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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Elon Musk looking at Google's driverless cars


By Mark Lacter, May 7, 2013



Now there's an intriguing combination of brainpower. Musk is interested in an autopilot type system for his Tesla electric cars, and he's had early discussions with the folks at Google. "Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars," Musk told Bloomberg. No doubt Musk is thinking years rather than decades to get it done. Tesla will release earnings on Wednesday, and they're likely to be strong.

Google's approach builds on a push for the driverless-car technology long pursued by the U.S. military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which held vehicle competitions for carmakers and research labs. Anthony Levandowski, product manager for Google's self-driving car project, has said the company expects to release the technology within five years. "The problem with Google's current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive," Musk said. "It's better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what's going on just by looking at things."