Musk Not a Fan of Lidar

Red-Tesla-348x196One of the more interesting entrepreneurs of this time period is Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, among many other ventures. In this article from Extreme Tech he makes the point that cars will have autopilot soon, but the idea of self-driving or autonomous vehicles is not going to happen for a number of safety and regulatory reasons.

It’s not just the sensors that Musk doesn’t like; he doesn’t much care for the phrase “self-driving car” either. Instead, he seems to prefer “autopilot.” While it might seem like trivial semantics, it does make it clear that this technology is intended as a tool for drivers — not a replacement for drivers. For safety and liability purposes, a human will still need to be paying attention when these cars hit the market. Don’t expect to be able to play Draw Something on your phone, or take a nap on the way to work.

In addition Musk does thinks that optical cameras are going to be the system of choice rather than lidar for braking and collision avoidance.

Hmmm, Google vs. Tesla – that should be interesting.


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1 Response to Musk Not a Fan of Lidar

  1. Gerd Schwaderer says:

    There needs to be a value preposition difference. Elon doesn’t want to sell an autonomous car, but a useful and energy efficient asset. And one of the main differentiators is the “ludicrous speed” of 3.5 Seconds to 100. Emotions still buy the cars. And I’ll buy a hilarious fast E-Car that has an autonomous option but could kill a gasoline driven sports car in acceleration. Not an autonomous car that brings me from A to B while I surf the web and buy more apps, music and software or watch Netflix. Ask me again in 20 years, that might change.

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