Jaguar Land Rover's head of R&D, Wolfgang Epple, said the company will never, ever make a driverless vehicle.
Epple has said, during a press event, that “We don’t consider customers cargo. We don’t want to build a robot that delivers the cargo from A to B”, Automotive News reports (opens in new tab).
This reminds me of the time when automatic transmission finally made it to the mainstream. It was, as people back then said it (and some still do), something that completely kills off the enjoyment of driving. Hell, if you can’t switch from fourth back to the third gear while entering a curve, to hear the engine roar as the force pulls you one way, and the car another, you might as well be driven in a hearse.
Epple also commented on Elon Musk’s recent observation that human driving will most likely be banned in some 20 years. “I don't believe it will be forbidden,” Epple told Automotive News Europe. “The reason is that lawmakers are human beings.”
“People want to use the emotional side of the brain and autonomous driving does not generate that experience,” Epple said. However, that doesn’t mean Jaguar Land Rover won’t have some autonomous features in its vehicles. The company simply wants humans in control.
Although this probably is music to any car loving man’s / woman’s ears, it might also be a new form of marketing, as we enter an age where computers in cars is normal.
But I still wouldn’t speak in absolutes, if I were Epple. Never say never!