Self-driving cars are now a software and big data problem. Most of Tesla’s competitors in the field are working on expanding their test fleets in order to gather more data. GM announced yesterday that it is adding 130 autonomous Chevy Bolt EV prototypes to its test fleet and Waymo recently deployed 500 self-driving Pacifica hybrid minivans in Phoenix. Tesla is going a completely different *route* by using its large fleet of vehicles already in the hands of customers to gather data, which is especially significant with its vehicles equipped with second generation hardware.
Today, we’ve learned that the automaker’s latest policy change has enabled gathering videos from those vehicles which is really opening the floodgates of Autopilot data gathering. When releasing an Autopilot 2.0 update last month, Tesla also asked owners for the authorization to collect videos from the Autopilot cameras.