After the potentially industry-shaking deal between Tesla and Ford on access to the Supercharger network, CEO Elon Musk went on Twitter to say that the Austin-based EV maker would be happy to license the so-called Autopilot and Full Self-Driving driver assistance features to other automakers.
Additionally, Tesla’s CEO said that other technology developed by the company would be open to a licensing agreement.
It’s an interesting approach that aligns nicely with the American brand’s announcement from 2014, when it made all its patents freely available to anyone who, in good faith, wants to use its technology. Nine years ago, Elon Musk even wrote a blog post titled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You,” in which he explained how applying an open-source philosophy to Tesla’s patents would put “a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform” within reach for other companies making electric cars.
Now, with his most recent statement, Elon Musk indicates that Tesla is ready to offer its widely discussed Autopilot driver assistance system to other automakers.
“Tesla aspires to be as helpful as possible to other car companies,” said the CEO in the Twitter reply embedded below. “We made all our patents freely available several years ago. Now, we are enabling other companies to use our Supercharger network. Also happy to license Autopilot/FSD or other Tesla technology.”
But while Tesla’s supremacy in the world of EV charging is unquestionable, with the Supercharger network topping the uptime charts year after year, it remains to be seen if there will be any takers for Autopilot or FSD.
Ford’s announcement that its EVs will feature the Tesla-designed NACS connector starting next year will have huge benefits for the Blue Oval company’s customers, but even as Elon Musk constantly touts Autopilot and FSD to be among the best driver assistance systems, there are arguably similar or even better options out there.
Ford’s BlueCruise and GM’s Super Cruise are regarded as some of the best-performing active driving assistance systems, according to Consumer Reports, so it’s hard to see why a big legacy automaker would throw away the millions of dollars invested in proprietary safety systems just to adopt Tesla’s solution.
Maybe smaller startups would benefit more from this kind of deal, but even then they would need cameras and other hardware components to make it work properly.
With all this being said, however, it’s nice to see that Tesla is open to more collaboration with rival companies, even if that may annoy organizations such as the CCS Alliance.
As always, we’d like to know what you think about this, so head over to the comments section below to give us your thoughts.