Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has some harsh words for Tesla. In a new interview, Wozniak argued that the Elon Musk-led company’s self-driving efforts leave a lot to be desired — and are actively making Teslas incredibly unsafe to drive.
“And boy, if you want a study of AI gone wrong and taking a lot of claims and trying to kill you every chance it can, get a Tesla,” Wozniak told CNN earlier this week during a televised interview, as quoted by Electrek.
While comparing the current AI chatbot discourse to the dangers of self-driving cars might sound a touch disingenuous, the Apple cofounder does make a compelling point: There do appear to be very real risks involved in allowing your Tesla to take over the wheel.
Wozniak has long been a critic of Tesla’s Autopilot software, arguing that the reality falls far short of Tesla’s lofty claims.
Last year, Wozniak recalled the “phantom braking” issues that were plaguing him while driving his Model S in an interview with Stephen “Steve-O” Glover, causing him to slow down significantly while driving on the interstate.
“This is so dangerous!” he told Glover at the time. “It’s happened to us a hundred times, at least, because we drive so much.”
Musk reportedly convinced Wozniak to buy a Model S back in 2013. At the time, Musk told him that the car “would drive itself across the country by the end of 2016,” Wozniak told CNN.
“I actually believed those things, and it’s not even close to reality,” he added, arguing that the software could end up killing the occupant.
Wozniak’s off-the-cuff remark does have some truth to it. We’ve seen numerous fatal collisions involving Tesla’s Autopilot feature over the years.
Meanwhile, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced back in 2021 that it was investigating the EV maker over a series of accidents in which Teslas have smashed into pulled-over emergency response vehicles.
Then last year, news emerged that the Justice Department is also investigating more than a dozen crashes involving Autopilot, some fatal. The carmaker eventually confirmed the news to investors in January.
Despite Tesla’s controversial marketing and Musk’s repeated promises, its vehicles are not able to fully drive themselves in 2023 and require the driver to watch the road and take over at any time — and, as Wozniak has discovered first hand, there’s a very good reason for that.