Tesla might be the first company to have fully-autonomous technology.
Tesla founder Elon Musk says that Tesla is nearing fully-autonomous technology and he is confident that current models have enough hardware to sustain the new technology.
Musk said remotely via video at the 2020 World Artificial Intelligence Conference in China on Thursday that the company is “very close to level five autonomy”.
Level Five autonomy (Full Driving Automation) is an industry term for fully-autonomous driving; it is the point at which a car can take over all human duties from the driver.
While majority of the automotive industry has been retreating from bold predictions about the forthcoming arrival of fully-autonomous vehicles, Musk is determined to push towards a driverless future.
“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year,” Musk said in his video speech.
While Tesla is close to having the technology, its unlikely that a fully-autonomous driving feature would be made available to Tesla owners immediately.
Musk says that Tesla models already have the capability to eventually implement level five autonomous software, “I’m absolutely confident that this can be accomplished with the hardware that is in the Teslas today.”
However, Tesla critics say that there are not enough cross-checks with multiple systems, increasing the risk of errors which could prompt the vehicle to make poor decisions.
Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ system, which was considered to have Level Two autonomy, received criticism since its public roll out across Tesla vehicles in 2015, as there were a number of crashes and fatalities while the system was engaged. Though it is worth noting that many blame driver complacency as opposed to the system itself.
At the start of July, Tesla overtook Toyota as the most valuable car manufacturer (by market capitalisation) in the world.
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