Musk Says Tesla Close To Developing Fully Autonomous Car

 In this file photo Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, poses on the red carpet as he arrives for the 43rd "Goldenes Lenkrad" (Golden Steering Wheel) awards on November 12, 2019 in Berlin. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP
In this file photo Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, poses on the red carpet as he arrives for the 43rd “Goldenes Lenkrad” (Golden Steering Wheel) awards on November 12, 2019 in Berlin. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP


Tesla founder Elon Musk said Thursday that the world’s recently crowned most valuable auto company could achieve a fully autonomous car by the end of 2020.

Musk, who has made premature predictions about the advent of completely autonomous cars before, offered the updated timetable in a pre-recorded message to a Shanghai tech fair.

“I’m extremely confident that ‘Level 5’, or essentially complete autonomy, will happen, and I think will happen very quickly,” Musk said.

“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality… complete this year.”

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.

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.

The complexity and autonomy of self-driving car technology is classified up to “Level 5”. Lower levels feature some combination of autonomous decision-making by the vehicle, along with as-needed human intervention.

But Level 5 denotes a car that requires no human intervention at any time, allowing the passenger to sleep or watch a movie while the car handles all navigation as well as adjustments to avoid collisions.

Tesla already enables partial autonomy for its cars, but analysts say the road to full autonomy faces considerable legal and regulatory hurdles, not to mention getting consumers to feel comfortable entrusting their cars with full control.

Tesla is racing with Waymo, Uber and traditional automakers to bring autonomous vehicles to market.



Elon Musk, Girlfriend Explain Meaning Of New Baby’s Name, X Æ A-12.

In this file photo taken on May 7, 2018 Elon Musk and Grimes arrive for the 2018 Met Gala, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. ANGELA WEISS / AFP
In this file photo taken on May 7, 2018 Elon Musk and Grimes arrive for the 2018 Met Gala, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. ANGELA WEISS / AFP


Fans hoping for clarity and perhaps some pronunciation tips were left floundering Wednesday after Elon Musk’s girlfriend, the musician Grimes, explained their newborn son’s name — X Æ A-12.

Musk, the outspoken Tesla chief, announced the birth of the couple’s first child earlier this week, before Grimes broke down the unusual moniker.

“X, the unknown variable. Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence). A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft),” she wrote on Twitter.

“A” also stands for “Archangel, my favorite song,” she added.

Musk, the 48-year-old CEO of SpaceX, gently corrected Grimes on Twitter to say the plane was an SR-71 — a Cold War spy aircraft.

“I am recovering from surgery and barely alive so may my typos b forgiven,” she joked in reply.

Registering the name in their home state of California may create some legal challenges as non-alphabetic characters are not allowed by law.

Musk, who has been dating Grimes since 2018, already had five sons, and has been divorced three times — twice from the same woman.

Grimes, 32, whose real name is Claire Boucher, announced she was pregnant in January.

The couple made waves with their first public appearance together at the Met Gala in 2018, surprising both the music and business worlds. Grimes wore a choker shaped like the Tesla logo, demonstrating their relationship status.

Musk, known for his vaulting ambition and brash demeanor, made news last week in a Twitter message saying Tesla’s stock was overvalued, sending shares of the electric carmaker tumbling.



COVID-19: FG Asks Elon Musk, Tesla For Ventilators


As the battle against COVID-19 intensifies, governments around the world are seeking solutions to stop the spread of the virus and prevent further deaths from the pandemic.

The Nigerian government has also been exploring various avenues from which help can come quickly before the war against the Coronavirus overwhelms the system.

One of such interventions sought recently, is a reaching out to Technology Entrepreneur, Elon Reeve Musk, as well as to American electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla.

READ ALSO: TY Danjuma Inaugurates Task Force For Victim Support Fund (VSF)

Elon Musk had in a tweet via his official Twitter page, revealed that he and Tesla have some ventilators approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Reacting to this tweet, the Ministry of Finance, told Mr Musk and Tesla that Nigeria can do with some help.

In its reply to Mr Musk’s tweet, the Finance Ministry said:

Dear @elonmusk @Tesla, Federal Government of Nigeria needs support with 100-500 ventilators to assist with #COVID-19 cases arising everyday in Nigeria.

The tweet however, garnered varied reactions, with some hailing the move while others questioned the drive, asking why the government has not made earlier preparations.

However, it is not only Nigeria that has reached out to Elon Musk and Tesla, several other nations reached out in a bid to help ease the plight of their citizens.

Tesla Car Involved In Fatal Crash Was On Autopilot


Tesla To Build Wholly-Owned Shanghai Plant - Report
A Tesla logo is seen at a charging station inside a mall in Shanghai on October 23, 2017.  CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP


Electric car maker Tesla has confirmed the autopilot was engaged during a fatal crash last week, a development set to exacerbate concerns over the safety of autonomous vehicles.

A Tesla Model X collided with a highway barrier near the town of Mountain View in California on March 23, catching fire before it was struck by two other cars.

The driver, who was identified by The Mercury News as a 38-year-old man, Wei Huang, later died in hospital.

Tesla issued a blog post late Friday saying he had activated the autopilot but ignored several warnings.

“In the moments before the collision… autopilot was engaged with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum,” Tesla said.

“The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision.

“The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken.”

Tesla added that the reason the car sustained such great damage was because a highway barrier “had been crushed in a prior accident without being replaced”.

“We have never seen this level of damage to a Model X in any other crash,” it added

The company also sought to downplay fears over its technology.

“Over a year ago, our first iteration of Autopilot was found by the US government to reduce crash rates by as much as 40 percent,” it said.

The fatal Tesla crash came the same week a collision involving an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona killed a pedestrian and caused that company to halt its self-driving car program.

In January last year, the US Transportation Department closed an investigation into the fatal 2016 crash in Florida of a Tesla on autopilot, finding that no “safety-related defect” had caused that accident.

Founded 15 years ago by South African-born serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, Tesla has gained fans and acclaim as a company steering toward a world of self-driving cars running on clean energy.

But, Tesla’s future is clouded by worries about its ability to efficiently mass produce cars as well as whether disruptive technology used is reliable and safe.


Tesla To Build Wholly-Owned Shanghai Plant – Report

Tesla To Build Wholly-Owned Shanghai Plant - Report

Tesla has reached an agreement with Shanghai authorities that would make it the first foreign automaker to build its own plant in China, putting it in the driver’s seat in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Silicon Valley electric carmaker’s wholly-owned manufacturing facility would be built in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, the Wall Street Journal said, quoting unnamed sources with knowledge of the deal, and could allow Tesla to dramatically lower the cost of its cars in China.

China usually requires foreign automakers to set up joint ventures with local Chinese partners, which involves splitting profits and giving away some technology, though they also avoid import tariffs.

AFP was not immediately able to obtain comment from Tesla or the Shanghai government.

China’s electric-vehicle market is already the world’s largest and is expected to continue growing fast, especially since the government plans to require that all automakers’ sales include a certain percentage of electric vehicles from 2019.

Beijing is also mulling plans to ban fossil-fuel burning cars by an unspecified date, following decisions by France and Britain to outlaw the sale of such vehicles from 2040 to limit emissions.

No timeframe for the launch of the Tesla plant was given.

Tesla had said in June that it was in talks with the Shanghai government and that it would detail its China manufacturing plans by the end of the year.

More than half a million “new-energy” cars were sold in China last year, and the government is targetting sales in the millions in coming years.

The Wall Street Journal said any cars built by Tesla in the free-trade zone would still incur a 25 percent import tariff.