PARIS (Reuters) -Tesla is close to achieving fully autonomous vehicles, CEO Elon Musk said during a visit to Paris on Friday, adding autonomy was the “main driver” of the brand’s market value.
The company’s shares rose by as much as 3% to their highest level in more than eight months.
The world’s most valuable automaker, Tesla has a market capitalisation of around $800 billion, but for years has missed Musk’s targets to achieve full self-driving capability.
“Although I’ve said this before, I think we will solve autonomy soon,” the billionaire told the VivaTech conference.
“The value of the company is primarily on the basis of autonomy,” Musk told the Paris event. “That’s really, I think, the main driver of our value.”
The electric car manufacturer says that what it calls “Full Self-Driving” software does not make its vehicle autonomous and requires driver supervision.
Earlier on Friday, Musk met French President Emmanuel Macron for the second time in just over a month. French officials are hoping to convince Musk to pick France for the construction of his next Tesla gigafactory in Europe.
He also had lunch with Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury goods giant LVMH, and two of his sons, Antoine and Alexandre, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Arnault and Musk have taken turns to be the world’s richest person, with Musk snatching the lead in recent weeks after a sell-off in luxury and a rally in Tesla stocks.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Mathieu Rosemain, Gilles Guillaume, Hyunjoo Jin, Mimosa Spencer;Editing by Alistair Bell and Barbara Lewis)