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Tesla, GM Disagree on Importance of LIDAR for Self-Driving Tech

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June 27, 2018—Elon Musk has called LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) a crutch, but other automakers and tech companies are betting on LIDAR, reported The Detroit Free Press.

LIDAR technology uses lasers to help cars map and navigate their surroundings, according to the report.

Instead of LIDAR, Tesla has looked to cameras and radar without LIDARto do much of the work needed for its Autopilot driver assistance system. LIDAR, also known as light detection and ranging, is typically seen as a device spinning atop an autonomous vehicle.

According to the report, in a posting on Medium last year, Kyle Vogt, CEO of GM's Cruise Automation, wrote that "LIDAR sensors contribute to the redundancy and overlapping capabilities needed to build a car that operates without a driver, even in the most challenging environments."

Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst with Navigant Research, said that Tesla was taking a cheap approach and focusing on the software, reported The Detroit Free Press.

Last year, Research and Markets released a report that anticipates the global automotive LiDAR market was to hit $65 million in the year 2016, before it is expected to hit $13 billion in 2027.

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