August 11th, 2019

Tesla is ahead in every aspect of Electric Vehicle development (at least in North America).

But despite their lead, many wanted to spread doubt about LIDAR being more viable.

Elon flamethows this argument here:

Elon Musk:

"LIDAR is lame. LIDAR is lame. Lame. hehe"


"They are all going to dump LIDAR is my prediction. Mark my words.

I should point out that I don't actually super hate LIDAR as much as it may sound. SpaceX Dragon uses LIDAR to navigate to the space station and dock.

Not only that, we/SpaceX developed it's own LIDAR from scratch to do that, and I spearheaded that effort personally. Because in that senario, LIDAR makes sense. And in cars it's frigin' stupid. It's expensive and unnecessary, and as Andre was saying... 'Once you solve vision it's worthless'.

So you have expensive hardware that is worthless on the car. We do have forward RADAR low cost and which is helpful for occlusion situations. So if there is like fog or dust or y' know snow, the RADAR can see through that.

If you are going to use active photon generation, don't use visible wavelength. Because once.. with passive optical you've taken care of all visible wavelength stuff. You want to use a wavelength that is occlusion penetrating like RADAR.

So LIDAR is just active photon generation in the visible spectrum. If you are going to do active photon generation, do it outside of the visual spectrum in the RADAR spectrum. So like 3.8mm vs 400-700nm and there will be much better occlusion penetration and that's why we have a forward radar. And we also have 12 ultrasonics for near-field information in addition to the 8 cameras and the forward RADAR. You only need the RADAR in the forward direction because that is the only direction you are going real fast. We've gone over this multiple times. Are we sure we have the right sensor suite? Should we add anything more? No. "

[*Mental Note*, don't drive backwards fast.]

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Software Developer always striving to be better. Learn from others' mistakes, learn by doing, fail fast, maximize productivity, and really think hard about good defaults. Computer developers have the power to add an entire infinite dimension with a single Int (or maybe BigInt). The least we can do with that power is be creative.