Don’t count Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as being a member of the cult of Tesla any longer.
Wozniak has been a big fan of Tesla for many years; he owns two Model S sedans, and said just last year that the firm was in the ‘best direction’ for developing autonomous technology.
But it appears that he has some doubts about just how revolutionary the company may be.
Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk has recently promised to produce some truly radical technologies at Tesla – and Wozniak says he doesn’t believe the claims anymore.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (pictured) has been a big Tesla fan for many years, but it seems he has some doubts about just how revolutionary it may be. Tesla may be overhyping its self-driving technology and using ‘cheap’ tactics to deflect mistakes, Wozniak says.
WILL TESLA EVER RELEASE A CAR THAT CAN DRIVE ITSELF ACROSS THE COUNTRY?
Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk has claimed that a Tesla will soon be able to drive itself cross country.
In 2016, Musk said that a Tesla would be able to drive itself from Los Angeles to New York.
Year after year, he has has failed to deliver on that promise.
Last August, Musk insinuated that the cross-country trip wouldn’t be happening until 2018.
‘It is certainly possible that I will have egg on my face on that front, but if it’s not at the end of the year, it will be very close,’ Musk said in a call with investors last year.
Tesla has been inching closer to releasing a fully autonomous car.
Its self-driving software, Autopilot, hasn’t been without speed bumps, however.
At one point, Musk claimed that he would be able to build a car that could drive itself across the United States by the end of 2016.
And, Wozniak says he believed that Musk would be able to make that idea a reality.
So far, however, Musk hasn’t released a car that’s capable of going on its own cross country road trip.
‘I believed that stuff,’ Wozniak said at a conference in Sweden last week.
‘Now, I don’t believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says.’
‘But I still love the car,’ he added.
Last August, Musk reiterated his claim that a Tesla would be able to drive itself from Los Angeles to New York before the end of 2017.
Since then, Musk has insinuated that the cross-country test wouldn’t be happening for a while.
Musk’s failed ‘moonshots’ aren’t the only thing fueling Wozniak’s newfound criticism of the company.
Wozniak said at the conference that he believes Tesla may be overhyping its self-driving technology and using ‘cheap’ tactics to lessen responsibility for mistakes, according to Business Insider.
It seems that Wozniak’s trust in Tesla has been tested several times.
Wozniak recounted a story where his ‘very first Tesla’ skidded off an icy road in Lake Tahoe and into a snow bank.
The car wasn’t damaged, but Wozniak said he knew he needed to upgrade to a newer model.
Wozniak’s patience for Tesla’s mistakes appears to be wearing thin, however.
Despite Tesla’s dizzying advances around self-driving technology, the cars are clearly incapable of full autonomy, Wozniak said.
Drivers still have to be wary when a Tesla is navigating conditions that are ‘a little unusual,’ he said.
‘Man, you’ve got to be on your toes all the time with it,’ Wozniak explained.
When a Tesla does make mistakes, the company always reverts to its typical defense: That the Tesla is in ‘beta’ mode and that the company isn’t responsible, he said.
Pictured, Steve Wozniak and his wife, Janet, stand in front of a 2016 Tesla Model S. The tech guru owns two Model S sedans and has said Tesla will revolutionize self-driving cars.
‘That’s kind of a cheap way out of it,’ Wozniak added.
Wozniak went as far as comparing Elon Musk to Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, but not in the most positive light.
‘I love that car, but the trouble is Elon Musk is portrayed in a lot of movies with a lack of faith and trust,’ Wozniak said.
‘Is [Musk] just a good salesman, like Jobs, and may not be there [in the end]?,’ he added.
It’s not the first time that Wozniak has said Tesla may not be worth the hype.
At a conference in Las Vegas last year, Wozniak said there was ‘way too much hype’ around Tesla.
‘And if [Tesla] says something is going to happen, don’t quite count on it,’ Wozniak explained.
At a conference last week, Steve Wozniak compared Tesla chief Elon Musk (pictured) to Steve Jobs, saying Musk may be ‘just a good salesman, like Jobs, and may not be there [in the end].’
Automakers like Audi and BMW may actually be far ahead of Tesla in terms of advances in self-driving technology, Wozniak said at the conference in Sweden last week.
Wozniak added that he doesn’t use his Tesla for everyday driving.
Instead, he prefers to drive a Chevy Bolt electric vehicle, especially for longer trips to places like Kansas and Yellowstone.
Wozniak’s recent criticisms of Tesla are a far cry from when he lauded the company just a few months ago.
In a post on his personal Facebook account, Steve Wozniak showed off his new Chevy Bolt electric vehicle, saying he ‘expects to be switching cars soon,’ presumably from his Tesla Model S. Wozniak said last week that he uses the Chevy Bolt for everyday trips
Last May, the tech luminary said he thinks Tesla is at the forefront of self-driving cars, the ‘biggest, most obvious moonshot’ at the moment.
‘I think Tesla is on the best direction right now,’ Wozniak said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Tesla has taken an ‘off the wall’ approach to more technologies than just autonomous vehicles, he added.
Specifically, Musk’s Boring Company has detailed plans to build tunnels that can help alleviate traffic, while Hyperloop aims to cut down on travel time ‘without having to take airplane flights,’ Wozniak said at the time.
‘So I’m going to bet on Tesla — so many of these off the wall different directions, and they start with a car,’ he added.
In the meantime, Musk still faces criticisms from investors and consumers about Tesla’s failure to meet production goals for its Model 3 sedan.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable model yet.
The electric car company has dealt with battery production issues as it works to ramp up shipments of the Model 3.