So far, Google has dominated the self-driving car industry. They’ve got over 70 cars registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, far more than their competitor Tesla, which had a mere eight cars registered as of this March.
But a self-driving car seemingly belonging to Tesla was spotted near Palo Alto recently, and interestingly enough, it was equipped with Lidar sensors.
In the past, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has stated that Lidar isn’t needed for self-driving cars, dismissing it as an unnecessary technology. This recent development makes it seem that he may be willing to reconsider that stance, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Musk revises his position in the future.
The car, a Tesla modal S, was spotted by a Tesla owner in Palo Alto despite the fact that it was apparently disguised to avoid looking like a Tesla test vehicle. In a blog post reporting his findings, the observant man wrote, “The Tesla self-driving test vehicle is disguised as cleverly as possible. A giant Stanford logo on the rear windshield and a Stanford license plate frame with a paper plate. Clearly, Tesla is trying to convince locals that this is part of a Stanford research project. Although Stanford is a very wealthy university, I doubt they would be using a brand new Model S for experimental purposes. My suspicions were confirmed that this was a Tesla corporate vehicle when I saw it enter the back parking lot of Tesla headquarters!”