Tesla’s Elon Musk Discusses Autopilot and Level 5 Autonomy at Artificial Intelligence Conference in China


Unlike his previous participation in the World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in China last year, Elon Musk’s presence at this year’s event included what could only be described as a question and answer session on Tesla’s technology and AI. During his conference, Musk addressed several subjects, from the deployment of level 5 autonomy to the use of the Dojo project, through the work carried out so far at Gigafactory Shanghai.When Musk was asked about the role of AI in deploying fully autonomous technologies, the CEO noted that autonomy will indeed come and it will happen quickly. Musk then reiterated his previous points about the release of a full version of Tesla’s Full Self Driving suite, which should be ready by the end of the year. Interestingly enough, the CEO pointed out that he no longer saw any fundamental challenges that Tesla could face on the path to level 5 autonomy.

Aside from that, Musk pointed out that real-world data is second to none when it comes to developing fully autonomous systems. Real-world scenarios are complex, said Musk, and therefore simulations are not enough. To do this, Tesla designed its own FSD unit, Hardware 3, as well as Dojo, a training computer that could allow the company’s neural networks to be trained faster and more efficiently. This vertical integration is important and sets Tesla apart from its competitors on the market.

“I think there are no fundamental challenges for level 5 autonomy. There are a lot of little problems. And then there is the challenge of solving all these little problems, then bringing the whole system together and continuing to solve the long tail of the problems. You will therefore find that you are able to handle the vast majority of situations. But then there will be something very strange. You have to have a system to find a train to deal with these strange situations. This is why you need real situations. Nothing is more complex and bizarre than the real world, ”noted Musk.

In addition to his discussions on Tesla’s Full Self Driving suite, the Dojo program and vertical integration, Elon Musk also praised the progress that could be seen at Gigafactory Shanghai. The facility, which is Tesla’s first vehicle production plant outside the United States dedicated to the Model 3 and Model Y, fired on all cylinders despite the appearance of the coronavirus, and it enabled China to give a good boost to the company’s figures in the second quarter. Musk noted that he has so far been impressed with the Gigafactory Shanghai ramp and cannot wait to visit the site again.

Overall, Musk’s appearance at WAIC this year was much more insightful than his ad hoc debate with Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma last year. During this debate, Musk and Ma exchanged opinions on the security of AI, as well as on the right approach to develop artificial intelligence. While Musk was his usual cautious self, the co-founder of Alibaba was optimistic, stating that AI could never exceed the true capabilities of humans.


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