Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is changing the way it collects data from customers. Fred Lambert over at Electrek.co, sourcing a story from reddit, says that the firm appears to be collecting much more data than before. Tesla may also have changed the kind of data that it’s collecting from consumer cars.
Users tracking the way their Model S uses their wifi network have seen a jump in the amount of data being transferred. The change follows the most recent update to the car’s firmware.
It seems that the cars are now sharing a large amount of images, and possibly video, in order to train the “neural network.” That is the large-scale artificial intelligence program that’s working behind the scenes to improve Autopilot.
Tesla Motors Inc takes on a bigger task
Compared to others in the business, Tesla’s main advantage is the number of Autopilot cars that are already on the road. With upwards of 50,000 people driving cars that can communicate with the neural network, Tesla has access to reams of real world data. The firm’s competitors, be they Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc or Uber, simply don’t have that kind of real world experiment running.
Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has really just started its big data operation. Compared to some of the others ongoing in Silicon Valley, the Tesla project isn’t even that big. The data mining is likely to explode over the next twelve months, however, as hundreds of thousands of Model 3 cars, equipped with Autopilot, hit the road.
The coming wave of big data should be a worry for those holding stock in the Palo Alto based firm. Though the tech is very exciting, the firm’s share price depends on something much more mundane.
Will costs weigh on Tesla stock?
Costs like servers and teams for Autopilot analysis can get very high. Depending on how they’re handled, they could weigh on the future of the ever growing Tesla. Wall Street loves the company because of its promised margins. Revolutionizing the car industry is just a story to tell.
In the short term the firm will likely be able to play off its big data operation as a simple investment. It is being used to improve Autopilot, after all. An improved Autopilot will spur sales going forward, and that should make investors happier.
Research and development costs may continue to rise, however. That would interfere with the vision of Tesla Inc. as high margin in the long term. Cost control is central to Wall Street’s vision for Tesla stock. That goes for big data as well as factory floor wages.
Autopilot 2.0 is an incredible exciting technology. And the machine learning tech being trained by Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) could really revolutionize the world. Those holding Tesla stock should have a different vision, however. The key question is whether Mr. Musk can control costs in the long term.
Autopilot training may be about to make that a whole lot less likely. We’ll have to wait to see the firm’s next quarterly report to get some idea of the costs involved. What we do know is that it’s about to get a lot more expensive once the Model 3 hits the road.