Sit back, relax and enjoy the drive

Nicolas Perrin

I am on a train taking me from Bordeaux to Nantes in France. A five-hour journey. I listen to music, work on my laptop, respond to e-mails, even work on some coding for our website How relaxing and convenient! I nearly took my car but decided to leave it at the station instead and take the train. I just couldn’t be asked to drive for hours in this summer heat without the possibility to do some work or communicate with others on my way. I cannot wait for the future of autonomous cars. Combining the comfort of train journeys with the convenience of using my own vehicle. It will be a gamechanger and I will be an early adopter.

Don’t get me wrong though, I like driving, I used to race when I was young and obviously having been a race engineer in Formula 1, I am tuned in to the pleasure of pushing your car around fast, flowing roads, but more and more I’m liking the comfort of being transported from A to B using a service as opposed to doing it all by myself. Call it old age if you like, but in my opinion, this is what quality of life is all about.

It is interesting to see the technological developments of electric and autonomous cars these days. I feel very much part of this ongoing development through Project 424 as we aim with PERRINN to excite a new generation of engineers with our car that, as our recent simulations suggest, will be capable of beating a currently held lap records on Formula 1 tracks around the world. I want to go all-in with electric power.

I love electric drive for cars, too. And I love the integration of more software in cars through intelligent autonomous systems. It is like seeing two completely different industries, the hardware and the software finally meeting in order to create robust, seamless, efficient and safe products that will transport us around. I was even thinking that people may become so attached to their autonomous cars that they might embark into futuristic road trips travelling thousands of miles for a few months to visit the world using their own car. How cool and relaxing would that be?!

Today though, I’m traveling in the same transport medium as 300 other people and cannot really choose my departure time. As we witness in many aspects of our daily life, software is providing more granularity and finer control of the machines around us. Greater levels of software integration is fast approaching into our cars. And electricity will power us around in a silent, clean environment for our collective benefit as well as our children and grandchildren. I cannot wait to see our world of tomorrow!