Will Tesla share its self-driving system with other car makers?

By ETX STUDIO | 25 August 2021


SAN FRANCISCO: Elon Musk has indicated that Autopilot, Tesla's autonomous driving technology, could at some point be distributed to other automakers, although he did not give any names (or dates) for such an eventuality.

If other car makers want to obtain a license for using Autopilot in their cars, Tesla isn't against it. But it remains to be seen with whom such an agreement would be, and at what price.

With the "Full Self Driving option" currently costing the consumer US$10,000, the bill could indeed be high for another brand and it could be a risky move.

In any case, most of the major car makers have been developing their own autonomous or at least assisted driving systems for years. However, newcomers to the market could turn to Tesla and its technology, which now has a significant track record.

This statement by Elon Musk at a recent conference on artificial intelligenc also echoes the success and numerous partnerships forged in recent years by Waymo, the subsidiary of Alphabet, which also owns Google.

With a technology that is also advanced, Waymo already works with Ford, Renault-Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and Daimler.

Autopilot is composed of an arsenal of ultrasonic sensors, radars and cameras, as well as regularly updated software. It allows the vehicle to navigate autonomously and safely in certain situations, keeping in mind that the driver can of course take control at any time.

Soon, the system will even be able to distinguish turn signal lights, but also hazard lights, flashing lights of police cars or ambulances as well as certain hand gestures of other road users, starting with cyclists.

The idea of sharing Autopilot may come as a surprise, but Tesla is increasingly moving towards an open approach.

This year, the carmaker announced that it would soon open up access to some of its Superchargers to all electric cars.

A first trial will take place in Norway in 2022. Germany and other European countries could follow and thus considerably increase the size of the EV fast charging network available to all.

The latest generation of Superchargers supports flows of up to 250kW per car. At this rate, a Model 3 can expect to recover up to 120km of charge in 5 minutes, with a full charge taking less than 20 minutes.

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