Elon Musk Claims Tesla Is Very Close To Fully Autonomous Car (Again)

Authored by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,

Tesla is very close to having the Level 5 autonomous driving technology that doesn't require human input, chief executive Elon Musk said in a video message to the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai on Thursday.  

"I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year," Musk said in a pre-recorded message, as carried by Reuters.

"I'm extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly," Tesla's chief executive noted.

In April last year, Musk said at the Tesla Autonomy Investor Day "I feel very confident predicting autonomous robotaxis for Tesla next year."  

"Not in all jurisdictions, because we won't have regulatory approval everywhere, but I am confident we will have at least regulatory approval somewhere, literally next year," Musk said in 2019.

[ZH: Quite frankly, we will not be holding our breath for this - and we hope Musk can explain what "basic" fully-autonomous functionality means]

Then the reality in 2020 destroyed all projections for any car sales in any market, but Tesla's sales are growing now that the lockdowns have ended.

Last week, Tesla reported its second-quarter vehicle and production delivery numbers, which showed 82,000 vehicles produced and 90,650 vehicles delivered, easily beating analyst expectations for deliveries.

"While our main factory in Fremont was shut down for much of the quarter, we have successfully ramped production back to prior levels," Tesla said.

Sales of the Shanghai-made Model 3 in China jumped by 35 percent month over month in June, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). Battery electric vehicle sales in China stood at 67,000 units in June, with Tesla accounting for 23 percent of the market, the CPCA said.

Over the past two weeks, Tesla's stock has rallied to record-highs, also thanks to the robust sales and delivery figures. Last week, Tesla became the world's most valuable carmaker, toppling Toyota. At the end of trade on Wednesday, Tesla's shares were at $1,365, giving it a market capitalization of $253 billion.