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It’s no secret that Google has been working on autonomous vehicles for quite some time, and now Tesla CEO Elon Musk is considering adding that technology to Tesla’s vehicles.
Musk is currently talking with Google on self-driving technology, though he prefers to call it autopilot rather than self-driving. To him, the term “self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do.” On the other hand, “autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.”
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Regardless of what Musk prefers to call it, self-driving cars are going to become a reality and will be offered by several automakers in the future. With Tesla vehicles already packing a lot of modern technology, it would be a perfect fit for the electric vehicle lineup. But for Musk, he believes Tesla will more likely develop its own autopilot system that would be camera based. He did say that it’s still possible to work jointly with Google on the project.
[Source: Automotive News]
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By Jason Siu
Looks like Tesla might be hiding more in its software than blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control. According to Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is “discussing” autonomous cars with Google, specifically the Lidar laser tracking system. Oh, and if you’re going to have a self-driving future Tesla vehicle, then you shouldn’t call it autonomous. Instead, Musk prefers the term autopilot. As he told Bloomberg, “Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.”
Any Tesla robot chauffeur is a ways away – Musk Tweeted it is “still a few years from production,” but Google has been working hard on driverless cars (with green cred, too, since the test mules are mostly Toyota Prius hybrids). In fact, the search company says the technology could be ready for prime time in as little as three to five years – though safety regulations and other logistical questions will likely push that back, perhaps a decade. The government’s work on self-driving vehicles is mostly the purview of DARPA and its Urban Challenge and Grand Challenge test courses.
Musk says – surprise – that Tesla’s system is better than what’s come before, telling Bloomberg, “The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive. Its better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things.” He did try to quell excitement about the idea of a driverless Telsa by Tweeting, “Am a fan of Larry, Sergey & Google in general, but self-driving cars comments to Bloomberg were just off-the-cuff. No big announcement here.”
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