Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently stated his distrust of Elon Musk and Tesla, while speaking at a business forum.
Silicon Beat reports that speaking at the Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm in Sweden last week, Apple co-Founder Steve Wozniak expressed his skepticism of Elon Musk and his company, Tesla. Wozniak stated his belief that Tesla’s self-driving car technology was overhyped and that the company used “cheap” tactics to deflect from their failures. Wozniak himself owns two of Tesla’s Model S cars but so far seems less than impressed with them.
In a Q&A session at the forum, Wozniak stated, “Our first Tesla slid off some ice late at night up at Lake Tahoe, and we ended up in a snow bank… There was no damage, but it was clear we needed a four-wheel-drive Tesla.” Wozniak did admit to upgrading his Tesla saying “Then they came up with some sensors that Elon Musk said would drive itself across itself the country by the end of 2016.” This is a reference to Tesla’s “summon” function which promised to allow all Tesla’s to drive autonomously, even finding parking spots after drivers left the car.
“Oh, I had to have that,” stated Wozniak, “and then … they got rid of their sensor company and put in new sensors — instead of one camera, eight cameras.” This would seem to be a reference to the breakup between Tesla and Israeli sensor-maker Mobileye. Elon Musk has consistently pushed back the date of when the first Tesla car will drive cross-country, in October 2016 the Tesla CEO stated that by the end of 2017 the car would drive cross country, in August 2017 Musk then stated the car would begin the journey in early 2018. Since then, Musk has indicated that the timeline for the trip has, once again, been pushed back.
Wozniak stated his mistrust following these broken promises stating, “I believed that stuff… Now I don’t believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says, but I still love the car.” Wozniak compared Musk to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs saying, “I love that car, but the trouble is Elon Musk is portrayed in a lot of movies with a lack of faith and trust. What he says, can you really believe in him? Is he just a good salesman, like Jobs, and may not be there [in the end]?”
Wozniak questioned Tesla’s self-driving capabilities saying, “When a Tesla runs in any condition on a highway that is a little unusual — a cone in the middle of a lane — you have to move over,” he said. “A dumb human or a smart human can easily do it, but the Tesla can’t.” He then said that Tesla was refusing to take responsibility for their failures, “All Tesla says is, ‘It’s beta, so we’re not responsible — you have to be in control. So that’s kind of a cheap way out of it. Everything I’ve read told me that every other car manufacturer in the world — Audi and BMW — are actually ahead of Tesla for self-driving cars.” Tesla was ranked dead last in self-driving car technologies as part of a recent report.
Wozniak said that he enjoys driving his Tesla but for everyday driving for with family he stated, “we always drive the Chevy Bolt EV instead of the Tesla, every day.” Wozniak also stated that when he joined the waitlist for a Tesla in 2004 and got to the top of the list, he ended up dropping out and buying a Mercedes instead, a short while later he received an email from Elon Musk, “When I got on top of the list,” Wozniak said, “I received an email from Elon Musk that said, ‘You’re not a real Silicon Valley boy.'”