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Cooley On Cars
Our next email comes in from [UNKNOWN] who says I noticed that tesla cars with auto pilot partial self driving upload their safe driving data to the cloud and that is shared with all other Teslas That have autopilot.
He says, imagine if there was a way for cars other than Teslas to tap into that data as well and use their own driving assistance tech to perhaps warn drivers about dangerous road or other conditions ahead, maybe prime the car for an impact.
He says could this Hive Mind technology be adapted for our normal cars?
A lot of things going on here both technologically and in terms of policy and competition in the auto business.
First of all we have something called DSRC, digital short-range communications.
It is Set to be proposed formally in the US in 2016 for formal adoption as standard equipment some number of model years after that.
That's one piece.
That allows cars to do V to V. Vehicle to vehicle.
They can talk to each other and say hey, I'm here.
But I'm stopping short so your car behind me should know that, things like that.
The bigger picture you're talking about is more of cloud technology where cars talk up to the clouds, your some sort of master control that shares their ways with all other cars.
Three phase to look at, could get away with that.
First of all, this idea of auto learning starts with connectivity, you've got to have cars that are connected.
Tesla's do have connectivity to the cloud so they can report what they've learned and then it can be shared back down to them as well.
Most cars don't have that, it's still pretty rare to find a car with built in 3G or 4G.
I'm not talking about pairing your phone, that's a different thing.
It's got to be really built into the car for robustness and that's still quite a rare vehicle.
The next thing is you've got to have standards so that one car's learnings can be uploaded and downloaded to another.
One car maker does one thing.
Another does another thing.
They're not talking the same language.
They're not talking into the same cloud servers.
They have basically complete siloization.
The third thing is even if we entered the connectivity and the standards piece, you've got this one of cooperation or competition.
Car makers like to be different than others in as many ways as they can.
You're asking for Tesla to use their data, their proprietary information, to make another competing car company's self-driving tech work better.
Tesla does not want to help Mercedes work better.
They want Mercedes to die.
So, this is a very cutthroat competitive industry.
BMW, Mercedes, Tesla, Audi, Infinity, they are not in the business of making each other's cars better.
So, I really, it's a long shot to say that's going to happen.
So, until and unless, self-driving becomes so much of a commodity, so much of an expected technology that the regulators get in there and say okay it's time to require this on all cars.
Require it be common and consistent on all cars, and that starts to lay the ground for a more unanimous system where everybody is talking the same language and perhaps will start sharing some of that data, but to be honest, it's relatively unprecedented.
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