Steve Wozniak skeptic about Tesla’s autopilot feature, says 'there’s way too much hype'

Wozniak says that the feature is 'overblown', and that the company can’t be counted on to do what it says it will.

  • Published: October 27, 2017 12:17 PM IST

You may be a fan of Elon Musk and Tesla’s autopilot feature, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is far from impressed. At the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, Wozniak told CNBC that he thinks there is “way too much hype” around Tesla, and that the company can’t be counted on to do what it says it will.

There is “way too much hype”…”And if [Tesla says] something is going to happen, don’t quite count on it,” said Wozniak. This criticism was primarily focused at the company’s autopilot feature, which provides several advanced driver assistance features that when combined provides what some describe as “semi-autonomous” capabilities. It’s supposed to allow Tesla vehicles to drive within a lane, match speed to traffic conditions, and automatically change lanes without requiring help from the driver. Enhanced Autopilot is supposed to add even more features. But Wozniak says, Tesla’s claims about the feature are “overblown”.

“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,” Wozniak told the publication. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone X is the first iPhone I won’t buy on day one: Steve Wozniak

While those words may seem to sting, Wozniak’s thoughts are shared by many other owners who have waited for Elon Musk to deliver on his promises. One such is that the new Model S and Model X cars were to be would be equipped with the new Hardware 2, a more robust suite of sensors, cameras, and radar and software that will enable them to (eventually) drive autonomously, without human intervention in almost all circumstances. That wasn’t delivered, and consequently those (tall) public claims from Musk, and his willingness to take money from customers for eventual full-self-driving capabilities, led to strife within the team of engineers working on autopilot, some of whom left the company shortly afterwards. ALSO READ: Steve Wozniak not impressed with smartwatches, says Google Glass will fail

Further, Wozniak also called out on the ‘misleading’ idea Tesla gives it users in the name of autopilot. Now we know for a fact that there is no Tesla car that is fully self-driven, or autonomous, and autopilot still requires drivers to be active and pay attention to the road. But the misconception of the self-driving ability of Tesla vehicles can be hazardous, Wozniak says. ALSO READ: Apple’s celebrated garage beginnings is ‘a bit of a myth’, says co-founder Steve Wozniak

“Sometimes Teslas are dangerous because of what they call ‘autopilot,'” says Wozniak. “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,” he says, adding that it is “easy to make mistakes, especially certain weather conditions and whatnot.” ALSO READ: Apple, Google, Facebook will dominate the world by 2075: Steve Wozniak

“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 Apple co-founder says. Woznika was clear that, “in a lot of ways, Tesla is behind companies like Volvo and Audi”. ALSO READ: Elon Musk air freshener is a thing, but let’s first talk about how creepy that is

  • Published Date: October 27, 2017 12:17 PM IST