Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Build Its Own Maps From GPS & Fleet Data
Having map data will further help Tesla's vehicles navigate parking lots.
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Elon Musk said that Tesla's Smart Summon feature will be changing. Moving forward, Tesla will use GPS points from data generated via the company's fleet of cars that have already been at a specific location. Musk confirmed this while responding to a tweet directed to him by the @thirdrowtesla podcast.
Above: Testing Smart Summon in a private parking space (Source: Like Tesla)
What this means is that the automaker is already gathering enough data to be able to create its own maps (or a routing engine) that will help in navigating parking or private spaces — resulting in a smoother Smart Summon experience for Tesla owners.
Tesla currently uses Google Maps as the base. Then, the Silicon Valley automaker will "pinpoint" specific locations of interests. The navigation data and routing engine are provided by another software company, MapBox, which has been working on these projects for about a decade now.
In 2018, MapBox acquired a routing engine named 'Vallhalla', which is now part of the core API MapBox provides to users and enterprise clients like Tesla, Facebook, and many more. MapBox claims they gather data from millions of devices that their application is a part of and they reach at least 600 million people a month.
Our maps learn from every application they’re embedded in. We use real-time data from 600 million MAUs to ship hundreds of thousands of map updates per day so developers can build precise maps that perform across platforms.
Ira Ehrenpreis had the original pre-order placed for the first-ever production Tesla Model 3. Later, he gifted his spot to Elon Musk. Ehrenpreis actually sits on the board of both Tesla and MapBox so the bond between the two companies is strong. Nevertheless, with billions of miles of Autopilot data, Tesla will want to handle much of their proprietary information themselves. In the past, Tesla had ended its partnerships with Mobileye and NVIDIA and developed their own self-driving software and hardware.
We've witnessed a Tesla Model 3 performing Smart Summon in light snowfall that limits the vision of the vehicle. However, if the car had the opportunity to access information from Tesla's neural net or GPS data, this would have enhanced its ability to navigate back to its owner with much more precision.
Smart Summon along with the Parallel and Perpendicular Autopark are part of Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) suite. Tesla has deployed these impressive features already and many more capabilities are coming. The Silicon Valley automaker keeps on refining its autonomous features (for free) for its 1 million+ vehicles around the world via the company's over-the-air (OTA) updates.
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