While Tesla CEO Elon Musk did not specifically spell out ‘Level 5 autonomy’, he claimed that by the middle of 2020, there would be a million Tesla vehicles with self-driving capability ‘at a reliability level that we would consider that no one needs to pay attention’.
Musk made this prediction at a recent briefing to investors called the Tesla Autonomy Day. He said that by virtue of a software update sometime next year, existing Tesla vehicles fitted with the necessary hardware can self-drive without human intervention or attention, and that includes being able to read traffic lights and to react to other vehicles and road users.
The push for a self-driving future at Tesla is further accelerated by the introduction of a self-driving computer with a proprietary micro-chip developed in-house and manufactured by Samsung. Instead of sourcing from suppliers such as Nvidia, Musk claims that the Tesla’s micro-chip is the ‘best in the world’ and is many times more powerful than what it previously used, but also less costly.
Musk also revealed that the Model S, Model X and Model 3 are already being fitted with this new self-driving computer on the production lines.