In the automotive world, it may seem that all the talk is about self-driving cars and their predicted eventual takeover of the world’s roadways. But one luxury carmaker is proving an old school holdout.
“An iPhone belongs in your pocket, not on the road,” said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume recently, referencing news that computer giant Apple, Inc. is developing an autonomous car and seeking secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area for testing. The Silicon Valley company joins Mercedes, BMW, Tesla and Google in furthering the trend, expected to take hold on the roadways in a major way by 2020. But don’t expect to see Porsche jumping on the bandwagon anytime soon.
“One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself,” Blume recently told a German newspaper. And he has a point. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center on mainstream acceptance of technological advances showed that half of respondents have no interest in riding in an autonomous vehicle. College graduates are a bit more keen on the idea than are high school grads, with 59 percent of college grads saying they’re game, and 62 percent of those with high school diplomas or less say “no, thanks.” Fifty-two percent of urbanites and 51 percent of suburban dwellers are up for it, compared to just 36 percent of rural residents.
Apparently, there’s just no substitute for the feel of revving up the engine and speeding down the highway the old school way. Still, one can’t call Porsche isn’t exactly the stodgy old guy of the automotive world. The company plans to put an all-electric Tesla competitor dubbed the Mission E on the road by 2020 and will release a plug-in hybrid of the 911 model with a range of 31 miles as early as 2018.
What do you think? Are you saving up for a self-driver, or would you rather keep the power in your own hands? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.