Steve Wozniak says he’s tired
of Elon Musk’s promises and thinks Tesla needs to stop
overhyping its self-driving-car technology.
At the Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm, Wozniak, a
cofounder of Apple, shared his experiences
driving — and
upgrading — his
“Now, I don’t believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says,
but I still love the car,” Wozniak said, adding
that other automakers were ahead in self-driving
Wozniak says he prefers his Chevy Bolt but drives
a Tesla on longer trips because of its countrywide charging
While Steve Wozniak’s legacy as a tech pioneer may forever be
cemented, Elon Musk still has a long way to go with his.
That much could be concluded from Wozniak’s recent talk at the
Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm, which the Apple cofounder
dedicated in part to his newfound love for
Tesla bashing. He accused the electric-car maker of
overhyping itself and using “cheap” tactics to deflect blame for
Wozniak, an early Tesla fan, owns two Model S cars. But his
relationship with Tesla and its CEO has been fraught.
“Our first Tesla slid off some ice late at night up at Lake
Tahoe, and we ended up in a snow bank,” Wozniak said in a Q&A
session jam-packed with anecdotes from his life. “There was no
damage, but it was clear we needed a four-wheel-drive
Shortly afterward, Wozniak said, he and his wife coughed up the
money for an upgrade.
“Then they came up with some sensors that Elon Musk said would
drive itself across itself the country by the end of 2016,”
Wozniak said, referring to a much-talked-about Tesla “summon”
function Musk has promoted.
“Oh, I had to have that,” Wozniak
“And then … they got rid of their
sensor company and put in new sensors — instead of one camera,
eight cameras,” he said, alluding to Tesla’s
breakup with the Israeli
sensor-maker Mobileye. He added that the car was
supposed to “drive itself across the country by the end of 2017.”
said in October 2016 that Tesla’s cross-country demonstration
trip would happen by the end of 2017. He then
said last August that it would
happen by early 2018. He again signaled in December that the
timeline had been pushed further back.
Wozniak’s trust was dented.
“I believed that stuff,” he said. “Now I don’t believe anything
Elon Musk or Tesla says, but I still love the car.”
He said he was sure the company’s next car would be the one Musk
promises will deliver.
Is Musk ‘just a good salesman like Jobs?’
Following the crowd’s roaring applause, Wozniak compared Musk’s
salesmanship with that of his Apple cofounder, Steve Jobs.
“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.
“What he says, can you really believe in him? Is he just a good
salesman like Jobs and may not be there [in the end]?”
Wozniak homed in on Tesla’s self-driving-car
“When a Tesla runs in any condition on a highway that is a little
unusual — a cone in the middle of a lane — you have to move
over,” he said. “A dumb human or a smart human can easily do it,
but the Tesla can’t.”
He added: “Man, you’ve got to be on your toes all the time with
Wozniak also said Tesla was deflecting blame for its mistakes.
“All Tesla says is, ‘It’s beta, so we’re not responsible — you
have to be in control,'” Wozniak said. “So that’s kind of a cheap
way out of it. Everything I’ve read told me that every other car
manufacturer in the world — Audi and BMW — are actually ahead of
Tesla for self-driving cars.”
‘We always drive the Chevy Bolt EV instead of the Tesla,
At a Money 20/20 event in Las Vegas in October,
Wozniak had already
said there was “way too much hype around
Tesla” and heaped praised over brands like Volvo and Audi. But in
the Swedish capital, he opened up about his new crush:
the Chevy Bolt EV.
Woz lauded its “decent range” and described how he exclusively
uses the GM vehicle for everything except longer trips to places
like Kansas and Yellowstone. That’s when Wozniak and his wife
still find user for their Tesla, and the company’s extensive
But for everyday life, “we always drive the Chevy Bolt EV instead
of the Tesla, every day. Except for long road trips,” Wozniak
said. “That was a good rant,” Seth Godin said. Of course,
the Apple cofounder and stockholder could benefit from talking
down rivals in favor of Apple
Car — the smart device
maker’s autonomous car initiative. But the crowd in
Stockholm certainly felt his frustration.
Another nugget from Wozniak’s impassioned “rant” was the story of
his first Tesla order: Wozniak and his wife had waited for six
months to get on top of the waiting list for a Tesla in 2004, but
opted out and got a Mercedes instead. “When I got on top
of the list” Wozniak said, “I received an email from Elon Musk
that said ‘you’re not a real Silicon Valley boy.'”