As carmakers move towards greater levels of autonomy, Mazda UK’s managing director has said there’s still a place for people who love driving.
“Yes, self-driving cars are coming and yes, they have a role to play, but for us, there is nothing quite like the physical pleasure of driving,” said Mazda UK’s MD, Jeremy Thomson. “The quickening of the pulse, the racing of the heart, the open road, the special moments to treasure and share.”
It comes as the manufacturer reveals the results of a survey which found that less than a third (29 percent) of European drivers welcome the arrival of autonomous vehicles. A whopping 71 percent, meanwhile, say they’d still want to drive even with self-driving technology available.
Mazda says that it does believe autonomous driving technology has a place, but as a co-pilot, available when required to avoid crashes. The driver, it believes, should be in control of the driving process.
Surprisingly, the research also revealed that 62 percent of UK drivers admit to driving ‘just for fun’, while 70 percent hope that future generations will continue to have the option to drive cars.
Thomson added: “If you look at the car industry in general, we believe that many manufacturers are taking a lot of driving pleasure away from drivers. At Mazda we are fighting against this and it’s clear from the research that there’s still a huge percentage of drivers who just want to be behind the wheel.
“In a world that questions the act of driving and devalues the role of the car and the role of the driver through technological changes, we will continue to challenge convention for the love of driving”.