Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X | Source: Tesla

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, virtually attended the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai and participated in a Q&A session.

At the conference, Elon discussed Tesla’s effort toreach level 5 self-driving and showed great confidence in the early delivery of such a system:

“I am extremely confident that level or essentially complete autonomy will happen, and I think will happen very quickly. I think at Tesla, I feel like we are very close to level 5 autonomy. “

He added:

“I think that I remain confident that we will have basic functionality for level 5 autonomy this year. “

When Tesla does achieve a “basic functionality for level 5 autonomy” as he just mentioned, it doesn’t mean that Tesla vehicles will be fully self-driving.

The automaker would still need to improve the system to be certified by road-safety authorities.

Elon added:

“I think there are no fundamental challenges remaining for level 5 autonomy. There are many small problems. And then there’s the challenge of solving all those small problems and then putting the whole system together. And then keep addressing the long tail of problems. So, you’ll find that you are able to handle the vast majority of situations.”

Musk also added that Tesla is training its system to handle odd situations that are encountered on roads:

“You have to have the system figure out and train to deal with these odd situations. This is why you need the kind of real-world situations. Nothing is more complex and weird than the real world. “

Here is where a company like Tesla benefits from having hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road equipped with sensors and camera feeding information to the company. This not only provides the company with big data but also helps it in optimizing and training the machine learning algorithms to predict and avoid certain dangerous that are a common occurrence on roads.

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