One of the key design figures within luxury car brand Bentley has spoken of the sort of ideas he'd like to see in the self-driving car of the future, enhancements that include a personalised holographic butler akin to Siri to issue useful directions to the nearest motorway service station with adequate toilet facilities.
Speaking to Car and Driver, Bentley's design director Stefan Sielaff made the mad claim the the company has always been selling autonomous cars -- because its rich owners sit in the back seat wrestling with prostitutes while their staff driver does the driving. All that's new would be that the driver of the future might be an algorithm bought in from Google, not a stoic East European with a mind to keeping things to himself.
"We have had the equivalent of autonomous cars for the last 100 years in Bentley, from the point of view of the rear seat passenger who had a driver," Sielaff said, adding: "The way of living is going to change dramatically in the next 20 years. If you look at the world population, three quarters will live in megacities. I’m pretty sure that not everybody will sit in public transport, there is always the demand -- especially for luxury customers -- to have a private sphere, their own private vehicle."
Other future innovations that might make luxury cars still worth buying include a "fast-lane club" where autonomous vehicles convoy themselves up to drive faster (much like the lorry trial that's on the cards for the UK), plus the millennials-done-good that will be the Bentley buyers of the future are apparently less keen on leather trim -- preferring more environmentally sensitive internal coatings inside their trappings. [Car and Driver via Mashable]