While the technological feasibility of driverless cars may be just around the corner, there are quite a few hurdles between that and market adoption.
Earlier this week, the chief executive of Porsche suggested that his company has no interest in anything but humans driving a Porsche and has no interest in working with any technology company to make anything but that happen.
I wrote about that here a few days ago (Driverless Car? Forget About It. Porsche Says Keep That iPhone In Your Pocket), and based on many readers’ reactions, his comment hit quite a nerve.
The many thoughtful comments were hardly all of one view so I thought it worth sharing some, slightly edited for brevity.
There were those in favor of driverless cars, such as Michael: “I have no doubt that someday in the future, statistics will bear out that driverless cars are dramatically less apt to get into crashes than human controlled. Driverless cars are coming, and, no doubt, driver cars will either become illegal or more expensive in terms of insurance.”
And others had opposite viewpoints, such as Mark: “How do you turn over the control of a 5,000-pound vehicle, with your family or friends on board, to an inanimate pile of plastic, routed to control center that could be hacked by just about any devious person who just would like to see how many cars he can crash? Who has the insurance liabilities, the car? The GPS builder? The server company?”
And then there were those who expressed a bit of skepticism about driverless cars happening at all in the foreseeable future, such as this comment from Chuck: “This is like the video and multimedia hype was to the narrowband dial-up internet of the late 1990s. And we all know where that went.”
And a bit more skepticism from Mark: “The road from Vegas to Reno is 440 miles. Would a driverless car come in handy there? The temptation is there, but what kind of technical infrastructure has to be in place to support that 440 miles? Heck, you can't even get cell service for half the ride. I'm way too old school, and if they outlaw my 1955 Studebaker Conestoga wagon, they will have to pry the steering wheel out of my cold dead hands.”
There was also some debate about one viewpoint over another. “I’m afraid your concerns come across as more emotional and less rational,” stated one.
And there were viewpoints about the specific views of Porsche CEO Oliver Blume.
Those also came down on sides. Here are three:
“Oliver Blume's statement may not be right, but it's right for his brand.”
“A Salute to Mr. Blume, he’s a car guy.”
“Mr. Blume is shockingly wrong-headed about his market.”
Driverless cars aren’t here yet. But the controversies await.
Are you for driverless cars? What are your concerns?