For those who came in late level 5 is the abiliy to navigate roads without any driver input. This level of automony is surprising since Tesla cars have made a habit of driving into parked lorries. Musk has a few bad habits of his own including talking up his company's progress.
Musk said in a video message at the opening of Shanghai’s annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC): “I’m extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly. I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year.”
Automakers and tech companies including Alphabet, Waymo and Uber Technologies 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 automaker currently builds cars with an Autopilot driver-assistance system.
Tesla is also developing new heat-projection or cooling systems to enable more advanced computers in cars, Musk said.
Industry data showed Tesla sold nearly 15,000 China-made Model 3 sedans last month.
Tesla has become the highest-valued automaker as its shares surged to record highs and its market capitalisation overtook that of former front runner Toyota Motors Corp (7203.T).