Q: When we talk about autonomous driving, what do you say to people who don't want machines driving for them, who want to drive their own cars? What do you do with the holdouts?
A: We love them. We love the holdouts because our point of view is that it's fun to drive. If the traffic's not too bad, and if you're not in a rush, and the weather's good, there's nothing like driving a car to make you feel good. We believe that fun to drive is a core value for Toyota, and that's from our president on down. Of course, he's a race car driver and loves to drive, and I actually feel the same way.
When you're in a good car, at a good time, and the weather is good and all of that, the car feels like an extension of your body, and you become this multi-hundred horsepower beast that can just swerve around and do what you want to do. It's an exhilarating feeling. So our attitude is we want to make cars more fun to drive as well as safer to drive, as well as more convenient to drive, as well as more accessible to drive. If things are so bad, for instance, if you are blind and you want the freedom that a car gives you to get from point A to point B, the car will have to drive for you because you can't see. You can still enjoy going for a drive in the car, but you're not really the driver. But if you have the ability to drive and the desire to drive, we want to make that experience better and safer.
In an interview with Automotive News Dallas bureau chief Laurence Iliff at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival in June