Elon Musk did not mince words about his thoughts on lidar sensor technology, which many companies rely on to give their self-driving cars an understanding of the road and what's on it. "Lidar is a fool's errand," Musk said onstage during Tesla's "Autonomy Day" event, where it detailed its latest advancements in full self-driving-car technology.
"Anyone relying on lidar is doomed," he said. "Expensive sensors that are unnecessary. It's like having a whole bunch of expensive appendices. Like one appendix is bad, well how about a whole bunch of them? That's ridiculous. You'll see."
Musk's comment takes direct aim at other autonomous-car companies, like Alphabet's self-driving arm, Waymo, which relies on honeycomb-looking lidar sensors.
When asked about how companies will use lidar in the future, Musk said: "They're all going to dump lidar. That's my prediction. Mark my words."
Musk said he doesn't hate lidar as much as it sounded. He pointed to an example at SpaceX where he personally spearheaded a project to create lidar sensors to help navigate to the space station.
In cars, though, Musk said the sensors simply do not make sense.