Consumers, technological experts and government officials have all raised concerns about self-driving cars, varying from problems like hacking to motion sickness. Others grapple with the ethics that come into play when an accident is unavoidable and the computer will have to make a “decision” about how the crash will play out, and consequently, who (and how many people) are injured or killed.
An expert from the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence has now warned of another issue that will arise when computers are doing most, but not all, of the driving. Barrie Kirk, the company’s executive director, is warning there will be a lot of sex behind the wheel, and even though we call these cars “driverless” and “self-driving,” there will be a lot of instances when the human needs to jump in. While it would be easy to look up from your phone and grab the wheel, the same can’t be said if sex is your chosen driverless car pastime.
“I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars,” he told the Toronto Sun. “That’s one of several things people will do which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, ‘Take over.'”
Canadian federal officials have also reportedly raised concern about all forms of distracted driving in autonomous cars. In notes compiled for Transport Minister Marc Garneau, some have sought to bring attention to the issue, citing media reports of videos depicting Tesla drivers engaged in questionable practices while on the road.
“Drivers tend to overestimate the performance of automation and will naturally turn their focus away from the road when they turn on their auto-pilot,” said the note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
Driverless cars are set to be in 30 U.S. cities by the end of this year, but only time will tell if the U.S. sector will grow concerned about sex as a distracted driving problem as well.