Elon Musk Says Tesla’s Autopilot Beats Waymo’s Driverless Cars, Gets Trolled

Earlier this week, Waymo announced that its test program for driverless robo-taxis will soon expand to the general public in the metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona. Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasn’t exactly impressed.
Football star Larry Fitzgerald rides in driverless Waymo in Phoenix, Arizona 6 photos
Photo: YouTube / Waymo
Waymo Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Waymo has been working towards a fully autonomous ride-sharing vehicle for years, more recently conducting an Early Riders program in a Phoenix suburb, Chandler. The announcement that robo-taxis will become available to the general public has been expected, though long delayed.

Responding to an independent analysis on how cost-efficient robo-taxis would eventually prove compared to driving personal cars, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered that Tesla’s Autopilot is a far better alternative in terms of reaching that coveted Level 5 Autonomy. This despite the fact that comparing the two, Waymo and Tesla, is pretty much like comparing apples and oranges in that they neither use similar technology (because Musk hates LiDAR), nor cater to the same market (for the time being, because Musk is also interested in robo-taxis).

“Waymo is impressive, but a highly specialized solution,” the outspoken CEO offered. “The Tesla approach is a general solution. The latest build is capable of zero intervention drives. Will release limited beta in a few weeks.”

It didn’t take long for Waymo to shoot a response, along with photos of a warning to passengers not to touch the wheel of the Chrysler Pacificas it’s using for the program. Teslas, as you might have heard, require the driver to keep his hands on the wheel even when Autopilot mode is engaged.

Still, this reply wouldn’t hold a candle to the subtle but probably painful burn from Waymo CEO John Krafcik. “Truly autonomous driving machines have warning labels aligned with their capabilities. We're confident in the Waymo Driver,” he wrote, also on Twitter. Unlike Tesla and its Autopilot, is what you should mentally add to that.

Tech people, they’re just kids bragging about their toys at the park, except on social media.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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