Audi's Chief Digital Officer Thinks Humans and Robots Can Coexist on the Road

According to the company’s Chief Digital Officer, Reinhard Fischer, human drivers and autonomous vehicles will share the road in the future.

“Our luxury buyers want status, and someone who spends $160,000 on an Audi R8 (610 hp/V-10 engine) wants to be able to drive it,” Fischer told journalists at the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable.

And although the R8’s fate is somewhat suspect, Fischer is sure that drivers will continue wanting to drive. That said, he still sees a market for AVs.

“If you live in Los Angeles, then, of course, autonomous cars are fantastic,” he told Wards Auto. “But I think automakers will build non-autonomous and autonomous cars to meet different customer wants and needs.”

This may seem like a given, but the future autonomous vehicles may depend on a world in which we aren’t allowed to drive ourselves. Without unpredictable humans on the road, making mistakes and failing to adhere to cold logic, the puzzle of AVs would be much simpler. Not to mention that cars could run in a train, like geese, to make them even more efficient, and traffic signals could be eliminated entirely.

Nevermind that that doesn’t account for pedestrians, cyclists, bad weather, jobs, or infrastructure costs. Still, automakers promise a world without on-road fatalities, which would be a big deal.

Audi, though, envisions a world in which autonomous vehicles have to continue dealing with imperfect humans for the foreseeable future.

[source: Wards Auto]

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