How do you feel about self-driving cars? Auto mechanic students might be impressed by the autonomous technology being developed by automakers and various Silicon Valley companies. However, they also tend to be passionate about driving, and the idea of not being in control of their own vehicle might not sit well.
One car brand you likely won’t be seeing an autonomous version of is Porsche. Speaking to German media recently, the luxury auto giant’s CEO Oliver Blume stated simply, “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself.” Blume’s stance appears to make sense, considering many of his customers are auto enthusiasts who drive for pleasure. However, he appears to be fighting a lonely battle, with almost every other automaker—including many of Porsche’s main rivals—jumping enthusiastically aboard the self-driving bandwagon.
Aspiring auto mechanics would be wise to keep an eye on developments in the debate, which could define their future career.
Who’s On the Grid In The Self-Driving Car Race?
Despite Blume’s stance, the efforts of other automakers could see self-driving cars on the road by the time you start your auto mechanic career. Porsche rivals BMW and Mercedes are both hoping to release self-driving cars by 2020, and other automakers have similar targets.
Tech giants are also getting in on the act. While Blume stated that “An iPhone belongs in your pocket, not in your car,” Apple certainly doesn’t agree, with the company’s autonomous vehicle Project Titan reportedly slated for release in 2019. Google has also done heavily-publicized work in the area, and has spoken to Ford, GM, and Toyota about selling its technology. Speaking about these collaborations, Blume was equally dismissive, stating that “partnerships are generally not a bad idea if one’s own competencies are insufficient.”
Is Porsche Right? What Students Enrolled in Mechanics Courses Should Know
While Porsche stands alone against autonomous technology in the industry, public opinion seems to be behind the luxury carmaker. A recent survey by market research firm GfK showed that fully self-driving vehicles appealed to just 26 per cent of Canadians, with 29 per cent of respondents saying the idea would make them feel ‘powerless’, a particularly heavy opposition among older drivers.
Nonetheless, students taking mechanic courses will probably have noticed more and more cars on the market incorporating autonomous features, such as self-breaking and automatic emergency steering. Many think that automakers will eventually convince consumers to accept the technology by gradually introducing it to existing vehicles.
The Self-Driving Car Debate And Your Auto Mechanic Career
While self-driving cars will only comprise a small portion of the market initially, things could change quickly. Ford has stated that it is aiming to make sure its self-driving models will be affordable to everyone, rather than just a luxury option.
And while auto enthusiasts who agree with Blume will still be able to drive their own car for the foreseeable future, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gone as far as to predict that traditional cars will eventually be outlawed, with humans seen as too fallible to drive them.
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