Steve Wozniak doubts fully self-driving vehicles are 'quite possible yet'

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The self-driving car industry isn't ready for consumer use, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has suggested in an interview, with roads produced by "imperfect humans" and mistakes caused by Tesla's Autopilot feature causing him to lose faith in the concept becoming more widespread.

Steve Wozniak speaking to CNBC
Steve Wozniak speaking to CNBC


Discussing his ownership of a Tesla, which he bought to see the advancements of self-driving vehicles for himself, Wozniak told CNBC that Tesla makes "so many mistakes, it really convinced me that Autopoliting and auto steering car driving itself is not going to happen."

The use of Autopilot and similar technologies is more useful as a tool to assist a driver in the vehicle rather than being in a state where the driver can simply offer up control to the car completely.

"You're almost more subject in a Tesla these days to being aware and watching the road than you used to, because when you lapse, that's when those accidents happen and kill people," said Wozniak.

While it could easily be used for assistive driving, such as for cars to spot red lights and stop signs to "avoid some of the accidents today," Wozniak warns potential drivers to "not lose sight of the fact you're not going to get a car that drives itself."



When asked if there was a time he wished Apple would've bought Tesla, Wozniak admits there was one time, when Tesla was "making a real statement" for electric cars, before the idea became more popular and triggered other car producers to put serious efforts towards their own electric vehicles.

For self-driving in general, Wozniak is skeptical.

"I do not believe in auto driving cars," Wozniak opined. "I don't really believe it's quite possible yet."

One issue raised by the Apple co-founder is that the transport infrastructure itself isn't produced with such vehicles in mind. Roads are built by imperfect humans who are "not as good as nature and mathematics, and even evolution."

Apple has been working on a self-driving vehicle system under the name "Project Titan" for some time, including operating its own self-driving car fleet in California. Originally thought to be for a fully self-designed vehicle, the project has seemingly pivoted to just the driving system, with rumored long-term goals of working with ride-hailing services.

This hasn't stopped noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from speculating the launch of Project Titan's technology in a shipping consumer product by as early as 2023.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    So we can expect the fruition of selfdriving cars invthe next year or so.....
  • Reply 2 of 79
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
     ... I could add, with 100% certainty, we are not ready to colonize the Moon just yet either.  Do I make the front page too? 
    mwhitefastasleepcornchip
  • Reply 3 of 79
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    Sorry, but why does the media hang on Wozniak's every word? Why do we care what he thinks? He hasn't been relevant in decades. What has he produced since he left Apple, while living on his AAPL stock? He's never been shown to have even a shred of insight into where things are going, or even a fundamental understand of what makes products and companies successful. He's certainly never under what has made Apple successful. 
    StrangeDayslkruppmwhiteradarthekatfastasleepjbdragonmikeybabesbrucemc
  • Reply 4 of 79
    Yes, because no one died in the transition of roads being for people & wagons to automobiles. Not a single one. /s
    viclauyycradarthekatfastasleepjony0
  • Reply 5 of 79
    slurpy said:
    Sorry, but why does the media hang on Wozniak's every word? Why do we care what he thinks? He hasn't been relevant in decades. What has he produced since he left Apple, while living on his AAPL stock? He's never been shown to have even a shred of insight into where things are going, or even a fundamental understand of what makes products and companies successful. He's certainly never under what has made Apple successful. 
    I agree with you that SW is over-rated, especially on the topic of Apple.

    But on this one, I agree with him wholeheartedly. Fully self-driving cars are at least 7-10 years away. They have to first fix insurance/liability issues, and then hundreds (if not thousands) of state and local regulations related to vehicles and vehicle traffic have to be worked on one by one. On top of which, the US Congress will have to pass legislation.

    I think it will all ultimately happen, but not before 2025.
    georgie01baconstangchasmmuthuk_vanalingamcornchipdysamoriatmaybrucemcjony0
  • Reply 6 of 79
    I see everyone here disagrees with Woz. But Woz is where he is because he is a visionary. And sometimes being a visionary includes seeing things that can't be done. Eg, 50 years ago many people thought that a helicopter would be on everyone's front lawn. A visionary would have said "not likely" and been right.
    baconstangviclauyycchasmdysamoriacgWerks
  • Reply 7 of 79
    Sorry Steve,
     Waymo are going to launch their service very soon even though I have very much the same reservations/concerns as he does.
    I won't be using one any time soon.

    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 79
    2019 will be a big year for autonomy on the roads. It won't be "better" than a very good driver right away, but it'll get there.
    stenar
  • Reply 9 of 79
    Woz isn’t always right. And he’s definitely wrong here. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 79
    I see everyone here disagrees with Woz. But Woz is where he is because he is a visionary. And sometimes being a visionary includes seeing things that can't be done. Eg, 50 years ago many people thought that a helicopter would be on everyone's front lawn. A visionary would have said "not likely" and been right.
    Jobs was the visionary, not Woz. Woz was the craftsman/technician.
    lkruppmwhitekingofsomewherehotdysamoriadewmeStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 11 of 79
    I watched the interview and the headline is a bit misleading. Yes, he said that, but it was in the context of Woz believing that we aren't that close to true self-driving cars. Assistive technologies, however, are improving rapidly and they do prevent accidents. Roads haven't been built for self-driving cars because they weren't a possibility when these roads were built, but I expect that new roads will be built with self-driving cars in mind. I also think that many roads will be improved a bit and certified for self-driving cars. I may not be able to drive from San Jose to downtown LA with my eyes closed, but I would expect to be able to do at least the highway portion of the trip while taking a nap in the near future.
    edited November 2018 baconstangcornchip
  • Reply 12 of 79
    jonro said:
    Yes, it is a bit of stating the obvious that self-driving cars aren't ready for prime time, yet, but assistive technologies are improving rapidly and they do prevent accidents. Roads haven't been built for self-driving cars because they weren't a possibility when these roads were built. I expect that new roads will be built with self-driving cars in mind. I also think that many roads will be improved a bit and certified for self-driving cars. I may not be able to drive from San Jose to downtown LA with my eyes closed, but I would expect to be able to do at least the highway portion of the trip while taking a nap in the near future.
    I wouldn't trust an autonomous system on an unpaved and unmarked road or off-road yet, because there are too many decisions to be made which could result in disaster. But on highways and city streets, definitely.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 13 of 79
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,596member
    I think letting a care drive for you will turn your brain into mush, Driving is problem solving activity, you need to be at you best and be able to solve problems in real time. If you let a car drive you everywhere, it just another sedentary activity which will cause you to decline in your ability to solve problems.

    Also, if you think mechanization/automation of the US and shipping manufacturing jobs over seas killed jobs. Making all transportation autonomous will kill more jobs than you could imagine. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 79
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,149member
    jonro said:
    Yes, it is a bit of stating the obvious that self-driving cars aren't ready for prime time, yet, but assistive technologies are improving rapidly and they do prevent accidents. Roads haven't been built for self-driving cars because they weren't a possibility when these roads were built. I expect that new roads will be built with self-driving cars in mind. I also think that many roads will be improved a bit and certified for self-driving cars. I may not be able to drive from San Jose to downtown LA with my eyes closed, but I would expect to be able to do at least the highway portion of the trip while taking a nap in the near future.
    I wouldn't trust an autonomous system on an unpaved and unmarked road or offload yet, because there are too many decisions to be made which could result in disaster. But on highways and city streets, definitely.
    Until that 80 year old in her 1987 Buick hits the accelerator instead of the brakes and T-bones you and your autopilot car.
    edited November 2018 baconstangradarthekatjbdragonwelshdog
  • Reply 15 of 79
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,303member
    jonro said:
    Yes, it is a bit of stating the obvious that self-driving cars aren't ready for prime time, yet
    Not if you've read the previous comments. Woz is correct. He may not be a true visionary, but he worked with one a lot more closely and longer than anybody here, and may have picked up a little something about being realistic.

    Jobs, a true visionary, said 'no' a lot more than he said 'yes'.

    At some point there may be an SAE or some such standard for what is and isn't autonomous driving. Getting in the back seat of a truly autonomous car and telling it to take you to JFK but stop along the way for breakfast', from the back seat, in traffic, is a lot farther off than most proponents would care to admit.

    Flying cars. There are flying cars. But we're still not at the 'We have flying cars!' stage. Yet. And probably  none of us here will be alive to see the second or even third car be a flying car, for an average middle income family.

    The future may be here tomorrow, but things in it are farther away than they may appear.
    anantksundarambaconstangcgWerksmdriftmeyer
  • Reply 16 of 79
    anantksundaram said:

     I agree with him wholeheartedly. Fully self-driving cars are at least 7-10 years away. They have to first fix insurance/liability issues, and then hundreds (if not thousands) of state and local regulations related to vehicles and vehicle traffic have to be worked on one by one. On top of which, the US Congress will have to pass legislation.

    I think it will all ultimately happen, but not before 2025.
    I agree, but maybe not even by 2025. With our culture’s obsession with feeling like we’re so smart and feeling so proud of ourselves (even though it’s just a tiny fraction of us who actually make AI things), we forget that the human brain is extremely sophisticated. Just because we can’t do math as quickly as a computer doesn’t mean AI can do a better job than us, or that we even understand the capabilities of the brain to such a degree that we can replace the extent of processing necessary to have confidence in AI’s judgement.

    And the legal issues involved will be complex. The eagerness behind people’s push for AI cars will lead to cases where people die and there is no satisfactory legal recourse for them, even if there is obvious negligence on the part of the automakers. i.e. trying to pass responsibility for inadequate AI code to nothingness, ‘how could a machine be responsible?’.

    We really need to slow down with our pursuit of self-driving cars.
    baconstangmdriftmeyer
  • Reply 17 of 79
    georgie01 said:
    anantksundaram said:

     I agree with him wholeheartedly. Fully self-driving cars are at least 7-10 years away. They have to first fix insurance/liability issues, and then hundreds (if not thousands) of state and local regulations related to vehicles and vehicle traffic have to be worked on one by one. On top of which, the US Congress will have to pass legislation.

    I think it will all ultimately happen, but not before 2025.
    I agree, but maybe not even by 2025. With our culture’s obsession with feeling like we’re so smart and feeling so proud of ourselves (even though it’s just a tiny fraction of us who actually make AI things), we forget that the human brain is extremely sophisticated. Just because we can’t do math as quickly as a computer doesn’t mean AI can do a better job than us, or that we even understand the capabilities of the brain to such a degree that we can replace the extent of processing necessary to have confidence in AI’s judgement.

    And the legal issues involved will be complex. The eagerness behind people’s push for AI cars will lead to cases where people die and there is no satisfactory legal recourse for them, even if there is obvious negligence on the part of the automakers. i.e. trying to pass responsibility for inadequate AI code to nothingness, ‘how could a machine be responsible?’.

    We really need to slow down with our pursuit of self-driving cars.
    Please. There is a very large population of drivers in the US (Baby Boomers) who are not getting any younger and they, possibly more than any other segment of the population, want and need this kind of service.
    fastasleepradarthekatpeteo
  • Reply 18 of 79
    This hasn't stopped noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from speculating the launch of Project Titan's technology in a shipping consumer product by as early as 2023.

    Who thinks noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo will revise his forecast multiple times?
    radarthekatanantksundaram
  • Reply 19 of 79
    This hasn't stopped noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from speculating the launch of Project Titan's technology in a shipping consumer product by as early as 2023.

    Who thinks noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo will revise his forecast multiple times?
    "Noted"? I thought he was "well-connected"?
  • Reply 20 of 79
    I'll bet that when cars get more autonomous ....it will soon develop into everyone will be required to either own an autonomous vehicle or ride in autonomous busses. By then Uncle Sam will make Human Driving totally illegal unless it's in an autonomous vehicles.....I'll be dead and stinkin' by then so it won't matter to me... GM already has a 2019 model with ZERO CONTROLS....no steering wheel or pedals........
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