By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla Motors (TSLA), believes that technology that can safely drive a car without human aid is the next evolutionary stage for automotive transport. Musk has been in talks with Google (GOOG), who are also avid supporters of the idea of driverless cars, and actually boast their own fleet of self-driving Toyota Prius hybrids equipped with laser-radar devices to provide automatic, hands free steering.
Musk explained that he was intrigued by the idea, but preferred to think of the system as an autopilot. “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.”
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Musk said that he’s held discussions with Google about its Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar, tracking system, but worries that the cost will be too high.“I think Tesla will most likely develop its own autopilot system for the car, as I think it should be camera-based, not Lidar-based,” he said. “However, it is also possible that we do something jointly with Google.”
Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY), and the US government have stated that fully autonomous vehicles will not exist on showroom floors for another decade, however Anthony Levandowski, the product manager at Google, has said that they expect to release the technology within five years.