MIT Technology Review has an article describing how Tesla Motors has brought rapid disruption to the previously staid auto industry, where there are too many factors precluding the entry of new companies. But this is nothing new for readers of The Futurist, as I specifically identified Tesla as a key candidate for disruption way back in 2006. In Venture Capital terms, this was an exceptionally good pick such an early stage.
In ATOM terms, the progress of Tesla is an example of everything from how all technological disruptions are interlinked, to how each disruption is deflationary in nature. It is not just about the early progress towards electric cars, removal of the dealership layer of distribution, or the recent erratic progress of semi-autonomous driving. Among other things, Tesla has introduced lower-key but huge innovations such as remote wireless software upgrades of the customer fleet, which itself is a paradigm shift towards rapidly-iterating product improvement. In true ATOM form, the accelerating rate of technological change is beginning to sweep the automobile along with it.
When Tesla eventually manages to release a sub-$35,000 vehicle, the precedents set in dealership displacement, continual wireless upgrades, and semi-autonomous driving will suddenly all be available across hundreds of thousands of cars, surprising unprepared observers but proceeding precisely along the expected ATOM trajectory.