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Do Carmakers Secretly Not Want Cars To Be Fully Autonomous?

Ken Laberteaux, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist for Toyota’s North American team studying future transportation speculated that driverless cars would lead to MORE urban sprawl and more pollution, as the potential for easier/more productive commutes and faster speeds on freeways (due to orderly congestion) is made possible.

I don’t know about that. Studies also show that people are moving closer to city centers overall. I’m not sure that there isn’t some anti-autonomous vehicle propaganda coming from Toyota. If you think about it, Toyota sells a lot of Camrys. It’s a pretty safe, middle-of-the-road car that says you just want a car you can rely on and get where you need to go. Style and performance mean little. So why wouldn’t those people eschew car ownership (or at least using their own car around town) altogether in favor of a for-hire autonomous vehicle? Think Uber, without the actual driver.

That concept could have serious ramifications for carmakers in the future.


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