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LIDAR vs camera is a red herring. The fact that Elon and his fan club fixate on this shows you how little they understand about self driving. The fundamental problem is that there is no technology that can provide the level of reasoning that is necessary for self driving.

Andrej Karpathy's most recent presentation showed how his team trained a custom detector for stop signs with an "Except right turn" text underneath them [0]. How are they going to scale that to a system that understands any text sign in any human language? The answer is that they're not even trying, which tells you that Tesla is not building a self-driving system.

[0] https://youtu.be/hx7BXih7zx8?t=753




A surprising number of human drivers would also not be able to 'detect' that 'except right turn' sign. Only 3 states offer driver's license exams in only English and California for example offers the exam in 32 different languages.

Even so, it is quite possible to train for this in general. Some human drivers will notice the sign and will override autopilot when it attempts to stop, this triggers a training data upload to Tesla. Even if the neural net does not 'understand' the words on the sign, it will learn that a stop is not necessary when that sign is present in conjunction with a stop sign.


They have hired most of the industry talents, so I think it's quite silly to state about how little they understand about this. In my opinion nobody except Tesla and Waymo has more knowledge of this field.


Why does it need to work in any human language? It isn't as if self driving cars need to work on Zulu road signs before they can be rolled out in California. I'd be surprised if they ever needed to train it on more than 4 languages per country they wanted to roll out to.




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