What If An Autonomous McLaren Could Teach You How To Drive Fast?

Illustration for article titled What If An Autonomous McLaren Could Teach You How To Drive Fast?

McLaren’s Design Director Frank Stephenson believes the future holds shapeshifting chameleon cars and robots that can teach their drivers how to drive on a track without killing themselves.

Car companies usually only talk about what’s coming in the five years or so, but designers have to be looking at the future of the car industry from a wider perspective.

In Blackbird’s ‘Ten Years Later’ movie, Frank Stephenson talks about the possibility of nuclear-powered cars following the principle of submarines, hydrogen as a more likely solution that’s already here and how above all, he believes the cars will ‘stay on the ground with four wheels, forever’.


Stephenson also mentions shapeshifting metals as the next logical step following active aerodynamics, color-changing bodies at a push of a button and interiors that will entertain us better than ever.

Interesting to say the least, but for now, I just want that 562hp rear-wheel drive thing Robert Melville came up with under his guidance.

Photo credit: Jalopnik


Contact the author at mate@jalopnik.com.

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Seems to me that the dirty little secret here is that we already have partially autonomous cars...

Think about it- is there any possible way you could drive a 1200 HP car on the streets, with traffic, without having a fairly major part of that car’s power being controlled by computers? Sure, you have the illusion of freedom, and if you stand on the accelerator you will get yourself in trouble in a hurry, but to keep it under control the rest of the time takes a butt-load of computing power interpreting what you are asking and finding the best way to do it, keeping your inexperience from killing you.

To get an idea of what I’m talking about, listen to this Bill Cosby routine about a car with maybe only 600hp (an HP amount available in stock, right off the showroom floor cars today)

You aren’t driving a Veyron or a Diablo or any other supercar- it’s driving you and you’re just telling it where you think it should go.

If you took all the computers out of a modern supercar, you’d quickly find out how good a driver you actually are... Or more likely end up like the second owner of Cosby’s supercar.