We reported a few weeks again that despite the much anticipated Alfa Romeo Giulia being billed as a pure driver’s car—especially in 505-horsepower, twin-turbo, stick-shift Quadrifogliospec. Alfa Romeo hopes to have Tesla Autopilot-style semi-autonomous tech available as an option on the upcoming sport saloon.
The rumour seems to have been confirmed this week, speaking with magazine Autocar, Alfa Romeo boss Harald Wester makes a pretty compelling case for how semi-autonomous tech could make old-fashioned driving more enjoyable.
“I am absolutely convinced that once fully autonomous vehicles are established, the more people will appreciate driving on a road free of traffic and enjoy driving their car again,” Wester told Autocar. “Then it will be as important as ever to produce a car which elicits a huge amount of driving emotions.”
“We have been asked several times whether such technology is in contrast with a brand like Alfa Romeo. I think the opposite is correct,” Wester said. “We all know the situation
Perhaps that’s a few years off, though: Wester told Autocar that full autonomous technology won’t be available in Fiat Chrysler products until 2024 at the earliest. That sounds like a realistically conservative timeline, with the semi-autonomous tech currently under development for the Giulia serving as a stepping stone towards true autonomous operation.
Alfa Romeo enthusiasts will baulk at the idea, but in a world of ever more traffic congestion and a need to compete with the likes of Mercedes, Tesla etc the Italian carmaker has little choice in the real world.