Porsche says it doesn’t plan to ditch pedals and steering wheels from its future models, no matter how advanced their autonomous driving systems may be.
While attending Rennsport Reunion VI last year, Porsche North America chief executive Klaus Zellmer told Motor Authority that the automaker’s self-driving technology won’t always be active.
“All these assistance systems help you in certain traffic situations to give away some of the burden of driving, and there are certain traffic situations where it’s just not enjoyable.
“Our take rates for (adaptive) cruise control are just as high as any other car brand, and that’s why in certain traffic situations, our customers will want that car to take them home without engaging personally,” Zellmer said.
“Our plan is to always have the steering wheel and always have the pedals and potentially to even have the manual gearbox to really engage with the car and to do it all yourself.”
The most advanced road-legal Porsche to date, the all-electric Taycan, is just around the corner and expected to feature the marque’s most advanced self-driving system. Details are scarce as to what functions the car will be able to control by itself, but we don’t expect something as advanced as the Audi A8’s Level 3 autonomous drive mode. Instead, most of the Taycan’s self-driving tech will be implemented solely to improve safety.
One rather controversial autonomous system which Porsche does offer is InnoDrive. The system uses GPS data to determine the characteristics of an upcoming corner and determine the appropriate cornering speed, leaving the driver solely in control of the steering wheel. Thankfully, this program can be easily switched off.
It remains to be seen if Porsche intends on building a vehicle with Level 5 autonomous functions. However, even if it does, it’s a relief to know us humans will still be able to take over when we feel like it. After all, why buy a Porsche in the first place if all it does is just ferry you around and doesn’t provide any thrills?