When Cars Do the Driving, Who Will Feel the Joy?

Dave Marek knows exactly what he wants to hear from potential buyers.

“It’s my 10 second rule,” said Mr. Marek, who as Acura’s executive creative director oversees the carmaker’s designs around the world. “I want them to walk around our car and say: ‘Wow! I want to ride in that!’”

But what happens to that passion when the driver’s only role is to sit passively as an autonomous car glides through traffic and zips down highways?

“Whether they’re autonomous or not, we will always want our creations to evoke emotion,” said Mr. Marek, also a part-time professor of transportation design at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

Not everyone shares his optimism. Cars have long been more than mere machines, and some drivers ask: Do autonomous cars risk being anonymous? At what level of automation could car enthusiasts become unenthusiastic?

18. Juni 2018

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