Rolls-Royce On Semi-Autonomous Driving

Following the press days at the New York Internal Auto Show, the New York Times provides a summary of semi-autonomous driving features announced during the event. Audi, Cadillac, and Volvo, among others, showcased a number of assisted driving features that allow drivers to partially “disengage” themselves from actively piloting their vehicles. Such features are particularly interesting during highway or traffic driving situations. What is more interesting, is a certain BMW Group Company’s take on the matter:

Rolls-Royce, which had cars at the show with prices topping $350,000, could easily have integrated the existing semi-autonomous features of the most advanced Mercedes S-Class, Audi or Volvo, and its buyers could easily afford them. But Gerry Spahn, a Rolls-Royce spokesman, said the company had no plans to offer such self-driving features. The Rolls lineup includes multiple sensors, infrared scanners and even a visual head-up display to feed information to the driver, he said, but the company intends to keep such sensor technology largely operating in the background. “Our customers don’t want a bunch of things beeping or buzzing at them,” Mr. Spahn said. “They’re not spending this kind of money to be told how to drive, or to sit at the wheel but have the car do the work. They want to keep the control themselves over that experience.” When Rolls buyers do not feel like doing the driving, they often have another option. “Most customers already have an autonomous driver,” he said. “It’s called a chauffeur.”
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