The future is here! Or at least it’s probably not too far away if we are to believe the ambitious plans of the Government to position the UK as a leader in the field of driverless cars.
While the technology in these vehicles is undeniably clever, bringing us a step closer to the kind of future predicted in numerous Hollywood blockbusters, many people are now quite rightly starting to ask some searching questions on issues such as the safety of these vehicles.
And who can blame them when we see huge corporates such as Sony being the victims of computer hacking. Thankfully in the case of Sony, the worst thing that happened was some embarrassment and damage to their reputation. But what would happen to the likes of you and me if our driverless car was hacked in transit or even simply needed a software update mid-journey as my PC tries to do on a regular basis when I’m half way through drafting a document?
However, aside from the debates about the technology or safety of driverless cars, automotive companies should start to consider the impact further deskilling will have on the car buying public. There’s already plenty of evidence to support that drivers have become far too removed from the workings of their vehicles. Countless surveys show that few young drivers know how to perform even the most basic of routine maintenance tasks.
As we move even further down the automated highway, deskilling is likely to only get worse, with drivers becoming even more removed from the workings of their car and perhaps even forgetting what a pleasurable experience driving can be. Automotive technology is likely to be convergent and we’ll see even greater levels of platform sharing than we do already.
So perhaps the real challenge for car makers is not how to make driverless cars work, but how do they convince buyers that they need them, or how their model is better or different from a competitor’s. What an exciting challenge this is and we look forward to helping our automotive clients overcome these challenges with some genuine strategic solutions that help shape the future of the industry.
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