New Tesla Autopilot Software Update Increases Shadow Mode Data Collection
September 1st, 2017 by Steve Hanley
This article on Tesla Autopilot was first published on Gas2.
Elon Musk is not a man who is easily deterred. Nearly a year ago, he announced that a Tesla using Autopilot software would drive from Los Angeles to New York City without any input from a human driver before the end of 2017. The end of the year is rapidly approaching, so Father Time is holding Musk’s feet to the fire to make him make good on his claim.
One facet of Tesla’s Autopilot system — now known as AP 2 since it’s a “second” round of Autopilot hardware — is that every Tesla manufactured since October 2016 has been gathering data from every mile it is driven, and sharing that data with the Tesla Mother Ship in Silicon Valley. Operating in “shadow mode,” the system does not directly affect how an individual car operates, but it does provide the raw data engineers need to drive progress toward a future in which self-driving cars are the norm. (Related: Our Autonomous Future & The Insane Value of Tesla’s Data — Something Almost No One Mentions)
Now, members of the Tesla Motors Club forum indicate that the latest updates to the Autopilot software have expanded the amount of data being collected. After one Model S owner gained access to the data stream being downloaded from his car, Tesla released a statement saying it has begun capturing short video clips from cameras on Model S and Model X vehicles. “We are working hard to improve autonomous safety features and make self-driving a reality for you as soon as possible,” the company now says in its Data Sharing Policy.