Porsche sports cars will remain human-driven when desired for as long as it's legal, the company's head of finance and IT, Lutz Meschke, has claimed.
In an interview released by the brand, Meschke affirms Porsche’s position on drivers’ ability to choose whether they drive or are driven by the car, with the brand aiming to be one of the last to offer cars with a steering wheel.
Driverless technology naturally features in Porsche’s future strategy, however, with driver assistance and convenience systems such as traffic jam assists and parking pilots taking control when the driver wishes.
Meschke also detailed how autonomous technology can further drivers’ engagement with their car, with the ‘Mark Webber function’. This drives the car around a track in the style of a racing driver, demonstrating perfect lines and braking timings.
“We see digitalisation and autonomous driving not as a threat but as a tremendous opportunity,” says Meschke.
This opportunity will be capitalised upon in the mid-term, as Porsche plans to make at least 10% of its business from digital services, with on-demand car-sharing schemes near the top of the list. Another example of this is Porsche’s ‘Porsche Shield’ on-demand track insurance, already available to customers in Germany.
The brand is also dallying with over-the-air and on-demand software updates for its cars in the future, in line with its Volkswagen Group stablemates, says Meschke: “ it would be possible to combine modules from the area of autonomous driving individually. Imagine that you could use a software update to download a few more horsepower over-the-air at short notice if you want to head to the race track on the weekend – or dynamic headlights if you are headed for a long night drive.”
Porsche is open to working with outside firms to make this happen, said Meschke, explaining that in order for these digital ops to be profitable, “we don’t always have to own all the resources.”