Tesla in talks with Google over self-driving car tech [UPDATE]

Craig Lloyd - May 7, 2013
Tesla in talks with Google over self-driving car tech [UPDATE]

Tesla Motors, the company behind the popular Model S and its all-electric car tech in general, is interested in self-driving cars and is in talks with Google on how bring that technology to Tesla cars in the future. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that self-driving cars are the way of the future and are the next step in car technology.

However, Musk is wanting self-driving technology that's more like the autopilot system in airplanes, mentioning that the word "self-driving" implies that the car is "going to do something you don't want it to do." Instead, Musk says that autopilot would be perfect, and says that cars "should have it."

While Bloomberg reports that Musk is currently in talks with Google, it seems as if he wants to implement his own system for self-driving cars, rather than just use Google's technology. Musk says that "Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive." Instead, he claims that "an optical system" would be better, which is an array of cameras that can tell what's going on just by looking at the surroundings.

Toyota demonstrated a similar system to what Musk describes back in January, and the auto maker is also an investor of Tesla, so we could see the two companies work together possibly on a new self-driving technology. However, it'll be a long while before self-driving and autopilot cars hit the mainstream. Until then, save up your money.

UPDATE: Elon Musk said over Twitter that making autopilot Tesla cars is "important," but it's not yet a "top priority" for the company. Musk says that production of autopilot cars is still a "few years" away.

UPDATE 2: Musk further comments via Twitter that the report from Bloomberg is "off-the-cuff" and that there is "no big announcement here."

[via Bloomberg]

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