Ford CEO Takes a Jab at Tesla for Treating Customers Like Guinea Pigs

Ford Motor Company CEO, Jim Farley, has taken aim at Tesla via Twitter in promotion for its new hands-free driving technology.

By Michelle Jones

Scott Olson | Getty Images

This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has taken aim at Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in its promotion for its new hands-free driving technology. Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted on Thursday that the automaker is unlike Tesla because it tests its self-driving technology in the real world before releasing it to drivers.

Ford takes a jab at Tesla

Farley tweeted about BlueCruise, Ford's upcoming hands-free self-driving system for highways. He basically said Ford doesn't treat its drivers like guinea pigs like Tesla does.

CNBC notes that Tesla released a beta version of its Full-Self-Driving system to customers in October. Only some customers who buy the Full-Self-Driving option can try out the beta version of the software and the new features that will be added to it before all the bugs are fixed.

Tesla said it pushed out the full-self-driving beta to 2,000 drivers initially but then revoked access for certain drivers who allegedly weren't paying attention to the road while they were driving.

Tesla prepares to roll out final FSD version

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted earlier this month that they are "almost ready with FSD Beta V9.0." He added that the improvements are "massive, especially for weird corner cases & bad weather." Musk also said the system offers "pure vision, no radar."

Although the brand name of Tesla's Full-Self-Driving system suggests it is autonomous, it can't control a vehicle in all normal driving conditions. According to records obtained by CNBC and others, the automaker told the California Department of Motor Vehicles toward the end of last year that "neither Autopilot nor FSD Capability is an autonomous system."

Tesla has been criticized for its Autopilot and Full-Self-Driving brands because they overstate its vehicles' capability.

Ford prepares to release BlueCruise

Ford plans to release its BlueCruise system later this year on the 2021 Ford F-150 and the 2021 Mustang Mach-E. The automaker logged over 500,000 miles of test driving and fine-tuning. Ford's BlueCruise system doesn't have as many capabilities as Tesla's Full-Self-Driving system.

However, the automaker doesn't require drivers to keep touching the steering wheel to "check in." The system features cameras inside the vehicle that monitor where the driver's eyes are looking and whether they are paying attention to the road.

Ford also restricts the use of its BlueCruise systems to certain highways in Canada and the U.S. that have been mapped, while Tesla doesn't have any such restrictions.

Ford and Tesla are both parts of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.

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