Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors confirms autonomous driving plans – calls for 90% solution rather than 100%

As I noted a couple weeks ago, Tesla Motors is looking to hire engineers to develop automated driving features for their cars.  That was based on finding a job posting that flat out said, Tesla looking to develop autonomous driving.  Since then the job posting caught the attention of the national and international press and we found out some details.

Over on GreenTransportation.info I’ve posted a page containing the history that I could find about Tesla’s autonomous driving plans.

Some of the news coverage quotes Elon Musk saying that full autonomous driving is “a bridge too far” and would be far more expensive than necessary.  He said similar things back in May after talking with Google about their driverless car technology.  He described that technology as too expensive to implement, and that it should be based on optical cameras rather than RADAR/LIDAR systems.

That’s interesting but begs the question of why then did Tesla advertise a job opening for a RADAR/LIDAR engineer?

In any case – the goal is to cover 90% of driving with an “auto-pilot” system rather than to develop a fully autonomous driving system.  Oh, and that it will be in 3 years, meaning the 2016-17 model years.

Tesla had talked with Google about adopting their technology, but as just said that partnership has been ruled out for the reasons just given.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.
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About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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