While the world waits for driverless cars to go mainstream, one expert worries that they'll enable dangerous road sex.
“Once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars,” Barrie Kirk, co-founder and executive director of the advocacy group Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, told CBC News on Monday.
Even if Kirk was being glib, his prediction makes sense. When your car drives itself, you're free to do pretty much whatever you want. And though it's likely to be years before the first fully autonomous cars become available, manufacturers are beginning to outfit new cars with limited self-driving features. These vehicles are only partly autonomous and need a human to take the wheel at certain times. Having sex in such a car would be extremely perilous.
Distracted driving is responsible for eight deaths and over 1,000 injuries a day in the United States. Fully driverless cars are expected to reduce crashes, but semi-autonomous vehicles could lure people into a false sense of security, convincing them it's okay to pay less attention to the road.
Tesla's semi-autonomous Model S and Model X cars, for example, are designed only to help drivers park and stay in their lanes on the highway. They're not meant to cruise the roads unassisted. If drivers are wrapped up in other activities, like having sex or reading, they might be slow to grab the wheel or hit the brakes during an emergency.
Sex, Kirk told the CBC, is "one of several things people will do which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, 'Take over.'"
How likely is it that people will try to have sex in autonomous or semi-autonomous cars? Well, they're already doing it in regular cars. One in six say they've had some kind of sexual experience behind the wheel, according to Bustle. It stands to reason that people will try to get it on in cars that drive themselves, too.
It should go without saying that no one should ever have sex behind the wheel of a moving car, but we're going to say it anyway: Do not do this. Seriously.