[(Title)] Elon Musk says Tesla vehicles are 'very close' to being completely autonomous and will reach 'basic functionality' by end of 2020, allowing the cars to drive without human input.
US electric vehicle maker Tesla is 'very close' to achieving complete autonomous driving technology, CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday, referring to the capability to navigate roads without any driver input.
'I'm extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly,' Musk said in remarks made via a video message at the opening of Shanghai's annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference.
'I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year.'
Tesla is also developing new heat-projection or cooling systems to enable more advanced computers in cars, Musk said.
Tesla, other automakers and tech companies, including Alphabet-owned Waymo and app-based ride share company Uber, are investing billions in the autonomous driving industry.
However industry insiders have said it would take time for the technology to get ready and public to trust autonomous vehicles fully.
The California-based Tesla currently builds cars with an Autopilot driver-assistance system, which still requires some human input.
Some customers, however, have reported malfunctions with the technology.
A federal probe was started after a 12th Tesla crash in December was believed to be tied to the auto pilot system. The technology at the time was suspected in four fatal accidents.
The most recent deadly crash happened in March 2019 in Delray, Florida, when driver Jeremy Banner's 2018 Tesla Model 3 slammed into a semi-truck, killing the 50-year-old driver.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators said Banner turned on the Autopilot feature about 10 seconds before the crash, and the Autopilot did not execute any evasive maneuvers to avoid the collision.
美国国家运输安全委员会(National Transportation Safety Board)的调查人员表示，在事故发生的10秒前，班纳开启了自动驾驶功能功能，但系统没有执行任何措施以避免发生碰撞。
The three other fatal crashes date back to 2016.
Despite the setbacks, Tesla last week became the highest-valued automaker as its shares surged to record highs and its market capitalization overtook that of former front-runner Toyota Motors.
Shares of the company climbed five percent in early morning trade on July 1 to a record of $1,133, boosting the company's market cap to $209.47 billion - $6 billion more than Toyota.
The stock price on Thursday was up about 11 percentage points, or 0.8 per cent, after overnight reports of a strong rise in demand last month for the Tesla Model 3 vehicle in China, reports Market Watch.
据《市场观察》(Market Watch)报道，特斯拉股价周四上涨约11个百分点，涨幅为0.8%。此前有报道称，上月中国市场对特斯拉Model 3的需求增长迅猛。
The shares' meteoric rise, which has more than doubled in value since the beginning of 2020, highlights growing confidence among investors about the future of electric vehicles and marks Tesla's shift from a niche carmaker into a global leader of eco-friendly cars.
Tesla became the world's second-most valuable automaker in January, when it surpassed Volkswagen AG. As of Wednesday, the company is now worth more than twice the German manufacturer.