The future had never looked so retro as it did at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, when Siemen’s unleashed an autonomous version of the iconic 1965 Ford Mustang. Representing the first autonomous vehicle to attempt the festival’s legendary hillclimb, the tech-fitted Mustang got off to a fairly rocky start before sailing smoothly into the history books. It was all to help celebrate Goodwood’s 25th year anniversary, and perhaps provide an unexpected glimpse of what potentially lies in wait for consumers. After all, the future doesn’t always have to look futuristic, especially when there are so many terrific vintage cars out there.
Created in partnership with Cranfield University, this extraordinary project emanates with intention. For starters, it tells us that forging ahead in these hyperactive times doesn’t necessarily mean severing ties with the past. Along similar lines, the customised ‘Stang invokes a palpable sense of humanity, despite its technological underpinnings. That said, the design does incorporate some discernibly modern flourishes, such as a series of 1s and 0s spread across the aqua blue paint stripes, among other things.
Striving for the utmost tier in autonomous control, Siemens’ engineers equipped the vehicle with advanced location scanning technology from Bentley Systems. As mentioned, the car did nevertheless experience some problems before completing the climb, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. What’s important is that classic rides are kept alive, even if (human) driving itself goes extinct.