My Car Quest

May 24, 2024

Steve Wozniak Gives Elon Musk and Tesla an Earful

A Way Out for Elon…

by Wallace Wyss –

An editorial on a site called quotes another wunderkind of the Silicon Valley Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. This website quotes Wozniak arguing 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.”

This is not some newcomer to the world of AI. This is the man who in a garage built the first personal computer for his partner Steve Jobs. In a way there’s no more perfect critic because Woz succeeded in the high tech world before Musk even bought into Tesla. He’s not a “wanna be” but a “been there, done that.”


Steve Wozniak – Photo by Gage Skidmore

They give a direct quote from their source, a CNN Interview, “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,” says the Woz.

Wozniak’s beef started with what is nicknamed “phantom braking”, where the car thinks it sees an object and unaccountably slows, which caused him to slow down significantly while driving on the interstate. He told a reporter “It’s happened to us a hundred times, at least, because we drive so much.”

The Woz is miffed because he says Musk told him that the car “would drive itself across the country by the end of 2016,” Woz said to CNN. He did not mince words. “It’s not even close to reality,”…the software could end up killing the occupant.”

It is already in the courtroom, Musk arguing that there are plenty of statements in the purchase contract where the driver promises not to use the so-called Full Self Driving in city driving, etc. etc., but the death count of Tesla fatalities is climbing.

I think Musk needs to get out ahead of this growing PR problem. Here’s my suggestions, take em or leave em.

Stop Calling It Full Self Driving

Call it “Open road drivers assist” or something equally innocuous.

Reimburse All Buyers Who Paid For This Option

This will cost millions but to cash the check they have to promise never to go to court on it no matter what happens.

Revoke Full Self Driving From Any Owner Who Uses It In The City

On route 101 OK but on Lexington Ave in midtown Manhattan, no. Give them a refund on Full Self Driving and buy the car back at cost if they complain. Even ban them from future new car Tesla purchases.

Do Not Offer It On The Cybertruck

Too many owners are itching to go off-road and since Full Self Driving depends on lines on the road, etc. It makes no sense to use it where there are no lines. I have driven over 50 MPH on the trackless Mojave Desert in a Blazer I don’t see where Full Self Driving could cope without its usual inputs.

Offer It To Police Departments For Highway Pursuits

That will expose Full Self Driving to the biggest challenges and it will “learn a lot.” Yes Teslas retain memories of the roads they’ve driven.

Elon Musk is not only the most successful entrepreneur of the 21st Century but he can change history with his next decision. He needs to reduce the harmful impact of Full Self Driving on Tesla so Tesla doesn’t get dragged down by the flaws of this new technology. The Teslas are too good a boon in transportation to lose …

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss is a co-host on KUCR FM’s weekly “Autotalk” show, broadcast from Riverside, CA.


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Steve Wozniak Gives Elon Musk and Tesla an Earful
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Steve Wozniak Gives Elon Musk and Tesla an Earful
Wozniak's beef started with what is nicknamed "phantom braking", where the car thinks it sees an object and unaccountably slows down.

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