Tesla vehicles are ‘very close’ to achieving the elusive level-five of autonomous driving technology, according to CEO Elon Musk during a video call at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai.
Tesla’s currently operates under level-two of autonomous driving technology, meaning the vehicle is able to accelerate, decelerate, and switch lanes all on its own, but it still requires the driver to remain focused on the road ahead and to have both hands on the steering wheel.
However, according to reports from the BBC, a future software update, rumoured to take place later on this year, could ‘activate level-five autonomy in the cars’, and best of all, the vehicles would not require any new hardware to access this feature.
Elon Musk says Tesla is ‘very close’ to level 5 autonomous driving https://t.co/pGvHxHNMir
— Christian Giaretta (@chrisneel) July 10, 2020
“I’m extremely confident that level five – or essentially complete autonomy – will happen and I think will happen very quickly.” Musk told the World Artificial Intelligence Conference.
“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year. There are no fundamental challenges remaining. There are many small problems, and then there’s the challenge of solving all those small problems and putting the whole system together.”
Not everyone is as confident in achieving level-five autonomy as Musk though. Information Handling Services (IHS) analyst Tim Urquhart has referred to Musk’s comments as “a typically bold claim”.
“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 said to the BBC.