Has Elon Musk changed his mind about using lidar sensors on his autonomous vehicles? The Tesla CEO, who has pointed out their cost and interest on numerous occasions, has finally authorized the launch of tests on his vehicles. A first Tesla car equipped with Lidar sensors was seen in Florida on May 20.
Judged too expensive and unnecessary by Elon Musk, the Lidar sensors are finally being tested on Tesla vehicles. Following the broadcast of a photograph taken in Florida of a Tesla Model Y equipped with LiDAR sensors on the roof, our colleagues from Bloomberg indicate that Tesla has started a collaboration with Luminar Technologies, the company responsible for these devices. On May 20, shares of the firm (NASDAQ: LAZR) surged.
Tesla experiments with lidar sensors on its autonomous vehicles
According to Bloomberg, Tesla signed a contract with Luminar Technologies to experiment with Lidar sensors on its autonomous vehicles. Indeed, a Tesla Model Y clad in Lidar sensors was spotted last week in Palm Beach, Florida, by Grayson Brulte, an audiovisual industry consultant who lives in the area.
The laser remote sensing, or lidar, is an acronym of the English expression “ light detection and ranging “. Or in French, “detection and estimation of distance by light”. This is a remote measurement technique based on the analysis of the properties of a beam of light returned to its emitter.
Concretely, the Lidar sensor can accurately calculate distance relative to each object from the time between the emission of the laser pulse and the return pulse. This technology is used in particular in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max and should also be found on the iPhone 13, from the end of 2021.
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If this technology is used in the majority of autonomous cars on the market, Elon Musk has always considered it unnecessary and too expensive. This is why the vehicles of the Palo Alto firm are still today equipped with 360 ° cameras. ” Anyone who relies on Lidar is doomed “, He said in April 2019.” Condemned. Expensive and totally unnecessary sensors It’s like having a whole bunch of expensive appendages. You will see. »
— Grayson Brulte (@gbrulte) May 20, 2021