles for automated production and assembly. The Model Y’s rigid wiring may be a simple change from the Model 3, but it goes a long way in proving that little by little, Tesla is still focused on improving its vehicles, from one iteration to the next.
Watch Sandy Munro’s latest feature on the Tesla Model Y in the video below.