Not one to wait for auto or tech industry progress, Tesla Motors recently discussed the in-house creation of a new enterprise software platform using an open-source Apache Hadoop cluster and creating a framework for processing the Big Data sets generated by the company’s vehicles. The combined platform, according to Tesla, will allow software engineers and production lines to address issues and transmit fixes via over-the-air (OTA) software updates. But it promises to do much more.
We have previously reported on Tesla’s OTA software update activities and how they sometimes present drivers with new features that were not available the day before. While OTA updates are not exclusive to Tesla, what we find interesting is how Tesla intends to use the cluster to collect and analyze data in effort to learn more about their drivers’ in-car behaviors. Step aside, Google.
In the connected world, “Automakers’ main competition is business with Big Data,” says Patrick Pelata, former Nissan chief operating officer and Salesforce automotive director. “The likes of Google, Apple and telematics start-ups are muscling in…there is no reason why Google should know more [about your customer] than you do.”
Tesla new ambition is to collect, analyze and interpret Big Data better than the tech companies that have been doing it for years. Legacy software with many years’ worth of customer data put all automakers at a competitive disadvantage with Google. However Tesla’s Big Data platform could soon allow the automaker to take the data it has collected and utilize its customized back-end applications to learn about their customers in ways Google could only dream about.
Another obvious implication? An autonomous vehicle from Tesla. “The car is already extremely connected, every important part in the car is already connected,” said Jay Vijayan, Tesla’s CIO. “It is going to be significantly faster to develop self-driving features [than for] any other company.”
For now, Tesla favors an autopilot-style system that takes over driving functions during cruising mode rather than developing a full-time, Google-like autonomous system. But watch out, Google. Tesla’s new Big Data platform might evolve their autonomous vehicle development ambitions, stealing the self-driving car narrative and doing it in a very stylish way.
Source: Big data: Tesla to use Hadoop to get more from connected cars – Computerworld U.K.