Tesla is testing Luminar laser sensors


Photos of a Tesla Model Y in Florida with rooftop lidar sensors made by sensor manufacturer Luminar.

The images have caused quite a stir among Tesla watchers, given the company's CEO, Elon Musk's enduring contempt for laser sensors commonly used by autonomous car companies to create 3D maps of the environment.

Tesla has partnered with Luminar to use lidar for testing and development, according to Bloomberg.

This could point to some shortcomings in the technology Tesla uses to operate its fully autonomous driver assistance feature.

The car was spotted last week in Palm Beach, Florida, and after Model Y images spread with lidar sensors on May 20, Luminar's stock rose to its highest level yet.

Luminar sold the LiDAR to Tesla as part of an agreement between the two companies, and the Model Y was on the license plate of the manufacturer registered to Tesla in California.

The same motherboard has been spotted across other Tesla cars, including the prototype Cybertruck.

Tesla is unlikely to reverse its position on lidar sensors based on a single vehicle, and Tesla will likely use Luminar's laser sensors to verify its fully autonomous driving feature.

However, this is still a noteworthy development, given Musk's hostility towards the sensor, as he said in 2018, in my view, it is a crutch that leads companies to the domestic limit that they find very difficult to get out of.

Lidar was also dubbed a year later as a wacky sensor during a presentation on Tesla's efforts to build fully autonomous vehicles.

He said, anyone who relies on LIDAR is doomed to failure, and they are unnecessary and expensive sensors, which are like owning a full range of expensive accessories.

Musk said, Tesla is trying to address a much larger problem of passive optical recognition, which is why the company relies on cameras as the main piece of self-driving vehicles.

The camera sensors are seen as indispensable for advanced driver assistance systems and fully autonomous systems thanks to their ever-increasing pixel resolution and low price point.

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