While other manufacturers aim to one day replace the steering wheel and pedals entirely with self-driving technology, Porsche is vowing to keep the human inputs in its cars for as long as it can.
Speaking to Motor Authority at September's Rennsport Reunion VI, Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer said that the company's products will always feature a steering wheel, pedals, and perhaps even a manual transmission even when autonomous technology is good enough to do it all itself.
"All these assistance systems help you in certain traffic situations to give away some of the burdens of driving, and there are certain traffic situations where it’s just not enjoyable," Zellmer told the publication. "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. But, our customers always want it all. They want the possibility to use autonomous drive mode but they want to really engage with the car as well."
General Motors announced the existence of the Cruise AV earlier this year, a so-called self-driving car with no steering wheel or pedals. A living room on wheels, of sorts.
While we're immensely glad that Porsche won't ditch human driving anytime soon (this site called The Drive, after all), the news doesn't come as particularly surprising given the company's long-time unique selling point of superb driving experiences. Luxury car purchases are inherently irrational and Porsche, it seems, knows this.