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Cadillac chief airs fears of Google’s self-driving car 'nightmare'


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

October 22, 2015 | 2 min read

The head of Cadillac has voiced fears that self-driving cars - such as Google and Apple's projects - risk taking "all the fun and joy out of driving".

Enthusing that there is more to driving than just traveling from one point to another, Cadillac chief executive Johan de Nysschen said car automation can enhance the safety of journeys - but its important not to take all the control away from drivers.

Speaking out against the "nightmare scenario" where "a robot transports us from one point to the next" at an industry event earlier this week, Nysschen said: “Autonomous driving and driving passion must co-exist, we’re after a balance."

In front of a screen showing Google’s bubble-shaped AI car, Nysschen added: “Many of the autonomous solutions being explored today seem to emphasize the pure utility of individual mobility, essentially reducing the experience, in my opinion, to a mind-numbing journey from A to B.”

He concluded: “Goodness, you might as well take the bus."

Cadillac is looking to implement AI to “eliminate the tedious parts [of driving], such as stop-and-go-traffic”. The company remains intent on ensuring its automobiles are operated by a human.

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