The Prancing Horse CEO says no to autonomous driving tech.
Tesla launched its controversial Full Self-Driving Beta this week. At this stage, the so-called self-driving technology is classified as Level 2 autonomy meaning the driver still needs to have their hands on the wheel and be ready to take back control at all times. But one day it will pave the way for hands-free Level 5 autonomous systems that completely take over driving duties.
Some taxi companies are even preparing to trial autonomous ride-hailing services this year. This will make commuting in crowded cities more convenient. But adding technology that removes the exhilaration, enjoyment, and engagement of sports and supercars makes no sense whatsoever. Enter Ferrari.
Thankfully, the Italian brand has made it clear its supercars won't be fitted with self-driving technology. Not now, not ever. As reported by Automotive News, Stellantis Chairman John Elkann, who is also the chairman of Ferrari, confirmed that Ferrari won't be joining the self-driving bandwagon at a conference during the Italian Tech Week, where he was joined by Elon Musk in a video feed.
“That would be sad to have a Ferrari autonomous car,” Elkann said. “The essence of having a Ferrari is to drive it.” Even Elon Musk, who is a strong supporter of self-driving technology, agreed that a fully autonomous Ferrari would be sacrilegious.
“It's on the logo,” said Musk, alluding to the fact that some people still like to get around on stallions even though cars have replaced horses as the primary mode of transport. His comment attracted applause from the crowd in Milan. So no, don't worry driving purists – the successor to the LaFerrari and Ferrari's first electric supercar won't be saddled with autonomous technology.
Is it possible to create a self-driving mode that appeals to enthusiasts? Porsche thinks so. For years, there have been rumors that Porsche is developing a “Mark Webber” mode for autonomous cars allowing gearheads to hone their track driving skills by demonstrating the optimum braking points and racing lines. Give Ferrari a few more years.