Is Tesla testing LiDARs, after all?

Despite all the bashing of LiDARs at the Tesla Autonomy Days from April, the company seems to test LiDARs after all. I encountered this Tesla Model S with a LiDAR rack and manufacturer license plate on July 8th, 2019 at around 5:30pm on 4345 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California.

The roof-mounted LiDARs seem to be either from Innoviz or Innovusion (any clarification is appreciated). Israeli-based Innoviz is working on solid state LiDARs. Los Altos-based Innovusion has similar box-style LiDARs.

While it may be a test vehicle operated by Innovusion, what may hint at Tesla is the manufacturer license plate seen at the backside of the car. The MFG (“manufacturer”) is used by auto companies on their own vehicles.

Any hints are welcome.

UPDATE:

  1. the LiDARs could be from Palo Alto-based Luminar
  2. Tesla may be using it for testing ground truth to their perception stack (thanks Haden Wasserbaech)

This article was also published in German.

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