(Yicai Global) July 9 - Tesla is now very close to Level 5 autonomous driving, the highest degree of full autopilot, said Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of the electric vehicle giant, at the opening ceremony of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai today.
"I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year, so we are really deeply enmeshed in dealing with the tiny details of level five autonomy," Musk said in the video speech live streamed at WAIC.
The current hardware conditions of Tesla entirely meet the needs of fully autonomous driving, but some improvements in software are still necessary, Musk noted. The key issue in achieving fully driverless driving is safety, and this entails the amount of experimental data that is convincing to regulators, he added.
"Things are going really well at Giga Shanghai. I'm incredibly proud of the Tesla team and I look forward to visiting Giga Shanghai as soon as possible,” Musk said, adverting to the Silicon Valley-based firm’s Shanghai Gigafactory, which has contributed so greatly to the company’s sales.
Tesla sold nearly 15,000 local-made Model 3s in June, a 35 percent rise from the previous month, and topped China's pure electric vehicle sales list with a 23 percent market share, according to the latest data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Strong sales also boosted Tesla [NASDAQ: TSLA]’s share price to new highs, with an overall increase of more than 200 percent this year. The company’s stock hit a record USD1,429.5 on July 7 to give it a market value of more than USD250 billion, leading global peers and far outstripping second-ranked Japan-based Toyota Motor.
Its stock fell 1.73 percent to close at USD1,365.88 yesterday for an about USD253 billion market cap.
More AI tech and more intelligent software will be used in the Shanghai factory, but it will take some time for the plant to effectively use AI, Musk said in the video, adding that "a factory is a complex, cybernetic collective involving humans and machines." More jobs will be created there in future, he pledged.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Ben Armour