Autonomous cars are inevitable, but Aston Martin's CEO says the industry's short-term future is electric.
One of the star attractions of the Canadian International Auto Show is the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 hypercar. Speaking at the show, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer took the opportunity to discuss the future direction of his company and the rise of autonomous driving tech. He also talked about a self-driving Lagonda. With advances in technology and huge investments from car companies, TechCrunch reports that Palmer acknowledged it's "no longer a question of if, but when" autonomous cars will infiltrate the market."
This will eventually lead to the launch of a self-driving Aston Martin Lagonda, but don't despair just yet. The manufacturer has no plans to abandon the luxury performance car market. Palmer affirmed that "full autonomy is unlikely to be a near-term goal for a luxury sports car manufacturer," since it's still a long way away. Speaking to the Toronto Star, Palmer said that autonomous cars contradict the ethos of a sports car company. "We're a driver's car, so we're not in a rush to go driverless," he said. Several issues have also made him hesitant to build self-driving cars. Palmer called for car companies to have a full understanding of the technology and its related security and safety risks "before we beta test our customers."
On the other hand, the CEO is pleased with the progress made with electric cars. He cited Volkswagen's efforts to rebrand itself as an electric car maker following the Dieselgate scandal and how that represents the future direction of the auto industry, as opposed to hydrogen power. However, he predicts that only 25% of car sales will be electric by 2020-2025, so the gasoline engine is far from dead.