The company's S-1 lays the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings of the year, second only to Uber's IPO in May. It's also...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
Trump's tweet comes a day after Apple put out a press release describing the money it spends on U.S.-based suppliers and vendors.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
President Donald Trump held a call on Wednesday with the CEOs of three major U.S. banks, according to people with knowledge of the situation.Marketsread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
Scientists say the smoke plumes, filled with megatons of tiny, harmful particles, could travel to other areas of the world and cause serious respiratory problems for people.Weather & Natural Disastersread more
Some Weight Watchers loyalists applaud Kurbo by WW. But nutritionists worry Kurbo promotes an unhealthy relationship with food during an especially impressionable time.Health and Scienceread more
Benefits from what President Trump called "the biggest reform of all time" to the tax code have dwindled to a faint breeze just 20 months after its enactment, writes John...Politicsread more
Epstein, 66, was found in his cell in Manhattan federal lockup Saturday morning and transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.Politicsread more
Air travelers faced delays at U.S. airports on Friday afternoon after a computer issue snarled processing of international arrivals.Airlinesread more
Tesla is suing a former employee, Martin Tripp, for allegedly hacking into its MOS factory software, transferring several gigabytes of company data to outside entities and making false claims to reporters. Tripp disputed the charges.
So what is this MOS (or TMOS) software that Tesla is talking about?
Tesla declined to comment for this story. However, CNBC talked to former employees and looked at current employees' job descriptions on LinkedIn, and new job listings from Tesla on Ladders, to learn a little bit about it.
First, this is not software that's installed in Tesla's vehicles. If anyone modified MOS code, they were not changing the code embedded on chips in Tesla's cars.
Rather, Tesla built its MOS software to automate factory processes for assembling the Model 3, its newest vehicle. In general, MOS is used to track where a Model 3 is in the process of manufacturing, repairs and testing.
Specifically, factory workers can log details into the MOS about whether or not the body of a Model 3 is completely assembled, whether specific items have been installed (such as steering wheels, air bags or rocker mold), and the torque levels used on factory equipment to put the Model 3s together. MOS also tracks whether each car has gone through necessary repairs, quality and safety testing before it leaves the factory.
Workers also use MOS in the production of Tesla's home energy storage product, the Powerwall, and its battery packs. As such, Tesla's Fremont, California plant, its Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada, its factory in Buffalo and another one in Ireland all use MOS.
This software is just one of many reporting systems used within the electric vehicle and clean energy company.
For example, Tesla also runs a program called MES (its "manufacturing execution system") to support the production of its Model S and X vehicles; the Tesla Executive Factory dashboard to show equipment effectiveness and line data, and to show high-level production numbers to executives; and something called Garage (or Garage Portal) to see which firmware updates drivers have gotten or may need.
A former employee said that repair notes and other data can sometimes get lost across these disparate programs, sometimes leading to duplicate work.
A long-time investor in enterprise tech companies, Trinity Ventures General Partner Ajay Chopra, said it's uncommon for large manufacturers to roll their own ERP -- or enterprise resource planning -- software. Most buy software from the likes of SAP and Oracle, and heavily customize it.
Chopra sees Tesla's MOS as a potential revenue generator for the company.
"When Amazon developed AWS that was slated for in-house use. But over a decade, it's become the standard for all cloud services. Elon Musk's vision is paralleling that, I'd guess. He's betting that the factory of tomorrow will be very different than it is today, because cars are becoming more software than hardware. There should be some continuity from manufacturing to the car, where you are updating and bringing new features out over the air. And it all has to be served up by the ERP system."