By Brenda Goh and Yilei Sun
SHANGHAI / BEIJING (Reuters) – Tesla is “very close” to reaching level 5 of autonomous driving technology, the company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said on Thursday, referring to the technology’s ability to drive on roads without a human driver.
“I am extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think it will happen very quickly,” said Musk in comments made in a video message at the opening of the Shanghai World Conference on Artificial Intelligence (WAIC).
“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for full level 5 autonomy this year.”
Automakers and technology companies, including Alphabet and Uber Technologies, are investing billions in the autonomous driving sector.
However, experts in the field said it would take time for the technology to be ready and the public to rely entirely on autonomous vehicles.
Tesla is also developing new heat projection or cooling systems to enable more advanced computers in cars, said Musk.
Tesla became the automaker with the highest market value as its shares hit record prices, surpassing the market value of rival Toyota Motors.