A professor Audi dubbed an “innovation expert” may not have the highest opinion of America’s big players in autonomous car tech, but he’s right about one thing: the Google car just ain’t a looker. And now, through the miracle of German humor, it has a nickname it won’t be losing anytime soon.

Prof. Ulrich Weinberg, the expert in question here, half-complimented American manufacturers’ willingness to venture into new markets and half-said they didn’t really know what they were doing when he spoke with Audi board member Rupert Stadler.

From a conversation transcribed in Audi’s 2014 annual report, as quoted by The Verge, and emphasis mine:

WEINBERG: For me, Google and Tesla are above all about displaying courage. Courage to venture into areas in which they are definitely not experts. I see the Google Car as nothing more than a prototype. No German automotive manufacturer would ever have dared to show such an ugly potato in public.

STADLER: Well, you said that (laughs).

The shade, it burns! But he’s not wrong about the Google car. It’s a very silly looking Cozy Coupe-like conveyance that’s apparently not serious enough for ze Germans.


Maybe if Google painted it red and yellow like a real Cozy Coupe, I wouldn’t shudder at the thought of riding in it. If you’re going to thumb your nose at Germans with no chill, go all the way.