Jaguar’s R&D head, Wolfgang Epple, has said both Jaguar and Land Rover brands will never succumb to offering self-driving cars. The German gave his Winston Churchill like defiant rebuff at a recent JLR press conference.“We don’t consider customers cargo. We don’t want to build a robot that delivers the cargo from A to B,” said Epple.
Epple did confirm that JLR is work on autonomous features which assists the driving experience. Land Rover recently demonstrated its new remote control function that allows the driver to control the vehicle using a smartphone whether inside or outside the cockpit.
Tesla’s Elon Musk sees the future differently, the CEO wants lawmakers to ban people from driving in the believe that autonomous driving technology will become so advanced that physically driving a car will become redundant.
Epple again disagrees with Musk’s vision “People want to use the emotional side of the brain and autonomous driving does not generate that experience,” he said.
Conversely premium luxury brand Mercedes wants to be ready when the age of autonomous driving finally becomes mainstream.
At the launch of the driver-less Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept at the CES Show in January Daimler’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche said “Cars will turn into mobile homes in the very best sense of the word. They will be exclusive cocoons on wheels that enable people to do exactly what they want or need to do. This is the redefinition of automotive luxury.”
The era of fully autonomous cars is another 5 to 10 years away, when it does happen Jaguar & Land Rover will not want to be left behind because ultimately consumer demand, cold hard cash, will define when the new driver-less era begins.