On the surface, the rise of the autonomous car might appear to render human drivers a little superfluous in the development process. The reality of course is very different.
If you think about it, we’re at a fascinating historical junction. The whole history of the car, from the industrial revolution to the present has been driven by the desire to extend people’s mobility. That concept is deeply anchored in place – so much so that it’s now taken for granted. The extension of mobility is no longer the sole selling point to new buyers.
So how do you engineer a brand feel when the car is partially or fully autonomous? It’s safe to say this is something the car manufacturers are already looking into. Historically manufacturers have anchored their brand identity on the way their vehicles drive, so the advent of autonomous car will either displace that paradigm or morph it into something new. It may be that our perception of brand identity will be different in future, but the human being will still be at the center of things.