“We don’t need them anymore,” Elon Musk commented on the purchase of lidars, which he considers “a fool’s idea.”

by alex

He still stands his ground

In response to the news that Tesla has become Luminar Technologies' largest customer, Elon Musk responded that Tesla no longer needs lidar equipment to collect «ground data» for autonomous driving. «We don’t need them anymore», — wrote Musk.

Tesla's use of lidar equipment on its vehicles to collect «baseline real-world data» has been in the spotlight of critics for many years. This is partly because Musk has previously said that lidar is cumbersome and has no future for self-driving cars. However, Tesla critics often miss this point: Musk was referring to the use of lidar on commercial vehicles, not for visual data verification.

CEO Tom Fennimore said this week that Tesla has repeatedly ordered Luminar's lidar equipment, but Tesla is not a regular customer. «This is not the first time they have ordered lidar from us, but I would say that this is more of a one-time deal than a recurring one. We can only guess what exactly they do with the equipment, — he noted.

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Previously, Luminar Technologies, a maker of automotive lidar, confirmed in its financial report that Tesla was its largest customer last quarter, accounting for more than 10% of its revenue for the period.

Elon Musk has repeatedly criticized lidar and preferred conventional cameras. He called the use of lidars in cars a “fool's idea” and also noted that any automakers relying on laser rangefinders are “doomed.”

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