Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Waymo CEO John Krafcik took the debate over who has the best self-driving technology to the modern-day streets, AKA social media. The head of Alphabet’s autonomous car subsidiary told German outlet Manager Magazin, that Tesla will never achieve full autonomy.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik even went as far as to say that Tesla is not even a competitor: “For us, Tesla is not a competitor at all. We manufacture a completely autonomous driving system. Tesla is an automaker that is developing a really good driver assistance system. The difference is: Tesla warns its drivers to be sure to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times, and reminds human drivers to check their car at all times. On our steering wheels it says: Do not touch.”
But Krafcik didn’t stop there, he continued to fire shots at Tesla and its current trajectory: “This is not how it works in practice. It is a misconception that you can just keep developing a driver assistance system until one day you can magically leap to a fully autonomous driving system. In terms of robustness and accuracy, for example, our sensors are orders of magnitude better than what we see on the road from other manufacturers.”
One of the biggest differences between Waymo and Tesla’s self-driving efforts is the use of LiDAR sensors, which Tesla notoriously does not like. Waymo also uses HD mapping to autonomously navigate the cities they offer their driverless service.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk couldn’t sit idly by and let Waymo’s CEO trash talk Tesla’s hard work and responded to the comments saying his company’s hardware and software is superior: “To my surprise, Tesla has better AI hardware & software than Waymo (money).
Without the use of LiDAR sensors, Tesla relies on computer vision technology supported by cameras and AI technology, as well as its “neural network.” During an interview after winning an Axel Springer award last month, Musk even predicted that Tesla will deliver full autonomy in 2021, saying he is “extremely confident of achieving full autonomy and releasing it to the Tesla customer base.”