TEDxRainier – Joe Justice – WikiSpeed

Translator: Jihyeon J. Kim
Reviewer: Denise RQ My next car gets 100 miles per gallon. I am Joe Justice. I am a Seattle area software consultant, and I am a member of Team WikiSpeed. Team WikiSpeed has built a fast, affordable, ultra-efficient,
safe, fun commuter car. The first functional prototype
was built in three months. How is that possible when existing cars
seem to change so slowly? Here we see a mainstream hybrid car
that over a six-year period achieved an additional 2 miles per gallon. Exiting manufacturing processes are slow
because they’re very expensive to change. If an engineer wanted
to redesign this door tomorrow, they would need to wait ten years
to first pay off the current door mold before making another one
or else lose millions of dollars. This is not uncommon
in manufacturing teams for them to run on 10-to-25-year
development cycles. Old software teams
used to run the same way. We use seven-day development cycles. This is how new software teams run, and it allows us to make
changes very quickly. In 2008, the Progressive
Insurance Automotive X Prize announced a 10-million-dollar prize purse and an international challenge to see if it were even possible
to build 100 mile per gallon cars to road-legal safety specifications. The closest things we had
in 2008 were like bobsleds. (Laughter) They achieved more
than 100 miles per gallon, but they held one occupant, and they didn’t meet
road-legal safety requirements. (Laughter) I joined the X Prize too, but in the beginning it was just me. I decided to blog
about everything that went well and everything that didn’t go well, and everything I was learning. And through social-networking tools,
a team came to assist. Three months later, we had the car
that we campaigned in the X Prize and a volunteer team
of 44 team members in four countries. We tied for 10th in the mainstream class. That meant that we outlasted
more than 100 other cars from companies and universities
around the world. We do this by modeling our team to develop
the car after modern software teams. We use techniques
with funny-sounding names like Agile, Lean, and Scrum. These methods all help us
make changes quickly. Right after the X Prize, we were invited
to the largest auto show in the world. January 2011, in Detroit, Michigan. We knew we wanted a more beautiful car,
a more aesthetic car, but we also knew that for one car body it would cost us at least $36,000
and three months’ lead time. So I took time off my day job,
and I went to composite school. I came back to the team,
and we made small models of the car and iterated a composites process that ended up letting us
build our car body in structural carbon fiber
in three days for $800. (Applause) You guys are awesome.
Thanks so much. (Laughter) They put us on the main floor
of the auto show between Ford and Chevrolet. (Laughter) Lucky for us, the car was beautiful. That car went on to be featured
on the Discovery Channel, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics,
The New Your Times online, The National Geographic Channel,
Wired Magazine, The Forbes Billionaire Club
linked to us, and others. Now – and this has been
a six-month time span, most of what I am talking about – Rob Morbacher who leads
our Germantown Maryland team is producing our production
convertible city-car mold. So how do we do it? We are modular. The engine is able to be switched
from a gasoline to electric engine in about the time
it takes to change a tire. The car body switches
from a convertible to a pickup truck. This lets us make changes
and develop quickly. Here you can see our chassis, our frame,
holds all the modules together. That chassis is
the lightest chassis in the world to achieve a five-star
crash rate in equivalency. (Applause) Thanks so much. We are safe because we design
safety tests for our parts before we even build them. In fact, we design tests for all
of our parts before we build them. We take this from the test-driven
development in the software world. (Applause) (Laughter) You guys are awesome! (Laughter) We use less stuff wherever we can. Here, Rob Huggins, a Seattle-area
recent high school graduate, is saving up for college, and he’s able to build a WikiSpeed car by using an $89 band saw
and a home-built CNC router instead of a piece of equipment that cost more than $100 million
in existing automotive process. We reduce the cost
to make change wherever possible: cost in tooling, machinery,
and complexity. This lets us not have to wait three to seven years
for the next version of our product. Again, we are able to make changes
to any part of the car every seven days. We use distributed collaborative teams. These again increase our velocity, and we found that morale is
a multiplier for velocity across the team. And the way we organize
our teams is the smallest, fastest way to organize
an agile team: Scrum. Scrum is a method to manage
a team in a very rapid way, and that’s exactly how we manage
our teams and Team WikiSpeed. We do all our work in pairs. This avoids time spent training
that’s not productive. It also eliminates the need
for most types of documentation. Here, Martin Valen and Curt Roy
are building one of our engines. They actually both perfectly
know how to do it, but they are able to share
all that knowledge while working without then having
to uptrain someone afterwards. We visualize our workflow to identify any time spent
not creatively solving problems. The tools we use to do this are all free, and none of these existed ten years ago. That means that this approach
would have been difficult, and maybe even impossible,
even five years ago. Every industry stands
to benefit from this process, and in fact a probable future is that businesses, to maintain
relevancy or even be able to compete, will have to adapt to this process. So what to do? If you own a business, identify a member
of your board of directors to be a process coach for the business, and then add
process coaches to your teams. If you are the member of a team,
ask your process coach where you can gain
efficiencies in your team. And if you are a process coach
or a Scrum master, identify the value-stream map
of your company, and sharpen your skills
at every opportunity. So, what’s WikiSpeed doing next? We are more than 100 volunteers
in eight countries now. We sell cars now, and now we are taking these processes
to solve bigger problems, like help eradicate Polio, or help develop low-cost medical centers
for the developing communities. (Laughter ) Join Team WikiSpeed
and let’s change the world. You’ll sharpen your agile skills and make a difference
in the world around you. But even cooler than that, I invite everyone here
to spend two hours a day, even just two hours a week,
rapidly solving problems for social good. Many of the members of Team WikiSpeed
spent between two and eight hour a week helping us rapidly develop our cars, and we’ve had phenomenal
and regular successes with it. We build ultra-efficient cars. One of you might help eradicate Rotavirus or develop simple, maintainable,
distributed banking applications for the developing world. And that might be even cooler than watching TV
or coaching Little League. If everyone in this room spent
even just two hours a week rapidly solving problems for social good,
it would be so awesome. It would be like a gorilla high-fiving
a shark in front of an explosion. (Laughter) Thank you very much. (Applause)


  1. One of the best videos I saw in months. The wikispeed car currently costs $25,000, still a little pricey for people with low income, but considering it only uses 1 gallon per 104 miles, it is a good investment.

    And the car looks really cool 😀

  2. These people will be mysteriously assassinated by the oil elites. This team is everything today's economy hates. GO WIKISPEED!!! 😀

  3. LMAO…are there still zeitgeist nuts wandering around?

    "Resource based economy"?!? Economies are how resources are distributed, so what you said is a redundancy, like saying "Food based Dinner"

  4. In a monetary system, efficiency and sustainability are the enemies of profit. Let's shift towards a resource based economy so that we can all benefit from the advances of technology.

  5. either that or dumb brainwashed kids from single mother households. I've noticed that mama's boys from single mom households tend to be zeitgeister socialists because of how they were raised. Mama's boys tend to think like women – that things are handed to them by an authority. They don't understand how to produce for themselves or the concept of being productive. Instead, they expect government to provide for them…just like their mom's do.

  6. Well… it's so bad that in some countries you can't drive a car like this. Bureaucracy ruining the innovation in action… 🙁

  7. Is that your only example??

    Contrast that with the millions of mama's boys out there living off the system being bums

  8. this is brilliant, with guys like this around- i wonder why the FUCK we even bailed out GM. Its people like this guy's turn to take the future of automotive. make a car cheaper than an ipod, and i'll buy it.

  9. It would be a shame for you not to get extra cash when these normal people can make extra cash so easily with Intellitus Cash System (Go Google it).

  10. goosebumps! amazing what a team of people can do together with the simple ideas supporting Agile methodologies. Don't stop!!!!

  11. I 'm inspired and like play with the idea and implement it. I mean the step further to solve something, something political, any callers?

  12. Interesting talk, but I wonder how many of the Wikispeedsters know anything about scaling out for mass production.  If they tried to setup mass production they would run into the problem they illustrated where the cost of a  mold for a door has to be amortized over several years.  They avoid that now by building one car at at time.

    The agile processes that they borrowed from software development teams are typically used on small teams of less than a dozen engineers.  And of course developing software is far different from mass production or any other manufacturing process.  It is well suited for building prototypes, but there's a big difference between a prototype and a large scale production system.

  13. Thinking to build the next generation of farm tractor : We need it in Europe !
    Farm tractors are very expensive and sold with many useless opinions.
    And these Farm Tractors could be developpe inside of CUMA. (CUMA are an regroupment of some farmers to buy them specific equipments).

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