The German car manufacturer admits it will be hard to design their automated vehicles to be as arrogant and ill-mannered as their flesh and blood drivers have always been.
“We’re hesitant about launching a driverless car that might treat other road users with consideration and courtesy”, admits board member Hans Fesch. “There’s a very real danger of damaging the brand”.
The company’s customers have also admitted they’d be reluctant to let their cars self-drive systems take over if they’re “going to drive like wimps, slowing down to let Fords and Toyotas out at junctions”, as one of them put it.
Software engineers at the BMW laboratory have been trying to build the required levels of arrogance and smugness into their robotic software, but without much success. “We feel there are certain elements of the human spirit that no computer can reproduce”, says technician Robert Krenz.”Just look at your everyday BMW driver, charging up the bus lane at 60mph while bellowing orders into his mobile to a terrified secretary back at the office – how do you write a program to match that?”