If it’s not electric vehicles, the industry at large is talking about autonomous vehicles and mobility. It’s become the latest round of buzzwords you hear around auto show floors, press releases and more. Except, Cadillac has charted a course in a different direction.
Yesterday, we reported Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen, said the brand he oversees will not pursue fully autonomous cars. Instead, he stated the following:
For us, driving is a very immersive experience. The notion of removing the driver from that is foreign to us. It’s not what Cadillac stands for. We are not into making transportation modules. We’ll leave that to someone else.
This dwelled on us, and we felt it was a great time to receive readership input on the topic. Is Cadillac making a smart move by distancing itself from fully autonomous cars, or is it setting itself up to be left behind?
Let’s tackle what the entire industry is doing, and that is investing in autonomous vehicle technology. Even General Motors has taken leaps by acquiring Cruise Automation to help spearhead its efforts. In the luxury space, for better or for worse regarding the safety of its system, Tesla has emerged as somewhat of a leader when it comes to self-driving cars. It’s not a perfect system, but the technology is in place.
That’s important because Tesla has opened up a new field of luxury; self-driving cars bring the luxury of not having to be responsible for driving at all. Passengers then have the luxury of enjoying their coffee, checking their phone and even enjoying the scenery while the car does the hard work. To many, that’s luxurious.
However, Cadillac could be positioning itself to embrace a major brand differentiator, the so-called “immersive experience” de Nysschen speaks of. Cadillac will not be the disconnected machines of tomorrow, instead oozing passion and well-engineered driving characteristics.
It’s bold, and very forward thinking. Cadillac’s customer of today surely isn’t concerned very much with the joys of driving. Despite what its ads will show, late twenty-somethings are not buying a 2017 Cadillac CT6. Instead, it’s the of-age boomer with cash to spend. Does that consumer want an engaging ride? Or, are they looking for a new luxury of autonomy? That’s something we don’t know just yet.
Even if Cadillac is chasing the millennials, they’re not incredibly keen on driving to begin with. But, again, Cadillac could be carving an incredibly important niche if it continues to surround itself with aspirational driving pleasure.
That’s all we have to say for now, which means it’s time for you to sound off. Is Cadillac’s cold shoulder to autonomous driving a good move? Or should it follow the crowd? Vote in our poll and do talk to us in the comment section.