Lord Charles March Says Self-Driving Cars Will Make Automakers Irrelevant

Feb 04, 2015 09:00 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Lord Charles March, the renowned photographer who last week unveiled a new collection of work in a Manhattan gallery, isn't too excited about the prospect of his luxury car driving itself one day.

While consumers will want autonomous vehicles, driverless cars pose a "worry," he said in a recent Bloomberg interview. One of his concerns is that the joy in driving will be erased.

"It's a worry. Urban today kids don't pass their [driver's] test anymore. They're uninterested in that," March told Bloomberg. "In the future they'll just get a card, take a car, drive to the country.

"I worry that the joy, the mobility joy, has been taken away by the digital world. Car manufacturers feel it's a real concern that not so many people are taking their test any more. It's catastrophic."

Automakers might want at least to consider another one of March's warnings--that cars will no longer carry brand prestige as they become computers on wheels.

"The car companies will become irrelevant," he told Bloomberg. "Cars will just become a house for the software."

March, who was working with director Stanley Kubrick at the tender age of 16, has nearly equal passions for photography and fine automobiles. The draw of the car goes far beyond the practical, he said.

"What I'm trying to say is they're both, sometimes, very beautiful, and they do something really interesting: They actually move," March told Bloomberg. "I think it's that whole thing about freedom and being able to be on your own and have your music and your car.

"That's a gorgeous thing, that feeling of speed and nobility completely on your own steam. Everyone understands it."

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