Elon Musk says Tesla is ‘very close’ to fully self-driving cars

'There are no fundamental challenges remaining'

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that the company’s cars could soon become fully autonomous.

During the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, Musk said that Tesla is “very close” to achieving “level-five” autonomy, which doesn’t require any driver input.

Currently, Tesla has reached level-two with its ‘Autopoilot’ car feature, which requires drivers to be alert and ready with their hands on the wheel.

Now, Musk says he’s “extremely confident” that Tesla “will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year.” That’s because there are are “no fundamental challenges remaining,” he says, with there being “many small problems” to solve instead.

However, Tim Urquhart of global analytics firm IHS Markit told BBC News that the market isn’t yet ready for full autonomy.

“Even if Tesla can reliably roll out the technology in a production environment, the regulatory environment in all the major markets is way behind allowing completely autonomous vehicles on the road,” Urquhart told BBC News.

It’s also important to note that this isn’t the first time Musk has claimed that Tesla vehicles are nearing full autonomy. In February 2019, he said he was “certain” that Tesla would begin to roll out “full self-driving this year.” However, that did not happen in 2019, and at the start of 2020, Musk claimed he only said he was “hoping” that the company would achieve fully self-driving cars. This followed similar claims in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Therefore, it remains to be seen whether Musk’s comments about 2020 being the year Tesla launches fully autonomous vehicles will actually prove to be true.

Image credit: Creative Commons

Via: BBC News