One more automaker is putting the brakes on any autonomous driving in its future. And that’s Porsche. The company says Porsche customers just aren’t interested in it – or at least they aren’t right now.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says its customers will always want to be in control of the wheel. He made the comments in an article published in the German newspaper Westfalen-Blatt.
“One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself,” Blume said, according to a translation by Reuters. “An iPhone belongs in your pocket, not on the road.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean Porsche isn’t interested in technology. It’s still very much into modernizing with plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles on the way. The first Porsche plug-in 911 is due as early as 2018. The all-electric Mission E will enter the lineup by the end of the decade.
Porsche isn’t the only automaker that feels its customers would prefer to remain in control at all times. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently told LeftLaneNews that the Raging Bull will not follow other high-end brands into the segment, arguing that its customers also have a “willingness to drive the car.” Lamborghini is part of the Volkswagen group.
Jaguar Land Rover R&D head Wolfgang Epple has also said “we don’t consider customers cargo.” However, Tuesday, the automaker announced plans to test a number of technologies on public roads in the UK. Those include vehicle-to-vehicle communications and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. So we’ll see where that goes.
According to Boston Consulting Group, the number of self-driving vehicles on the road should reach 13 percent by 2025. Automakers including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Tesla, Ford and Kia currently have self-driving technology or are in the process of developing it.
Federal transportation safety regulators are all for autonomous tech, saying it will reduce accidents since most are caused by human error.