Tesla Motors CEO (TSLA) Elon Musk Is Talking To Google About Driverless Technology

Posted May 7, 2013

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is currently in talks with Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) about adding driverless technology to their vehicles.  Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were both investors in Tesla before the company went public in 2010.  Google’s driverless cars are equipped with laser-radar devices mounted on the roof.

While comparing driverless cars to an airplane’s autopilot system, Musk said that he believed that driverless technologies are a logical step in the evolution of cars.  ?I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self- driving,? stated Musk. ?Self-driving sounds like it?s going to do something you don?t want it to do. Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.?

?The problem with Google?s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive,? said Musk when talking about the search engine company’s driverless cars. ?It?s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what?s going on just by looking at things.?

Toyota Motor Corp., another investor in Tesla, showcased a driverless test vehicle that uses a Lidar device along with radar, cameras, and sensors.  Toyota is creating a virtual “co-pilot” that would help drivers avoid accidents.

?I think Tesla will most likely develop its own autopilot system for the car, as I think it should be camera-based, not Lidar-based,? he added in an interview with Bloomberg. ?However, it is also possible that we do something jointly with Google.?