Tesla has removed its patents in an effort to have an open source movement and allow for advancement in electric vehicle technology, its Palo Alto headquarters has announced
In a conference statement it reported “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. we aims to create a compelling electric vehicles… we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
It is beleived in the past “patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but recently they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.” Customers lamented.
Tesla, has however, stepped out to create patents and technologies that the big companies would copy and then use in their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overpower rivals. This is seen as a big risk but the reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales. The large car making companies are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. In some cases no zero emission cars are produced.
Remarkably, there is a reported 100 million per year in new car production,while global productions is estimated to be hitting 2 billion cars. This calls for car producing companies to hype their technology for build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. That translates to great opportunities and expansion of market. this might be the reason behind Tesla motors surrendering their patent rights
“Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.” Tesla Motors said in in a press conference
Tesla motors is famous for liaising with George Hotz, the guy famed for unlocking Iphone (original) allowing it to work with other cell cariers. together they collaborated to build an upgraded car vision system. this led to the development of Comma.ai, the startup that George Hotz (aka Geohotz) founded to show that making driver-less vehicles could done relatively cheaply using off-the-shelf components and existing vehicles, has open-sourced a dataset of 7.25 hours of highway driving.
“When I started this project, I didn’t want to have to put things in cars – I just wanted to play with the machine learning,” explained Hotz in an interview. “But I looked around and there was no good source of data to do that There is not a good highway dataset to replicate what we had in Bloomberg and what we had in Nvidia, and I think it’s time that the whole world should be able to do this,” Hotz explained.
Hotz emphasized that what comma.ai wants to do by open-sourcing data sets like this one is to enable the hobbyist community to accomplish more without having to do fairly basic, but time-consuming and resource-intensive work of collecting basic driving data for use in training machine learning systems. He points to DeepDrive, a self-driving car system which uses neural nets to drive virtual cars in Grand Theft Auto V as a prime example of the kinds of people they’re looking to help.Helping hobbyists means building a talent pipeline, too: comma.ai can watch what people are doing with the data they open source, and bring in-house the brightest lights among that community.
“The other reason that we release things like this open source is that we’re incredibly confident that we have figured out what we’re going to ship, and our path to winning the positive feedback loop that is self-driving cars is there. And let’s pull some people up behind us, too.”
Ultimately, Hotz says, the comma.ai philosophy is simple – tell people exactly what they’re doing, but remain confident in the startup’s ability to do it faster, smarter and cheaper.
Edited by Solomon Mwangi