Home / Technology / Elon Musk still doesn’t think LIDAR is necessary for fully driverless cars

Elon Musk still doesn’t think LIDAR is necessary for fully driverless cars

Elon Musk is now not keen on LIDAR, the laser sensor that almost all tech and automotive firms see as an integral part for self-driving cars. In an profits name Wednesday, Musk reiterated his dislike of LIDAR, and defended Tesla’s technique of attaining “full autonomy” the use of most effective cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors.

LIDAR, which stands for mild detection and varying, have develop into a commonplace fixture on self-driving cars operated by way of firms like GM and Alphabet’s Waymo. But Musk has lengthy argued that LIDAR is too pricey and too cumbersome for Tesla’s automobiles.

“In my view, it’s a crutch that will drive companies to a local maximum that they will find very hard to get out of,” Musk mentioned. He added, “Perhaps I am wrong, and I will look like a fool. But I am quite certain that I am not.”


Vjeran Pavic

It’s reasonably a departure from how different self-driving automobile operators view LIDAR. Waymo and Uber are combating it out in federal court docket at this time over Waymo’s trust that Uber stole its LIDAR designs to get forward within the independent automotive race. “Laser is the sauce,” former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote on a whiteboard in 2016, a photograph of which was once submitted as proof previous this week. But now not for Tesla.

Musk mentioned Tesla is looking to take on a far larger drawback: passive optical reputation. This is why Tesla is banking on cameras as the important thing part in the long run to independent automobile building. With their ever-increasing pixel solution and the low-price level, digicam sensors are noticed as indispensable for complicated driving force help techniques (like Tesla’s Autopilot) and fully independent techniques. For Tesla, cameras are the whole lot.

The most effective drawback is that Tesla had an excessively high-profile cut up with its major digicam provider, Mobileye, in 2016 within the wake of the deadly coincidence of a Tesla driving force who was once the use of Autopilot. With the advent of the second-generation Autopilot in October 2016, Tesla eradicated Mobileye’s laptop imaginative and prescient era powered by way of its EyeQ3 chip. The corporate changed that with its personal laptop imaginative and prescient device known as “Tesla Vision” powered by way of Nvidia’s Drive PX2 onboard laptop. Many mavens observe that Autopilot 2.zero is still lacking a large number of the capability of the unique model that relied extra closely on Mobileye’s imaginative and prescient device.

But Musk mentioned he’s assured that Tesla can get to complete autonomy on account of the corporate’s “sophisticated neural net” which he says will be capable of “see through” opposed prerequisites like fog, rain, mud, and snow. Before Teslas can get started riding autonomously, the corporate wishes to gather a large number of knowledge to end up to consumers (and regulators) that the era is secure and dependable. So, its cars run Autopilot in “shadow mode” so as for Tesla to collect statistical knowledge to turn false positives and false negatives of the device. In shadow mode, the auto isn’t taking any motion, nevertheless it registers when it would have taken motion.

The Tesla CEO couldn’t assist however take a swipe at his competition and their strategy to independent riding. Musk mentioned he discovered it “quite puzzling” that such a lot of firms depended on LIDAR to assist their cars “see.” To be certain that, Tesla ranked final in a up to date scorecard of the 19 firms growing self-driving cars. Analysts famous that even Tesla’s personal providers like Nvidia have expressed doubt that the computing it sells to Tesla is able to supporting complete automation reliably.

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