Elon Musk suggested during the latest Tesla earnings call that the company had some informal talks about supplying other OEMs with Autopilot. In order to expand its autonomous software, opening Autopilot to other automakers will provide Tesla with more data while also developing another revenue stream for the company.
“Does Tesla plan or expect to licence any of its software applications, FSD and Autobidder in particular, to [third] party OEMs?” asked an institutional investor during Tesla’s Q4 FY 2020 earnings call.
Musk reiterated that Tesla is open to third party licensing of its apps. “We’ve had some preliminary discussions about licensing Autopilot to other OEMs. This is something we’re more than happy to do,” he said.
The statement by Musk indicates that there might be OEMs interested in incorporating Autopilot into their vehicles. The CEO noted that by the end of the year, Tesla still has to show that Autopilot is capable of full self-driving, which Musk was hoping would be the case.
“And then, we’re more than happy to license that to other car companies. We’re definitely trying not to keep it to be a Tesla exclusive…”
For every Tesla offered today, Basic Autopilot, which includes features like Autosteer, comes standard, and it has helped the EV maker improve its self-driving tech. Tesla would have access to a plethora of real-world data if other manufacturers were to incorporate Autopilot into more automobiles.
Thanks to its fleet, Tesla has collected billions of real-world info, far more than its competitor Waymo, according to ARK Invest. This makes it possible for the electric car manufacturer to come closer to full self-driving than competing companies. When designing autonomous vehicle applications, data matters, so opening Autopilot to third-party OEMs could be a very beneficial, if not lucrative, undertaking for Tesla.
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