Woz: I don’t think true self-driving cars will arrive in my lifetime

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Woz: I don’t think true self-driving cars will arrive in my lifetime
Woz isn't convinced the technology will arrive any time soon.
Photo: Nichollas Harrison/Wikimedia Commons CC

Apple is working hard on a self-driving car project, but company co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak seemingly isn’t convinced that autonomous vehicles will be ruling the roads anytime soon.

At a recent auto conference, Woz pulled back his predictions about when self-driving cars will take over; saying that there are too many challenges in Level 5 autonomous vehicles.

“Nothing is ever predicable enough where you can’t have a person potentially jump in and take charge,” he said. “I don’t see reaching Level 5 in my lifetime. You’ve always got to be ready to take over. And you know what that means? You’ve got to learn how to drive.”

Level 5 automation refers to self-driving cars that can function with full autonomy. They do not need any human intervention in order to function.

“Tesla has showed how many mistakes it can make that the dumbest driver wouldn’t,” said Woz, who was once a big proponent of the company. Woz said he has a “love-hate” relationship with Tesla. The hate bit comes from being “fooled too many times” by its claims of semi-autonomous functionality.

Woz: Didn’t mention Apple Car

Woz seemingly didn’t mention Apple in his speech. Apple is working toward building its own autonomous car technology. Apple has not revealed what level of autonomy it is hoping to achieve, although any company building self-driving cars surely dreams of achieving Level 5 automation. This summer, Apple hired a high profile Tesla executive to join its Apple Car team. Steve MacManus served as Tesla’s vice president of engineering from 2015 until 2019.

Although Woz still gets an Apple employee discount, he hasn’t been regularly involved with Apple for years. As a result, he’s got a lot more leeway to talk about technology than many Apple execs. While his greatest years as an influencer are several decades in the past, Woz’s thoughts on technology are always interesting to hear.

Source: Wards Auto