When the age of autonomy comes to Porsche, the company is set to have an intriguing option for buyers to experience: a racing driver that can take over when you hit the track.
Imagine this: It's 2020 and you own the latest Porsche model, which features some handy autonomous driving technology. You go to a race-track to try your hand at some serious driving, but realise that you're not as quick as you thought. How about getting Mark Webber to show you how its done?
Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO, thinks that could be a typical interpretation of how the German sports car brand might integrate autonomous vehicle technology into its cars and give the company a point of difference to its competitive set.
"We are thinking at Porsche that when you go on a race-track, it's an opportunity to use an app where, for example, Mark Webber drives you on the track and you see how to brake, where to accelerate, the perfect line to cross the track," Blume said. "Afterwards you can drive by yourself, match it and learn: 'Mark Webber brakes here, accelerates there'.
"At the end you can match it with your own driving abilities. You might say at the end, 'oh, Mark Webber is 10 seconds faster than me - why?'. Then you can go into details: later braking, accelerating, better racing line," Blume said.
"That's a very typical app for autonomous driving - it can make you a better driver, it's a safe learning system, and I think these options have a very good worth for our customers," he said.
It won't just be instructional, not a virtual trainer but more of a hands-on, or hands-off, experience, with the owner in the driver's seat and the car doing the acceleration, braking, steering and all the controls. That, and the sort of stuff you'll use day-to-day: active cruise control with an auto-pilot function that can take the toil out of traffic.
"You're sitting there, in the car, and the car is driving for you - like Mark Webber. That might be a very important option: but the most important thing for Porsche drivers is always to drive," Blume said.
When could we see it? Probably after 2020, when the majority of brands are stating that they will have autonomous vehicles as part of their model ranges. One thing's for sure: it'd be a pretty neat party trick.