Porsche is developing autonomous tech, but the firm's IT boss vows owners will be able to drive them for a long time to come
Jimi Beckwith
27 November 2017

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.”

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Comments
9

27 November 2017

How do you download dynamic headlights? Surely what is meant is that they'll be fitted to all cars and then cynically disabled so that you have to buy the software to activated them. 

27 November 2017
Leslie Brook wrote:

How do you download dynamic headlights? Surely what is meant is that they'll be fitted to all cars and then cynically disabled so that you have to buy the software to activated them. 

 

Spot on, but something Tesla has been doing with certain battery pack sizes and other features such as their autopilot system.

27 November 2017

ICE have been doing this for ages, why do you think the manufacturers have been trying to get the EU to making chipping illegal.

Example Ford 1.0 triple same engine but with 100 or 125hp all controlled by ECU software.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

27 November 2017

So in future, our sports cars will drive us to the track, drive us around the track, then drive us home.  That sounds like fun.  Can't imagine why people are buying up analogues cars while they still can with this excitement in store for us.

This sounds like desperate marketing drivel from a company that knows they are finished once driver involvement is eliminated.

28 November 2017
oaffie wrote:

So in future, our sports cars will drive us to the track, drive us around the track, then drive us home.  That sounds like fun.  Can't imagine why people are buying up analogues cars while they still can with this excitement in store for us.

This sounds like desperate marketing drivel from a company that knows they are finished once driver involvement is eliminated.

Those analogue cars will just be forbiden, because they are too dangerous or something ridiculous like that, you'll see.

No manual - no fun

27 November 2017

People rent music. It makes perfect sense if you only want to listen to a song once. So why not rent a power upgrade if you only visit a track once a year?

Why not appreciate the options soon-to-be on offer?

The ony drivel is the negative comments on here week in week out. There's plenty of classic car magazines if progress turns you off. 

And to suggest Porsche knows they are finished is like saying Real Madrid or Barcelona are finished once Ronaldo or Messi leaves. The best institutions move with the times.

27 November 2017

So you are looking for driver engagement.  Do you jump into an MX-5 with a gearstick?  Good lord no!  You press the Mark Webber button and sit back.  For even more engagement, buy the VR set and do it all on your sofa.

27 November 2017

Is Porsche really predicting a time when new cars won’t be available with steering wheels. Quite where that will leave their future, I don’t know. And, if that truly is what governments’ intend, what a bleak prospect for driving enthusiasts.

27 November 2017

Another non headline - we all know that there will always be a market for cars that people want to drive, even when driverless cars are common.

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