If Elon Musk is to be believed, Tesla will take a step this year that many car manufacturers have been longing for and fearing at the same time. The CEO of the eMobility giant has announced at a Chinese AI conference that his company will have fully autonomous, self-propelled vehicles before the end of this year.
“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year. I think there are no fundamental challenges remaining for level five autonomy.”
Autonomous driving can generally be divided into different levels. Self-driving cars on level zero are, as is common today, completely under human control, whereas on level five the vehicle can react and act completely independently in road traffic. Previously, it was assumed that developments were somewhere on level two or three.
Elon Musk at WAIC 2020
However, a completely autonomous car brings along some problems, as Elon Musk also admits during his lecture. Even though the current systems at Tesla are capable of handling the vast majority of situations, it still takes a lot to get the vehicles on the road. Laboratory conditions are quite different from driving on crowded public roads.
Tesla’s AI-based technology, as with all other aspects of the technology behind eMobility vehicles, will therefore learn from the data collected over the coming weeks and months and continue to improve. Musk emphasized that he wants to make it possible to simulate real situations in order to make the autonomous vehicles better and better.
It may still take some time until the self-propelled car will reach the end customer, but with an update of the software the dream of the autonomous vehicle can become reality faster than previously thought.