BMW says au­ton­o­mous cars mustn’t side­line driv­ers

Auto Car (UK) - - NEWS -

BMWS WILL HAVE a steer­ing wheel and driver con­trols for the fore­see­able fu­ture – even when fully au­ton­o­mous, ac­cord­ing to Robert Ir­linger, boss of the firm’s i di­vi­sion.

Other car com­pa­nies, most no­tably Volk­swa­gen with its Sedric con­cept, view their ve­hi­cles of the fu­ture with­out any driver con­trols. How­ever, Ir­linger said BMW’S fo­cus will al­ways be on per­sonal mo­bil­ity and that it will con­tinue to build cars for driv­ers to en­joy.

“We are an emo­tional brand, so it is im­por­tant to us still to give the owner the op­por­tu­nity to drive their car,” said Ir­linger. “By giv­ing the driver the choice, then they can have the best of both worlds – the con­ve­nience of au­ton­omy when they want it or the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy the plea­sure of driv­ing when it suits them.

“This is not a de­ci­sion that has to im­pact on the com­fort of the cabin or de­tract in any way from ei­ther side of the equa­tion; we can have driver con­trols that are there when you want them and which can re­tract when they are not re­quired.”

Asked if he could ever imag­ine a BMW be­ing sold with­out driver con­trols, Ir­linger replied: “Maybe one day, but it is not our goal.

“As a com­pany, we are about per­sonal mo­bil­ity, not sell­ing robo­tised taxis. Maybe there will be spe­cific cir­cum­stances where that might change, but I can­not imag­ine them to­day.”

BMWS will re­tain a steer­ing wheel, even as au­to­ma­tion grows

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.