Autonomy is Right Around the Corner, Yet Car Companies are Doubling Down on Driving Fun

Cars that drive themselves are coming to a roadway near you. So why are automakers so focused on fun?

Can a Toyota Camry legitimately be described as fun to drive? Toyota thinks so, and expects this to come to pass when the redesigned 2018 Camry arrives later this year.

The next-generation Camry is built on Toyota’s new global vehicle architecture, designed from the ground up to improve driving dynamism. Chairman Akio Toyoda, himself a fan of taking the long way home, has decreed that Toyotas and Lexuses must be more than just high-quality, dependable, and efficient vehicles. They must spark emotion, they must be enjoyable to drive, and they must be aspirational rather than an appliance.

Toyota is not alone. Multiple automakers are flexing their engineering muscles in order to appeal to people for whom the journey is just as much fun as the destination. Clearly, if you are a driving enthusiast, now is a great, if disconcerting, time to be alive.

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What is Teen Driver Technology from General Motors?

For 2017, GM expands availability of its impressive new safe teen driving technology.

As a car-crazy kid raised during the 1970s on a steady diet of “The Rockford Files” and “Starsky and Hutch,” I could not wait to turn 16 and get my driver’s license.

Shortly thereafter, while trying to impress a girl with my fishtailing expertise on a snowy residential street, I planted my mother’s 1980 Buick Regal into a telephone pole. The girl sat in the middle of the velour bench seat between my buddy and me, and none of us were wearing seat belts.

Miraculously, none of us got hurt. My pride? That’s another story.

Today, as a father to four kids ranging in age from 6 to 19, I’ve shared this story (and many others) with my older daughters in the hopes that they won’t repeat my mistakes. And I’m thrilled that new vehicles are now equipped with technologies like Teen Driver from General Motors, even though I would have hated them when I was a new and reckless driver.

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