Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley have just exchanged smackdown tweets over the past 24 hours that thousands of people have characterized as Twitter gold.
At issue: Hands-free driving.
The competition for dominance is under scrutiny by consumers, industry analysts and shareholders. Billions of dollars are at stake.
Tesla has been a technology leader and other companies are rushing to catch up, including Ford. Yet Tesla has also been in the news lately for federal crash investigations in Michigan and Florida to determine the role of driver-assist technology.
On Wednesday, Ford unveiled video showing highway testing of its Blue Cruise technology soon to be featured in already-sold Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150s.
Farley tweeted at 9:22 a.m. to his 32,000 followers, "BlueCruise! We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to."
While some read the tweet as a straight-forward alert that Ford testing is happening and the technology is coming soon, Tesla fans saw Farley throwing shade at Tesla.
"Ford CEO Jim Farley took a jab at Tesla's use of real-world owners to test its Full Self-Driving suite, while revealing its own BlueCruise," tweeted @Teslarati to its 422,700 followers at 6:30 p.m.
Teslarati describes itself online as a "California-based multi-platform media company and leading lifestyle brand with a focus on Tesla, SpaceX, and ventures affiliated with Elon Musk."
More than 10,000 Twitter users fueled debate into Thursday, including Musk.