Axios/ – -0.45%Tesla Motors, which plans to unveil its self-drive car prototype at its annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, has raised an undisclosed amount of money to build its first prototype.
The $1 billion investment comes after months of work, including on the development of the software that will power the car.
The California-based company announced its plans in February, unveiling a prototype called the “S” to demonstrate the technology at its factory in Fremont, California.
The car, which is being built in a former Tesla factory, is slated to be released in 2021.
In a statement to Axios, a Tesla spokeswoman said the funding is part of a plan to “create a fully self-sustaining vehicle that has the potential to revolutionize the transportation industry.”
Tesla’s self-parking system, called Autopilot, was launched last year and allows cars to drive themselves.
The software automatically slows down or speeds up when a vehicle enters a parking space.
“The project has been one of the most difficult to build because of its complexity,” Tesla said in a statement.
“We had to build prototypes, and build them to perfection, before we could begin production.
But with this investment, we can make it happen.”
Tesla plans to deliver the prototype to a test site in Fremons home state of California in the first quarter of 2021.
Tesla has said that a commercial vehicle is on track to be available in 2021 and will roll out the system to dealerships in 2019.