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Tesla Gigafactory: Robotics and the New Age of Automation

As we hurtle into a new age of automation, what does that mean for the future of work? Tesla’s Gigafactory provides a glimpse.



There’s a manufacturing giant in town, and it goes by the name of Tesla Gigafactory. This behemoth is a testament to the power of modern technology and robotics. With it, Elon Musk has shown that we are entering into a new age of automation. His factories utilize a host of cutting-edge robotics, all working together to create something amazing. 

What does this mean for the future? Will we see more factories like this one, and will automation take over other industries as well? 

Huge Facilities Drive Rising Output

About 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space is housed at Tesla’s Fremont, California location. It has the potential to output 600,000 EVs, while the company’s Shanghai plant can reach about 1 million vehicles. These two factories, among the eight Tesla factories around the world, are currently the main manufacturing plants for the company.

But these large footprints are just the start. The real difference-maker is the number of robots working inside.

We’re not talking about a dozen or so bots here. Tesla has 700 cutting-edge robots on the factory floor in each of its two main plants. With this level of automation, it’s no wonder its Gigafactories have the potential to produce more cars with fewer people than traditional car manufacturers. 

Tesla Gigafactory Austin Robots

Level of Automation Sets Tesla Apart

As a newcomer to the entrenched automobile industry, Elon Musk approached automation as a blank slate. His goal from the start was to build the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world. 

Compare this to automakers with over a century of legacy manufacturing investment in facilities, processes, and labor. These can hold them back from making major leaps and investments into future technologies. 

The level of automation employed by Tesla is what sets it apart from its competitors. Other automakers are quickly playing catch-up in the EV production war. One-by-one you see them announce huge investments in electric vehicle design and production. But they have a long way to go to reach the scale and efficiency of Tesla’s highly automated Gigafactories.

Elon Musk noted during Tesla’s Q1 2021 earnings call:

Elon Musk at Tesla Austin

“A lot will think of Tesla as a car company or as an energy company. I think long term, people will think of Tesla as much as an AI robotics company as we are a car company or an energy company.”

This is the future of manufacturing, and it’s only going to become more commonplace in the years to come.

What Does it Mean for The Future of Work?

More robots mean less need for human labor. But we’re a long way off from a self-sustaining factory that, anecdotally, needs only one person to make sure the electricity keeps flowing! 

This revolution will force us to challenge our outdated views of what work means and the hours we spend doing it. 

We’re on the cusp of a new age of automation, and it’s one that will change the way we work forever. Thanks to companies like Tesla, we’re moving closer to a future where robots, AI and humans will be highly efficient and effective partners in the workplace.