Tesla chief Elon Musk has claimed that the company will be able to develop self-driving cars without any need for human drivers by this time next year, according to reports.

Musk made the announcement during the launch of a programme in Brazil. However, this is not the first time that the Tesla chief has spoken about self-driving cars.

The autopilot feature in cars has existed for years, most notably in Tesla vehicles, but true autonomy is not yet available. Tesla and a handful of other companies are working to introduce driverless taxis and have been testing such vehicles for years now.

Musk has been claiming that Tesla will have 1 million robotaxis on the road since 2020. A robo-taxi denotes a self-driving car with no need for human supervision, according to a report in Electrek. "Next year for sure, we will have over a million robotaxis on the road...The fleet wakes up with an over-the-air update. That's all it takes," Musk had written in a tweet in October 2019."

However, he changed the timeline in 2020 stating that regulatory approvals have made the launch uncertain, writes BGR.in

Earlier this year, he claimed that Tesla intends to bring a robotaxi with no steering wheel or pedals to the market by 2024. He made the statement on the sidelines of the company's earnings call for the first quarter of 2022.

"I think it can be very powerful product where we aspire to reach volume production in 2024," Musk said, adding, "I think [the robotaxi] really will be a massive driver of Tesla's growth." He again changed his claims and said that the company will have one million people in FSD (full self-driving) Beta.

Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta has all the properties of a self-driving system, but it has not been completely successful when it comes to autonomy. The vehicles still require a driver behind the wheel at all times.

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A Tesla supercharger is shown at a charging station in Santa Clarita, California, U.S. October 2, 2019. Photo: Reuters / MIKE BLAKE