Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizes Waymo’s autonomous tech on Twitter

Tesla CEO thinks rival's tech is 'fragile' because of its reliance on maps

Elon Musk doesn’t think Waymo’s driverless cars have the right stuff.

The Tesla CEO took to Twitter to criticize his Google-owned competitor’s autonomous driving technology as it announced plans to deploy vehicles without backup safety drivers across its Phoenix-area ride-hailing service.

Waymo uses Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids and Jaguar I-Pace electric utility vehicles equipped with its self-driving technology. (Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“We are worried about our ability to meet demand with the capabilities of the vehicle we have right now,” CEO John Krafcik said in a conference call with reporters to discuss the temporary test.

Waymo has been developing its Waymo Driver system in a digitally-mapped 50-square-mile area around the Arizona city and plans to reintroduce the drivers in a few weeks as it expands the coverage area.


Waymo CEO John Krafcik highlighted the news with his own tweet that included photos of labels in the cars that warn the drivers to keep their hands off the wheel and let the computers do the work.

Responding to a follower who called Waymo’s system “fragile” because of its reliance on maps, Musk responded that "our new system is capable of driving in locations we never seen even once.”

Musk was referring to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system, which is an $8,000 option on the company’s models, but doesn’t yet live up to the name. Its functionality is currently limited to some assisted highway driving and the ability to self-drive a car at low speeds through parking lots to pick up an owner using a smartphone app.

Musk, however, reiterated a previous promise that more advanced capabilities will be added before the end of this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.