Tesla Will Share Its Autopilot Data with the US Department on Transportation

About two weeks ago, Tesla held a conference where it talked about the amount of data it has gathered from its Autopilot-enabled cars. And it's huge. Since last autumn when the Autopilot feature was officially introduced, Tesla has over 100 million miles to study, and the number keeps on growing by around 2.6 million a day.
Tesla Autopilot 1 photo
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But the cars were collecting data and relaying it back to HQ even before that, since Tesla first started selling cars with Autopilot hardware on board in 2014. If we're to take that time into consideration as well, the total number is close to 800 million miles. And it's all thanks to the 70,000 Tesla owners who drive their cars every day.

Obviously, Tesla is now sitting on top of an informational treasure. We've told you about Google only managing to clock 1.5 million miles since it began its autonomous program way back in 2009, so you can imagine it must be drooling over this sort of data.

If what Elon Musk said recently is to be taken serious, Google might actually receive all this information for free, together with anybody else who might be interested. In a move similar to that when Tesla made all of its electric powertrain-related patents available, the company is now planning to share the Autopilot data with others interested in developing self-driving cars, according to

First on the list, though, would be the U.S. Department of Transportation, and there's a very good reason for that: Tesla might be ready to ship out a fully autonomous car in two years or so, but what good would it be if it could only drive around its yard? It's the legislators who need to be convinced of the technology is safe and that the laws need to change to accommodate this new type of vehicles.

Tesla is most likely going to replicate the same system it used for the first (and current) Autopilot system for its second iteration as well. That means it will start equipping its vehicles with all the necessary hardware in advance, and when the time comes, it will release a software update that will enable the vehicle to use all of its features. When will that happen? All signs point towards the Model 3 being hardware-ready for level four autonomous driving, so a lot sooner than we might think.

As for other manufacturers, we weren't the first ones to say that the automotive industry is wasting a lot of money on developing the same technology in parallel, causing redundancy. If Tesla is true to its word and will allow other companies to use this data, then we might witness a change in the way things are done around here. For the sake of righteousness, let's just hope this selfless act doesn't turn against Elon Musk's company one way or the other.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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