U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc is currently “very close” to reaching level five autonomous driving technology, according to Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday.
Through this, Tesla cars would be able to navigate roads without any input from the driver, essentially making the first fully functioning driverless car.
Speaking through a video message at the opening of Shanghai’s annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), Musk stated that he is “extremely confident that level five or essentially complete autonomy will happen”, and that he thinks it “will happen very quickly”.
Musk added that he remains “confident” that Tesla will have “the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year.”
Several automakers and tech companies are joining sides in order to invest billions in the autonomous driving industry, with some of these companies being Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Uber Technologies.
However, in order to completely perfect this technology, it will take plenty of time, and industry insiders have also pointed out that the public has to start trusting autonomous vehicles fully in order for this to work.
Tesla, based in California, U.S., currently builds cars that make use of an Autopilot driver-assistance system.
Musk also claimed that Tesla is also working on new heat-projection or cooling systems in cars so that there are more advanced computers in the cars’ technological setups.
According to data, Tesla sold almost 15,000 China-made Model 3 sedans over the course of June 2020.
Tesla has managed to become the highest-valued automaker in the world, with its shares reaching record highs and its market capitalisation overtaking former front-runner Toyota Motors Corp’s numbers.
The company was formed in 2003, and currently has over 48,000 employees according to data published in 2019.