What data does Tesla collect from each Tesla car that is on the road? Do Tesla car owners have the choice to decline those data sharing?
Apr 01,2022 | Chloe Lacour
They collect video data from all of the cameras and accelerator, brake, headlight, wiper, and turn signals.
You can shut this off - but it is turned on by default. Tesla assures us that it’s anonymized, so there is no real point in turning it off. It used to be that they collected ALL data all the time - but as the number of Tesla cars on the roads increased they dropped back to only collecting data either:
When the car has self-driving enabled and you turned it off while the car is in motion. (Presumably, it did something wrong and you overrode it.)
The AI (which is “ghost driving” while you’re doing the driving) finds that what it WOULD have done, had it been in control was substantially different than why you actually did. It could be that you make an error, or the AI would have made an error had it been driving the car for real.
Tesla’s AI engineers can also collect very specific data from the fleet of cars - for example, they could ask every car to look out for a horse being ridden along the road nearby - and if it sees one, to send back data.
All of this is needed to train the AI to drive the car. So the incentive for owners to NOT disable this is that the faster the AI learns, the better your car will be in the future.
There is also a new program to collect data from the interior camera - a MUCH more controversial thing - but, again, it’s anonymized.
This is turned OFF by default, the car asks if you’d be willing to turn them on.
We know they had the interior cameras turned on for the FSD beta program - for which you had to opt-in.
This seems to be a step toward the AI learning to spot driver alertness issues…many cars with some kind of self-driving use an interior camera to check driver alertness - but Tesla has always backed away from doing that. However, it looks like they’re stepping back from that and will be using the camera for driver alertness testing after all.
Fact is - if you want cars that can drive themselves - you need AI software - and AI software needs training data…in VERY large quantities.
Yes, Tesla does collect data from their cars - but you can turn it off.