Electric & Self Driving Cars

Self driving cars are essentially robot cars as Elon Musk has made himself famous in the last few years for his Tesla cars and his foray into self driving cars.

He suddenly announed in the fall of 2021 that they were working on making a humanoid robot and stated quite correctly that they have always been in the robot business since his cars have the same hardware and software technologies like sensors and AI and electric motors inside that a robot has.

A few weeks later we heard that Jeff Bezos had been working on a humanoid robot…so the race of the billionaires for space travel and humanoid robots is on.

Now Elon got into some controversy over the types of sensors to use on his self driving cars since other cars used Lidars and he wasn’t.

Again LiDAR or Light Detection and Ranging or Laser Imaging and Range Detection is a technology which has been around in some form since the Apollo 15 moon mission and is now very much the talk of the town.

Elon Musk has been very critical of this technology over the years for self driving cars and has called it the “devils errand” and a “crutch” as it is not apparently not reliable enough for road use.

But he is apparently testing it as of now May 2021 for the Y model.

But he has been quoted as being critical of both radar and LiDAR for self driving cars and saying this “We believe that a vision-only system is ultimately all that is needed for full autonomy.”

This got the company in some trouble in late May 2021 with the Consumer reports and the Insurance Institute for highway safety basically because Tesla stopped using radar and some of their vehicles in their safety systems.

Radars are usually in self driving cars to do things like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and emergency brake support, and lane departure warning.

Tesla reported that they were moving to a new system called ‘Tesla Vision” which will use cameras and the neural network and their autopilot and other things.

The electric car technology leads into the self driving car world since they both deal with technologies like batteries and electric power etc.

Here are a few great Youtube sites to learn more about electric cars like the $1,000 car that is now shipping from China.

The Donut media Youtube channel is really good at explaining electric cars and other topics in a very lighthearted humorous way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0gqZS18nfw

Jalopnik is another one of the Youtube sites to check out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GG1RC7GV0Y