Musk Discusses "Autopilot" Function of Future Vehicles
Driverless technology is out there and it seems Google is currently leading the way. Its fleet of driverless Toyota Prius hybrids have been out on roads in some states for quite awhile now, but will they soon be joined by driverless or self-driving Teslas?
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No. But let us explain why.
First, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn't like the term "self-driving," so we won't see those types of Tesla. Musk says the word "autopilot" is more fitting.
"I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self- driving. 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."
So, are "autopilot" Teslas coming soon? Again the answer is "no."
Why? Well, ask Musk says, Google's laser-radar systems for self-driving are far too expensive to fit to production vehicles. Musk says an optical setup with cameras and sensors is both cheaper and simpler.
"The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive. It’s 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."
Will future Teslas be fitted with such a system? Maybe, but not anytime soon.
Musk admits to discussing some of this technology with Google recently, but says Tesla's focus right now is not on autopilot functionality.
"We’re not focused on autopilot right now—we will be in the future. Autopilot is not as important as accelerating the transition to electric cars, or to sustainable transport."
Then Musk took to the kingdom of Twitter to clarify a few of his statements.
Musk Triple Tweets to Clarify a Few Autopilot Statements
So, autopilot Tesla aren’t a priority at this point in time.