Elon Musk is right: lidar is a crutch

Elon Musk with a Tesla Model S outside Tesla's Freemont, Calif., factory
Elon Musk with a Tesla Model S outside Tesla’s Freemont, Calif., factory (Maurizio Pesce photo)

Elon Musk has been right about a lot of things. That the web would enable new forms of payment (PayPal). That the rocket-launch industry was ripe for disruption (SpaceX). That the combination of falling hardware prices and innovative financing could open up many more roofs to solar energy (SolarCity). That there was a market for electric cars (Tesla). Heck, he may even be right that electric skates hurtling through tunnels can slice the Gordian knot of metropolitan traffic jams (The Boring Company).

Musk was also right when he called lidar a “crutch” when it came to self-driving cars. Where he’s not right, though, is that the technology’s crutchitude is somehow a reason not to employ lidar—which uses lasers to scan the world around them, identify objects and characterize surroundings to centimeter accuracy—as a fundamental sensor on self-driving cars… [read more at Lidar Magazine]