Model S was recently spotted with what appears to be LIDAR hardware in Palo Alto, CA near Tesla’s headquarters. From the front of the vehicle a laser detection system can be seen with the ability to provide 3D maps in real-time. The vehicle can also sense relative distance to objects.
The Tesla Owner who could photograph the Model S exclaimed, “My suspicions were confirmed that this was a Tesla corporate vehicle when I saw it enter the back parking lot of Tesla headquarters!”
The hype has already begun. There is certainly no proof, however, that Tesla’s upcoming generation Autopilot 2.0 will feature self-driving features and new safety measures.
The confirmation on the new features may not come, as the Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated that the LIDAR technology will not surface in future Tesla generations.
In October, Musk commented, “I don’t think you need LIDAR … you can do this all with passive optical and then with maybe one forward radar. I think that completely solves it without the use of LIDAR. I’m not a big fan of LIDAR, I don’t think it makes sense in this context.”
Autonomous driving is independent of LIDAR, according to Musk.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously suggested that the use of LIDAR technology is not needed for autonomous driving. Other individuals disagree, most likely naming infrared LIDAR technology and similar detection systems.
On whether the sighting was true in that it was a Tesla testing vehicle is unknown. The sighting may or may not be confirmed by Tesla, as the company has not always in the past.
Despite speculation that Model S will house LIDAR technology, it is assumed that Tesla’s Autopilot 2.0 will contain enjoyable new features.