The race to produce the first production autonomous supercars is well and truly on, as many doomsayers mourn the passing of true driving – missed gearshifts and terrible lines around corners – Supercar manufacturers and their highly specialised engineers are more excited than ever. Why? ….
…. because they will at last see their cars perform at the maximum. Currently they resign themselves to the fact that the people who buy these ultimate performance vehicles are unable to exploit the full potential of the car.
As Peter Stevens is quoted as saying “There are many supercars, but not many super drivers”
Far from autonomous cars reducing us all to the lowest common denominator commuter speeds, the real benefit is for ‘B’ road experiences like never before.
With autonomous control, owners will choose their preferred setting, not suspension stiffness but style of driving, clicking the dial to their driver of choice, from Alonso all the way to the Max …… Verstappen.
Moving to autonomy has relieved the need for a steering wheel, and this reduction in production costs for right and left hand drive, has allowed other manufacturers to contemplate entering the supercar market, and niche brands to compete on more even terms. With steering wheels, pedals and gear shifts now being additional cost options for those who wish to pretend to be driving, the commercial benefits are clear.
So with autonomous supercars using all the latest sophisticated positioning and sensor technology, the passenger phrase “Slow down, you don’t know what’s around the corner” will at last be erased from the English language.