Steve Wozniak is not quite as enamored with Elon Musk’s company Tesla as the rest of the tech world.
Speaking to CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas on October 22, the Wozniak asserted that there is “way too much hype” surrounding Musk’s Tesla company, particularyl its development of self-driving technology.
Wozniak fears that the public’s confidence in the charismatic visionary may translate to negligence behind the wheel as Tesla’s artificially intelligent vehicles continue to soar in popularity. “Tesla has in people’s mind that they have cars that will just drive themselves totally, and it is so far from the truth, so they have deceived us,” he said. “Sometimes Teslas are dangerous because of what they call ‘autopilot.’ You get thinking, ‘Oh, it is easy, I can reach over and not look for a few seconds,’ and that is the second your car drifts over the line.”
For now, Tesla autopilot remains limited. However, their capabilities continue to evolve every day. Even so, Wozniak remains unimpressed by the car’s navigational abilities: “Driving my Tesla, over and over and over there are unusual situations on any road anywhere and every single human being alive — dumb or smart — would be able to get through it and the Tesla can’t.”
The self-driving technology that divided Tesla’s own engineers still refuses to bill itself as a complete self-driving solution. The company has stated that while self-driving technology has proven to be safer thus far than vehicles under the control of humans, “we will [continue] to be extremely clear with current and potential customers that Autopilot is not a fully self-driving technology and drivers need to remain attentive at all times.”
Despite his lack of total confidence, Wozniak still believes that the company is on the right track overall for shifting the conversation away from fossil fueled vehicles and toward clean energy: “Tesla has done something that is so important to me. I mean transitioning from gas driven cars to electric cars for a future, it is part of our cleanliness formula.”
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