Tesla is building “first of its kind data centers,” as per a job posting on its careers page. As the brand forays into full-self driving, artificial intelligence, and robotics, its data requirements are presumably rising, which could explain why it wants to build dedicated facilities.
Data centers are physical locations used to store swathes of digital information and computing infrastructure like servers and network equipment.
The Tesla job posting is for a senior engineering program manager at the brand’s Austin headquarters. The role entails layout design, infrastructure system and distribution selection, and leading full design and engineering of Tesla data centers, among various other responsibilities.
Most tech giants have data center requirements – some examples include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
After Tesla CEO Elon Musk took over Twitter (now X) last year, Tesla started using one of the NTT Global Data Centers facilities used by the social media platform in Sacramento after its lease expired, reported The Information.
Tesla finetunes its systems by collecting information from millions of its electric cars plying on the streets worldwide. In fact, Tesla has said that its neural network is trained in real-time with data from its cars across the globe.
Expanding data collection is also raising data privacy concerns. Between 2019 and 2022, Tesla employees shared videos recorded by its customer cars on an internal messaging platform, reported Reuters. Early this year, a whistleblower leaked 100 gigabytes of data, comprising 23,000 files, reported German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes some of the world’s most stringent data protection laws. If Tesla is proven guilty, it could face billions of dollars in penalties.
Tesla might need data centers for its virtual power plant and energy storage businesses as well. Tesla customers can participate in the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP), wherein customers’ Powerwall can reroute energy back into the grid during emergencies, and earn compensation for the same.