The director of GM’s autonomous vehicle integration division has shot down Elon Musk’s claims that current Tesla vehicles have the hardware required for Level 5 autonomous driving.
The electric automaker claims that its suite of cameras, radar and other sensors first introduced in October 2016 are advanced enough for Level 5 self-driving. All the company needs to do is develop the software to make fully-autonomous driving a reality.
Not so fast, says GM’s Scott Miller.
During a recent interview with Australian media, Miller said it is simply impossible to have Level 5 autonomy with only cameras and radars.
“To think you can see everything you need for a level five autonomous [car] with cameras and radar, I don’t know how you do that.
“The level of technology and knowing what it takes to do the mission, to say you can be a full level five with just cameras and radars is not physically possible. I think you need the right sensors and right computing package to do it. Think about it, we have LiDAR, radar and cameras on this. The reason we have that type of sensor package is that we think you need not be deeply integrated in to be level five, you should have redundancy,” Miller said.
Miller doubled down on his belief that LiDAR is a necessity, saying that it needs to operate alongside radar to act as confirmation of what is happening around a particular vehicle.
“Could you do it with less and be less robust? Probably. But could you do it with what’s in a current Tesla Model S? I don’t think so,” he added.
General Motors is currently pushing forward with the development of self-driving technologies through the General Motors Autonomous Vehicle Development Team, which also includes Cruise Automation. In September, the company said it had the hardware necessary to build fully-autonomous vehicles in high volumes.