Hong Kong-based automotive LiDAR innovator, Data Control Technitic has called on Tesla Incorporated CEO, Elon Musk to reconsider his decision to eschew LiDAR technology in favor of cameras and radar for the navigation solution at the heart of the US company’s self-driving and semi-autonomous electric vehicles.
Speaking at a recent Beijing technology symposium, Data Control Technitic’s Chief Technical Officer said LiDAR was a critical component in the development of safe self-driving systems but he was careful to avoid criticizing the use of cameras.
“While we see cameras playing a very important role in a fully-integrated, next-generation self-driving system, by themselves or solely in conjunction with radar, their efficacy is severely limited in the dark”.
“As part of a fully-integrated system alongside and in conjunction with LiDAR and radar, cameras could be used to actually recognize objects, something LiDAR can’t do yet,” he added.
Tesla has been the subject of controversy in recent times after several high-profile accidents involving its cars while using its “Autopilot” mode but it maintains that its cruise control function is the safest currently in use.
With the prices of models in Tesla’s existing lineup lodged firmly in the luxury bracket, industry insiders believe Musk is reluctant to increase costs by opting for a solution that incorporates LiDAR which they say would almost certainly raise Tesla cars’ sticker prices in the showroom.
Data Control Technitic said it will be reviewing the OEM price of its flagship R1 solid-state LiDAR automotive sensor following the latest upgrade which it says has realized some cost savings potentially making it more attractive and feasible to manufacturers.