When asked in an interview with Bloomberg which company is most likely to spearhead the next major technological breakthroughs, the tech icon responded that Tesla (TSLA) is moving in the “best direction” because it “put an awful lot of effort into very risky things,” such as electric and self-driving cars, ahead of the competition.
“I’m going to bet on Tesla,” he said. “They start with a car, the Tesla Model S, that made little sense in engineering terms, in how much you have to build for what price and what the market will be. But it fit one person's ideal of this will be the most beautiful, you know, a very beautiful, elegant and simple device to use."
Wozniak added that the key to Tesla’s success was its CEO Elon Musk’s determination to focus on building products for his own life, without letting outsiders undermine his vision, however wacky they may at first appear to be. This type of mentality, he claimed, is pivotal when introducing the most groundbreaking new technology. (See also: Tesla's Solar Roof Tiles Sold Out 'Well Into 2018.)
“Knowing what you want in life and being in control of it,” he said, describing Musk's strategy. “Not letting others get every little aspect in. That’s where you get the best products.”
“Everybody Needs Transportation”
Wozniak’s admiration of Tesla mostly stems from the company’s breakthroughs in developing efficient transportation systems, which he believes is currently the biggest moonshot in Silicon Valley.
After discussing the exciting development of artificial intelligence (AI), and the possibility that these advanced computer systems might one day be tasked with running companies, he claimed that AI is currently best being used in the auto industry.
“We’ve got artificial intelligence in driving cars,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest, most obvious moonshot because everyone knows it is probably going to be very successful in changing our lives hugely. And so many companies, almost every car manufacturer in the world, is secretly running self-driving cars in the background. In my mind, we are not far off where a car will be sold with no steering wheel. As Ford (F) has said, something like 2022 or 2025.”
Wozniak also praised Musk's idea to bore holes underground to eliminate traffic problems in big cities and Hyperloop technology. By offering faster traveling speeds than airlines, Wozniak reckons that Hyperloop will one day revolutionize how people move around the country. (See also: 3 Highlights From Elon Musk's Ted Talk.)