Making a Difference

My Personal and Professional views

Let us not mislabel camera assisted cruise control with true autonomous vehicles.

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LiDAR Google Car


The Google Self Driving Car and the Tesla Auto-pilot assisted driving are two completely different approaches to developing a truly autonomous vehicle.


First of all, Google uses 360 degree LiDAR which scans everything around the vehicle and collects 1.3 million readings per second. This coupled with: sonar devices, stereo cameras, and radar provides a much more sophisticated approach to “seeing” than what is taking place in Audis, Mercedes and Teslas. Of course it costs a lot more but Google feels that if we are going to succeed in getting robots, (truly autonomous vehicles) on the road, we are going to need to demonstrated extraordinary safety. Secondly, everything a Google car sees and experiences is sent to the cloud, processed and then share with all other Google cars. To quote Google car inventor Sebastian Thrun, “Every new born Google car holds the collective knowledge of all previous cars.”




Tesla’s approach of incremental development leading to a fully autonomous vehicle is a very different and potentially damaging approach to the problem. The problem with Tesla’s strategy is that the are relying on the most unpredictable factor on the planet, the human.


They media is already calling the recent Tesla collision the worlds first “Self Driving Fatality.” Simply put, this is wrong. Its not the same thing. This misrepresentation of the technology could set back municipal legislation on self-driving cars by years. This could cost the US 10’s of thousands of lives in unnecessary auto collisions.


If you are in a position to report on or write about this technology, please take the time to draw the distinction between truly autonomous self-driving vehicles and driver assist technology. There are not the equal.









Written by Jim McNiel

July 3, 2016 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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