Tesla Motors' founder Elon Musk recently revealed that the auto maker has plans for a "practical autopilot system" for the Model S, something that would rival other makers of self-driving cars without going quite as far into the realm of complete autonomic functionality as, for example, Google. Now Musk has sent out another tweet, this one calling for engineers who will report directly to him.
The tweet calls for engineers who are interested in working on an autonomous driving system, with those interested being encouraged to email Tesla at its autopilot email address. Those who end up working for the auto maker, said Musk, will report directly to him. Twenty or so minutes later, he followed this up with another tweet dropping a bit of details on their efforts.
The auto-pilot Model S system, as it has been referred to, is being approached with 360-degree flush-mounted "tiny" cameras, as well as radar, with Musk adding, "prob not lidar." There will be a lot of hardware and software image processing tossed into the mix. This sounds somewhat similar to the camera and radar system equipped on the Mercedes-Benz 2014 S-Class model.
With the 2014 S-Class, there is the use of a 360-degree camera that works in conjunction with a series of radar systems, all of which provide coverage of conditions in both short-range and long-range distances. Such is used to provide safety features like brake assistance, aid in staying within a lane, assistance when driving at night, and more.
How far the autonomous driving system will be taken by Tesla is yet to be seen, but as we previously reported, Musk has said that a 100-percent autonomous car is aiming too far, and that Tesla will be shooting for a bit less than that, perhaps up to 90-percent, providing auto-pilot functionality in many driving conditions, but ultimately leaving the driver at the helm.
This in part will help facilitate Tesla's ambitious timing goals, with Musk saying that such vehicles could be read by 2016, beating Nissan's 2020 timeline, for example.