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Sunday, June 5, 2022

Tesla's Eye In the Sky

Tesla's vehicles are flush with sensors. They have 360-degree cameras, sonar, temperate sensors, GPS, accelerometers... These are intended primarily for Tesla's Full Self-Driving, but what other purposes could they serve?

What data could these computers on wheels gather? Here are a couple of ideas:

Collecting and reporting traffic is an obvious example. There are many smartphone apps that already have similar functionality. This would certainly help for route planning to avoid traffic (assuming you can't take a tunnel). 

Another suggestion that was posted on Twitter was for Tesla vehicles to collectively look for license plates associated with Amber Alerts and, if spotted, report the location to the appropriate authorities. This could save children, but it is also a little creepy to know that Tesla cars could be reading all the license plates around them.

What other ideas do you have for a massive fleet of internet-connected robots?


  1. The law enforcement angle is probably one of the more obvious as well as Orwellian. Along with Amber alerts, cars with cameras could scan license plates of crime suspects who are fleeing, search for cars of missing persons, etc.

    On a more benign level, I would think there could be an infrastructure angle. For example, you could look for potholes and other road damage. You could scan for debris which might be a danger to other automobiles or humans. Cracks in the supports for a bridge? Changes in the sizes of cracks in a bridge/road.

    In short, having a perpetual swam of bots, which is only going to get larger, could be used for a reasonable amount of good. Given humans inability to intelligently regulate and define said behaviors however, I am going to guess some jackass is going to find a way to make money or abuse some rule.

    1. Great points as usual Kevin. This could become Orwellian too quickly. I like the infrastructure scanning idea (that one is less creepy).