Tesla Motors is considering adding autonomous driving capability to its cars and has discussed the technology with Google, CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg.
Reducing the work of human drivers is a natural step, Musk said, though he used the term “autopilot” instead of “self-driving.”
“Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do,” he explained. “Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.”
Google’s self-driving cars, which have driven more than 500,000 miles with no accidents with a car under the computer’s control, use a Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) system to navigate, which Musk called “too expensive.”
The Tesla CEO told Bloomberg said Tesla would likely use a cheaper camera-based system.
Cost is a key issue for Tesla, which has long promised to build an electric car affordable for the middle class.
Its prices have only gone up in recent years, culminating with the cancellation of the cheapest version of the Model S earlier in March. Last week, Tesla announced a revised version of a lease-buy financing scheme that will lower the cost of owning a Model S sedan.
Tesla is behind the game in pursuing self-driving car technology. Audi, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Volvo all have projects in the works, though fully autonomous cars are likely still years away.
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