Steve Wozniak ‘Given up’ on Fully Autonomous Vehicles

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Steve Wozniak used to be a true believer in fully autonomous vehicles. Now, it seems, he has dialed back his expectations (via AutoNews).

‘Given up on Level Five’

“I stepped way back [on] this idea of Level Five. I’ve really given up,” the Apple co-founder told the J.D. Power Auto Revolution conference in Las Vegas last week. “I don’t even know if that will happen in my lifetime.”

He explained that things might work better “if we were to modify roads and have certain sections that are well mapped and kept clean of refuse, and nothing unusual happens and there’s no road work.” Furthermore, he criticized the way autonomous vehicles have been sold to the public:

Steve Wozniak: ‘We’ve Misled The Public’

What we’ve done is we’ve misled the public into thinking this car is going to be like a human brain to be able to really figure out new things and say, ‘Here’s something I hadn’t seen before, but I know what’s going on here, and here’s how I should handle it. A human can do that.

Mr. Wozniak and his wife reportedly did take a journey in a self-driving vehicle during their time in Las Vegas. Lyft and Aptiv have partnered to provide specialist BMWs, as well as human drivers, in the city’s downtown area. Mr. Wozniak said the service “did a nice job” and that he and his wife “felt safe and comfortable.”

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John Kheit
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John Kheit

Woz may be right about level 5, but I would argue most humans fail at level 5 competency. Level 4 is good enough, and I do think Tesla has a fair shot at level 4 autonomy within the next 2 years.