- Vivek Wadhwa once called himself a friend of Musk and a fan of Tesla, but he sees things differently now.
- The contractor says he feels burned by Musk’s self-driving claims.
- Wadhwa loves his Tesla, but he says he will never buy another one again.
This narrated essay is based on a conversation with Vivek Wadhwa, an entrepreneur and writer known for his thoughts on all things technology. His lyrics have been edited for length and clarity.
Elon Musk actually convinced me to buy a Tesla.
I met him about 10 years ago at an event at Fox Studios, where I interviewed him on stage.
Before that, we had a drink and I said, “Tell me the craziest thing you’re going to do.”
He said, “I’m going to retire on Mars.”
That’s how we started talking. He sounded dead serious and I was blown away by that.
I stayed in contact with him. When The New York Times was continually reporting on himI defended him in the Washington Post, calling me a “Tesla fanboy”. He approved my first book and we encountered the same social circles.
I called him a friend. Maybe he wouldn’t call me one, but I did. I will always call him the greatest innovator of our time. I think so, but I’m more critical now.
I was one of the first to have the autopilot
I was also one of the first to get the Tesla Model S. When I saw this improved autopilot video in 2016 I was told I needed to upgrade to get fully autonomous driving. So I literally bought a new car. I sold my old one and bought a new one. I wrote about this too.
I started having my doubts when my car first crashed in my garage while using Summon mode.
Then once when I was being interviewed by “The PBS News Hour“While driving, the car nearly crashed on autopilot while I was on El Camino Real. If I hadn’t braked hard, this might have been the first autopilot crash on film. really shaken up.
Since then, my wife and kids basically said, “Dad, don’t use this when you’re driving.”
I used to put the car on autopilot when we were on the freeway and they would start complaining. There was a time when I just put it on autopilot and assumed it would work just fine. But now there is no way.
I always use autopilot when I’m on the highway, but I’m careful. I do not believe it. I don’t use it on windy roads. I don’t use it on roads I don’t know. I use it like you would use any basic speed controller.
I feel like I was tricked
This standalone software looks dangerous. I don’t think cameras are enough. Elon made a Bad Decision For stop using radar in his cars, and now it feels like the car is partially blind and doesn’t have enough data now to be able to see what’s going on.
Elon doesn’t want to admit it. He keeps saying “any day now, any day now”, but he’s been autonomous driving has been promising for years. I don’t think FSD will ever be what it said it would be.
I’m supposed to have FSD. I bought it, but it is do not update early versions cars. Tesla won’t upgrade my car – they just ignore me.
The first generation of people who jumped on board with FSD were completely ignored. I feel like I was duped. I want my money back. The current price of FSD is $15,000. They could pay me $15,000 and I’d stop complaining. I would join a class action lawsuit in the blink of an eye, without a second thought.
I love my Tesla, but I will never buy another one.
I’ve had three Teslas and it’s still the only car I drive. I love it. My Tesla is a spaceship on wheels. He can practically fly. It’s as quiet as a mouse and it handles like nothing else.
It’s still a nice car. But my next car will not be a Tesla. There is no way.
I have no complaints about the car itself. The complaint is that I didn’t get the Full Self-Driving I was promised when upgrading my car. And in addition, the service is not as advertised.
The first year I was optimistic, but every year I lose confidence because really nothing has improved. There are very minor improvements here and there, but it’s exactly the same as when I first got it.
I’ve been waiting six years for this car to drive itself and I know it will never happen.
Elon Musk did not respond to Insider’s request for comment before publication.
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