Audi Thinks Self-Driving Cars Could Kill Domestic Flights

Technology / 16 Comments

Pro: No more TSA to deal with at airports.

One of Audi's top dogs sees a very, very interesting automotive future. Sven Schuwirth, the automaker's vice president of brand strategy and digital business, spoke to design website Dezeen about autonomous cars. The German automaker isn't the biggest fish in the self-driving sea but it has been working steadily on the tech. Remember the RS7 Piloted Driving concept that ran hot laps? Or what about the A7 that drove itself from San Francisco to Las Vegas? Hell, there's even an R8 that can drive without human aid!


While Audi doesn't gobble up self-driving headlines like Google, it's still a big player in the field. As such Schuwirth's words carry weight, and he had a lot to say regarding the future of cars and autonomous driving. "In the future you will not need a business hotel or a domestic flight," Schuwirth said. "We can disrupt the entire business of domestic flights." When asked how far away such a future was, he said 20 years. As the purpose of cars change, the Audi man sees the design of them changing accordingly. Cars that drive themselves offer added functionality, with the interior and its ability to morph possibly taking precedence over the exterior design. "Today's cars are shaped to be only an emotional piece and to be very comfortable and safe," he said.

So in an autonomous world, if cars do not have accidents any more, the cars do not have have a small amount of glass, a lot of metal, a lot of bumpers and all that stuff. It could be a bit more transparent." Shuwirth did say that he envisions these cars having a steering wheel should you want to drive, which is the equivalent of throwing a starving driving enthusiast a bone instead of the entire drumstick. While this all sounds very relaxing it's a bit disturbing for those who enjoy driving. Hopefully those who call the shots, like Shuwirth, will remember that some folks want to steer, shift, accelerate and brake on their own. All that being said, being able to nap in bumper to bumper traffic would be damn awesome.

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