Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, recently spoke at the Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm and Business Insider Nordic shares some details of Wozniak’s frustration with Elon and Tesla.
The crux of Wozniak’s frustration seems to be that he took Elon’s promises on the timeline of certain goals literally. For those following Elon for many years, we know that Elon is terrible at keeping timeline goals, and that his stated timeline goals are usually aspirational goals that are unrealistic to attain. However, Tesla usually does meet those goals, just late.
“They came up with some sensors that Elon Musk said would drive itself across itself the country, by the end of 2016, oh, I had to have that,” Wozniak said. Elon had said they would do a cross-country self-driving trip by end the end of 2017 (later pushed to sometime early this year).
“Now, I don’t believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says. But I still love the car.”
Wozniak shared more of his frustration, “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. A dumb human or a smart human can easily do it, but the Tesla can’t. [..] Man, you’ve got to be on your toes all the time with it.”
He also added, “All Tesla says is, ‘it’s beta, so we’re not responsible. [As a driver] 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.”
I think here Wozniak is in deep err. First, Audi and BMW don’t really have much self-driving technology themselves. Auto makers typically work with other tech companies, like Mobileye or Nvidia or a multitude of self-driving startups. To say Audi or BMW has their own self-driving tech that is even close to what Tesla is not accurate. Also, it’s easy to make press releases and to show concept cars (ie, a car without a steering wheel), but it’s another thing to ship cars with the technology to the masses. And so far, Tesla is the clear leader is shipping driver assist software/hardware in their cars that are capable of making freeway driving much easier and less tiring. One still has to be aware and ready to take over when needed, but what Tesla has accomplished so far is quite impressive.
But there still lies the issue of timing. It’s true that Autopilot is behind schedule and isn’t progressing as fast as Elon had initially promised. So, I think Wozniak’s frustration in this regard is fair and is also shared by some if not many Tesla owners.
Wozniak says that he usually drives his Chevy Bolt for daily tasks, except for long road trips which he uses his Tesla.
I think Woz will change his mind on Tesla once he drives a Model 3. It’s smaller car than the Model S, so it should be easier to drive (he’s mentioned before that he likes the handling of smaller cars) and it’s a far superior car to his Chevy Bolt.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say by the end of 2018 Wozniak will get a Model 3 and will become a Tesla fan once again.
ps., Woz, if you’re reading this I can arrange a Model 3 owner to go to your house and have you test drive their car any day at your convenience.
@stevewoz How about trying out the Tesla Model 3? I think you'll love it. It's smaller and easier to drive than the Model S, but still got a 300+ mile range. I think it'll redeem your faith in @elonmusk https://t.co/SMCgkSPPrY
— Dave L (@heydave7) January 29, 2018
(image source: Nordic Business Forum)