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Tesla and SpaceX Share More Than Musk

  • SpaceX engineers solved materials challenge for carmaker
  • Synergies seen ramping up as driverless cars take off
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Tesla's Sexy Solar, Massive Batteries and Fast Cars

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Engineers at Tesla Inc. found a quality problem earlier this summer with a cast aluminum auto part that was taking hours to diagnose and fix. They were stumped, so they called in the rocket scientists -- literally.

Tesla engineers reached out to their counterparts at Space Exploration Technologies Corp., who recommended the use of ultrasound sensors to isolate the problem. The solution saved Tesla about eight hours of work per car, an eternity on an assembly line aiming to ramp up to mass-market volumes.