Tesla Hacker: Tesla Cuts Out Traffic Data Middle Man, Relies on Fleet Data

by Denis Gurskiy

Our Tesla hacker friend greentheonly has given us another interesting undocumented tidbit of information from Tesla’s most recent software update. A change, that on the surface, might not seem like much, but serves as a good indicator of the company’s continued growth and evolution.

Green went on twitter recently to share some information from the latest Tesla software update. He stated that “2020.24 firmware release notes don’t say, but Tesla totally removed Inrix there. So now apparently they plan to just depend on their own data gathering? Also gone is the ability to show accidents ahead and such.”

You would be forgiven for not knowing who/what INRIX is but believe me, you have used their services in some sort of capacity. The Washington-based company provides analytic data regarding traffic, parking, etc., to various services such as Google Waze and Tesla’s onboard navigation system. While the actual map in your Tesla is Google, any sort of congestion warning you are getting is information coming from INRIX. More recently Tesla has been combining the INRIX data with their own fleet data as the number of Tesla’s on the road increased.

It now seems that Teslas will no longer use INRIX data. So what does that mean? Green put it in layman’s terms for us.

There are obviously two different ways to look at this decision, and you guessed it, one is good and one is bad.

You can look at this as a desperate cost-cutting measure as Tesla tries to save as much money as they possibly can. They imagine that the amount of Tesla drivers in parsley Tesla-populated areas won’t mind the decrease in traffic data while allowing Tesla to save some money.

On the other hand, you can look at it as Tesla’s fleet is now so large that there is enough coverage to maintain good quality data as well as saving some money. We know that Tesla likes to be in control of as many things as possible, I mean they went so far as to design their own computer chip for their self-driving system. However, if it really will be solely fleet-based, then there will no doubt be a difference in data between someone in the middle of LA and the handful of Telsa owners in Wyoming or Montana.

What do you guys think the reasoning for this change was? Do you feel like the information quality will go down? Do you even use your Tesla GPS, or do you just use your phone? Let us know down in the comments below.

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