Electric! Autonomous! Connected! Bloody silly!
In the future – in this case from 2040 onwards – you won’t be able to buy a Jaaaag. You will only be able to buy the steering wheel.
A Jaguar will exist, the Future-Type, but it will be an on-demand sort of experience. It is, say the Brummies, ‘A car for a world of autonomous, connected, electric, and shared mobility’, which gives us the handy acronym ACES. Although they could have gone further, with an autonomous, connected, electric, biodegradeable, intelligent, still-connected, universally integrated transport solution, or ACEBISCUITS.
I’m not making this up. They are. Sayer – the name they’ve given to the steering wheel, after the E-Type’s designer – is ‘the world’s first intelligent and connected steering wheel’, by which they mean connected to the internet. For the first time, it’s not necessarily connected to the car. It might be in your bedroom, or that cupboard under the stairs that always has a massive spuggie in it. It’s so much more than just a steering wheel, which is a bit last Wednesday. ‘It can summon your car, play music, book you a table, and even knows what’s in your fridge.’
Why does your steering wheel need to know what’s in your fridge? It doesn’t. But it can, because it’s presumeably a sort of tablet, but shaped like a steering wheel.
Jaguar – they’re mad, you know – go even further. The steering wheel becomes ‘your trusted companion’. This means it will be with you in the trenches. You can take it for walks as an excuse for getting out of the house and away from the other half. You could take it down the pub, and talk to it at length about what’s in the fridge. It will comfort you in lonely old age, for its love is unqualified. I wish they’d called it Malcolm, rather than Sayer.
Here’s how it might work in the real world of 2040. You need to be somewhere the next day, at a certain time. You simply tell your Malcolm, and it (he? she?) works out a route and the right departure time, and then when that time arrives, the rest of the Jaguar turns up at your door and off you go, autonomously. It’s a bit like an Uber. Except it can drive.