A sports superstar becomes first celebrity to embrace self-driving cars


NBA champion LeBron James has promoted a wide-assortment of products over the years. Everything from Sprite to Nikes to Kias have been sold with James' stamp of approval, but his latest commercial might leave you scratching your head.

That's because most car companies, including Tesla and Mercedes, do not market its self-driving technologies, despite selling vehicles that can pilot themselves in certain situations. In fact, Mercedes pulled an ad for its E-Class model a year ago after hearing complaints the commercial misled the public about its autonomous capabilities, according to Business Insider.

So, in effort to get more consumers familiar with autonomous driving tech, Intel has enlisted Mr. James to star in its new commercial titled "Fearless." Intel seemingly would have more flexibility airing such a commercial since it doesn't sell self-driving cars yet.

Nevertheless, the commercial begins with James walking towards the road when a white sedan pulls up. When one of the men walking with James tells the NBA star that's his car, James bends over, looks inside, and says, "Nope."

After expressing concern about the car not having a driver, James' associates assure him the car is safe. James then reluctantly squeezes into the back seat and takes a ride around the block. As the commercial progresses, James becomes more comfortable and records a video of the car steering itself before telling his friends, "Hey, yo, I'm keeping this."

The reason that Intel hired James to star in such a commercial could be to put customers at ease with the tech, according to the New York Post.

In case you didn't already know, Intel bought autonomous-driving company Mobileye for a reported $15.3 billion earlier this year, so its banking on autonomous driving technology to deliver big returns in the not too distant future.

However, before Intel releases any self-driving products, the company will attempt to build more trust with the public through additional research, testing, and studies, according to Fortune.

In the meantime, we get to watch LeBron ride around in car that looks very similar to a Kia Cadenza.