CEO Elon Musk says Tesla is currently open to licensing software and supplies powertrains and batteries to other automakers struggling to make electric cars.
Recently, we have acknowledged that Tesla has a lead on several key areas of development and manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Volkswagen has been quite open about the fact that it has fallen behind after getting into software and Tesla has taken the lead.
Volkswagen President Hebert Dias even stated that the company is implementing a “Tesla catch-up plan” internally to close the software gap between the German automaker and Tesla.
Now Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said they are willing to help.
Musk wrote in response to those recent comments Twitter:
“Tesla is open to license software and supplies powertrains and batteries. We are only trying to accelerate sustainable energy, not to crush competitors!”
The CEO even went on to say that Tesla is ready to license Autopilot – though he said in the past that it would be difficult to implement.
However it has a limitation. Tesla is not going to share its in-car fart machine technology:
Tesla used to supply powertrains and batteries to Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, both of which were Tesla shareholders, but stopped back in 2015 after all of its programs were terminated.
Back in 2014, Musk announced that Tesla was “open-sourcing” its patents to help other automakers accelerate electric vehicle development.
However, the move has been criticized since Tesla for not being “open-sourcing” in the true sense of the word, only to “pledge” not to sue any company using its patented technology “in good faith” for.
The difference did not actually occur in many companies using Tesla’s patented technology.
The only company openly admitted to using Tesla’s patented technology is the Chinese automaker Xpeng, which Tesla actually terminated the lawsuit – though not over the use of patent technology but for allegedly stealing autopilot source code.
I don’t think that is going to happen.
When Tesla stopped supplying powertrains and batteries to Daimler and Toyota, Elon stated that Tesla was constrained by the supply of batteries and that it needed all the batteries to produce its own electric vehicle.
That seems to be still true and according to the commentary for the future, Elon has done as recently as last week.
On the other hand, automakers might want to rely on Tesla for those people and have some interested parties, but I think most automakers want to develop their expertise in the new life and blood of the auto industry.
As for the software, I have no idea what it will look like.
I know of software licensing deals in the auto industry like what Polstar has with Google’s Android, but I’m not sure Tesla can make a similar deal.
There are also battery management software, autopilot software, over-the-air update software and many other uses of the software inside the cars.
I’m curious what the licensing deal for some of those products will look like.
What do you think Let us know in the comment section below.
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