Rolls-Royce chooses chauffeurs over semi-autonomous technology, for now

Rolls-Royce is standing apart from the manufacturers pursuing driver assistance technology, at least until vehicles can operate completely without drivers.

The race for more and more semi-autonomous tech is on in the automotive business, but until driver intervention is unnecessary, Rolls-Royce is staying out of it. According to a recent article, Rolls-Royce is less interested in semi-autonomous tech because its vehicles are already driven by autonomous technology: professional chauffeurs!

The luxury marque feels that there is no urgent need for it to chase the same technology that other manufacturers are, because its customers have different needs and quite frankly lead lives that most people don’t.

Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös explained:

“It’s important to understand that not just many but all of our customers do have chauffeurs, if not permanently employed then somebody they can call and say, “Bring me to the opera tonight,” or “Drive me and my friends to the restaurant.” That is not a problem. And we will only bring autonomy into our cars if it is truly effortless.”

Despite the fact parent company BMW has been pursuing autonomous tech for some years, Rolls-Royce is not currently interested in jumping on the bandwagon.

“What would be the point, after all” asks Mr Müller-Ötvös, “…in paying a chauffeur to sit there while the car does most (but not all) of the driving?”

As we have mentioned this doesn’t mean that Rolls-Royce will never adopt new technology. No doubt if and when driverless cars really are proven to be safe, efficient and effective, Rolls-Royce will have a luxury offering on the market, but for chauffeurs will do just fine.

By Sam Butterworth

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