Tesla is not the brand you would associate with the open source community. While the company known for electric cars builds its platforms using Linux and BusyBox, it has shied away from open-sourcing the source code. Not anymore.
The electric car manufacturer has posted the source code for both the material that builds the system image of Autopilot as well as the kernels for the Autopilot boards. The company has also released source code for the NVIDIA Tegra-based infotainment system used in the Model S and Model X. In addition to release of these source code, Tesla is also promising to keep pace with release of newer codes in the GitHub community.
In a message obtained from developers by Electrek, Tesla says code will be available in “other areas” as well. The nature of source code released by Tesla shows that you won’t be able to build your own semi-autonomous car with the DNA of Tesla in it. The company is not providing details of the proprietary apps that it runs on top of these source code, which only act as foundations.
The source code also does not shed much light on the full Autopilot framework, NVIDIA’s own programs and the infotainment system that controls the Model 3. But, by making some of its source code available for open discourse, Tesla is setting a strong example for the future of connected future.
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Tesla is the clear leader in electric mobility but its Autopilot system is definitely not close to that Google-owned Waymo’s self-driving system. The source code shared on GitHub will serve as one of the easiest way to get a peek into Tesla’s software and build programs of your own. The real development will happen with other companies follow suit and lead to development of smarter automotive design.