USA electric vehicle maker Tesla is "very close" to achieving complete autonomous driving technology, CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday, referring to the capacity to navigate roads with no driver input.
"I continue being confident that we will have the simple operation for degree 5 autonomy finish this yr".
In years past, Musk had said Tesla may develop the technology for a completely autonomous vehicle by 2018, and then last year he said it may come by early 2020.
However industry insiders have said it would take time for the technology to get ready and public to trust autonomous vehicles fully.
While many carmakers and tech firms are now working to develop autonomous driving technology, industry experts believe it would still take some time for the technology to be delivered to customers.
The California-based Tesla now builds cars with an Autopilot driver-assistance system, which still requirers some human input.
Tesla is also building new heat-projection or cooling units to enable extra sophisticated desktops in automobiles, Musk reported. The technology at the time was suspected in four fatal accidents.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a delivery ceremony for the first Tesla Model 3 cars made at Tesla's Shanghai factory in Shanghai, Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Fueled by stronger-than-expected vehicle deliveries, shares of Tesla have surged over 40% in the past seven sessions, elevating the company's market capitalization to $259 billion.
Tesla's average market capitalization for the 6-month period has hit a massive $138 billion - a record number for the company.
The California-based electric carmaker became the world's most valuable auto manufacturer earlier this month and its shares have soared this year thanks to strong output figures despite disruptions from the coronavirus epidemic.
On Wednesday, Tesla stock closed above $1,365, taking the company's market capitalization to $253.38 billion.