Don’t Hold Your Breath for an Autonomous Corvette
Autonomous technology and self-driving cars are the wave of the future—even a panel of performance executives from Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet all agreed last week that such vehicles would be commonplace 20 years from now.
What they aren’t predicting, however, is the rise of driverless muscle cars.
“We probably as a group will be the last to adopt autonomous technology,” Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter said during Thursday’s “Horsepower Wars” business breakfast, earning enthusiastic applause from the automotive enthusiasts in the audience. “The whole purpose of our cars is to enjoy the driving experience, not to check out your email while you’re moving from one place to the other.”
Calling our current decade the “golden age of performance cars,” the executives did foresee more fuel-efficient engines and lighter-weight materials being incorporated into the muscle cars of tomorrow.
Still, the idea of an autonomous Corvette isn’t entirely without merit—even if your average Vette owner loves the driving experience, he or she may not savor the parallel parking experience. Or the circling-the-block-looking-for-an-open-meter experience. Those would be prime times to hop out of your self-driving Chevy and let the autopilot take over.
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So while it may be strange to contemplate, the idea of a self-driving Corvette could come to fruition in as little as 25 years or so.
Another sign of the times discussed at the event: the difficulty of keeping cars under wraps in the Internet Age. Juechter even complained that there are drones with cameras circling the GM proving grounds in Milford.
“We talk about arming our security guards with shotguns to take those things out as they come over the fence,” Juechter said, “but the neighbors wouldn’t like that.”
News Source: The Detroit News