It was the automotive breakup of 2016: Electric vehicle maker Tesla and Tier 1 tech supplier Mobileye parted ways in July in the wake of the highly publicized Tesla crash that killed a Florida man while the car had its semi-autonomous Autopilot system engaged.
The initial announcement of the breakup was polite enough. Then the blame game started -- a highly unusual spectacle in the world of outwardly cordial relations between automakers and suppliers.
After Tesla initially said Mobileye couldn't keep up with its pace of change and that the supplier had tried to block Tesla's efforts to develop advanced driver assistance systems in-house, Amnon Shashua had had enough.
The co-founder and chief technology officer of Mobileye stood up to Tesla's public attacks, countering that Tesla was "pushing the envelope in terms of safety" and asserting that Mobileye argued against Tesla's decision to allow its Autopilot system to offer hands-free driving.
Given Tesla's rabid fan base and skill at generating press for itself, Shashua deserves credit for sticking up for the little guy and for encouraging the measured adoption of complicated new technologies -- even his own.