Apple co-founder not sold on self-driving cars

November 19, 2018

Based on his experience with his Tesla, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said last week that doesn't believe fully self-driving cars are possible in the near-term.

Wozniak told CNBC in an interview published last week he initially hoped Apple would be first to launch a self-driving car, but added that he now doesn't "believe in auto-driving cars" and feels that the industry is still quite some time away from the capability. His sentiment also came after his ownership experience with Teslas.

The Apple co-founder said he continuously upgraded his Tesla with the hope that the company's Autopilot system would flourish into a true hands-free driving system. Instead, Wozniak knocked Tesla and said the company "makes so many mistakes." He didn't expand on the comment, however, and still added he enjoys driving his Tesla. Wozniak also owns a Chevrolet Bolt EV.

READ THIS: 2018 Tesla Model 3 Review

He said he realized a self-driving Tesla really wasn't going to happen after a few over-the-air updates to the car. Tesla claims it will begin to roll out its first chip to enable its Full Self Drive mode next year, though shortly after the announcement, the electric-car maker dropped the option from its online configurator. Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk said the option will be "off the menu" after it caused confusion for a week. The option hasn't returned one month later.

Instead of a fully self-driving car, Wozniak believes the near-term future will instead be "assistive-driving" technology. Systems that will countdown red lights, warn drivers of vehicles that approach an intersection, and others will help avoid some common crashes that occur today, he added. The former Apple executive also said today's roads and infrastructure would not be able to handle self-driving cars en masse as humans build roads today, who are "not as good as nature and mathematics and even evolution."

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