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Tesla ‘Very Close’ To Achieving Complete Self-Driving Ability: Elon Musk

Tesla ‘Very Close’ To Achieving Complete Self-Driving Ability: Elon Musk
Founder and CEO of United States based electric vehicles maker Tesla has claimed that the company will be able to achieve complete autonomous ability for its vehicles by the end of this year.
He said that the company was already "very close" to achieving the basic requirements of this "level-five" autonomy – which is the highest stage of automation in a vehicle where there is no need for any driving input or instruction to the vehicle from the driver.
Currently, the company has achieved level-two autonomous ability in its Autopilot where in the driver is required to always remain alert and be absolutely ready to act in case of an emergency with his or her hands always on the steering wheel.
He said that level-five autonomy in the cars - with no new hardware could be activated by a future software update.
"I'm extremely confident that level five - or essentially complete autonomy - will happen and I think will happen very quickly. I feel like we are very close. 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,” said Mush while speaking via video at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai.
"And then there's the challenge of solving all those small problems and putting the whole system together," he said and added that the company still needed to conduct real-world testing in order to uncover what he called would be a "long tail" of problems.
Level five autonomous driving was the "holy grail" of the industry, said IHS Markit analyst Tim Urquhart. "It's a typically bold claim by Mr Musk," he said.
"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 added.
Urquhart said that the current technology in Tesla cars was already being misused by some Tesla users.
"I've always slightly questioned the naming of the Tesla system. The fact that it's called Autopilot, when it's only a level-two system, is I think problematic. There are no basic requirements with level five - it has to be absolutely bulletproof, fool-proof, tested in real world environments to the nth degree," he said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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