Tesla Cybertruck and Semi prototypes spotted with lidar sensor
Tesla Cybertruck and Semi prototypes have been spotted with giant new lidar sensors attached on their fronts, likely to ground truth data for the Autopilot/self-driving sensor suite on those new vehicles. Lidar, which is short for Light Detection and Ranging, is a method used for determining ranges by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver.
However, Tesla has taken a different approach. It is instead betting on pure computer vision using cameras. The US EV giant's CEO Elon Musk has often said that “lidar technology has been overblown and has described it as a distraction to achieving full self-driving capability".
Also Read : Tesla driver dies in US after fire truck crash, Autopilot under scanner again
Though Tesla still uses lidar for its Autopilot and self-driving effort, it is not in its sensor suite on its actual vehicles. Instead, it uses lidar sensors on prototypes for the process of ground truthing its own sensors.
After the images of the Cybertruck and Semi were spotted with lidar sensors, Tesla commented that it may be planning to use LiDAR as part of its self-driving hardware suite is fundamentally untrue, Electrek reported. “We regularly test our own technologies against other sensors to calibrate our camera, sonar and radar system," it said.
Interestingly, these prototypes are often spotted when Tesla is testing new sensors or new vehicles. Now, a Tesla Semi electric truck was spotted driving around Palo Alto with a XenomatiX solid-state lidar.
Another point to note is that when Tesla unveiled the production version of the Tesla Semi and started deliveries in December, the company did not reveal a word about the electric truck being equipped with Autopilot or self-driving technology – like all of Tesla’s other vehicles.