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The Ultimate Innovation Machine

AI in R&D and Business Innovation

Automaker Tesla has been breaking ground in many ways. Obviously, the company is well known for its snazzy (and pricey) automobiles—including the Tesla Roadster, the first electric sports car—which have attracted not only customers but investors as well. In spring 2017, Tesla’s market capitalization topped $50 billion, slightly edging the value of General Motors.1 But it’s not just the company’s stylish, electric vehicles and soaring stock price that are noteworthy; it’s also the clever ways in which the firm conducts its research and development.

In 2016, Tesla announced that every new vehicle would be equipped with all the hardware it needs to drive autonomously, including ...

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