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Elon Musk: We are very close to developing fully autonomous driving system

Elon Musk has claimed Tesla is "very close" to developing a fully autonomous driving system before the end of 2020.

The firm's CEO appeared via video at an AI Conference in Shanghai when he made the claim that Tesla has fixed all of the glitches in the system and it won't be long before they have a Level 5 system - which doesn't require any human interaction - ready.

He vowed: "I'm confident that we will have the basic functionality of L5 autonomous driving this year.

"There are no fundamental challenges."

Tesla currently sits at Level 2 - partial automation - out of six.

So in autopilot mode, Tesla can steer and also control acceleration.

However, a human is required in case they need to take over the steering wheel.

There have been several blips along the way.

Earlier this year, US authorities investigated a fatal crash involving a Tesla car.

The vehicle - a Model S with a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system - collided with a Honda Civic in Los Angeles, and two people in the latter died in the crash while the Tesla occupants were treated for minor injuries.

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car reportedly passed through a red light.

The system allows a vehicle to change lanes, self park and navigate autonomously under certain conditions.

However, the Tesla has repeatedly told drivers they must remain alert and not take their hands from the steering wheel even when using the feature.

NHTSA assigned a special crash investigation team to take a look at both the car and the scene of the collision.

And the regulator previously assessed 13 other incidents involving Teslas.

Meanwhile, several collisions have been blamed on the driver not paying attention rather than the Autopilot system itself.

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