Monday, November 30, 2015

"People Are Going to Have a Lot of Sex in Driverless Cars"

Following up on yesterday's "Switzerland Begins Two-Year Trial of Driverless Buses" (plus money, art, glory and sex).

From Inverse:

We asked Google about it. They said that they have "no official position" on the looming highway bang boom.

It’s a truism: If you create a scenario in which two willing people share a space that offers even the illusion of privacy, they will do sex stuff to each other. Vehicles are not exempt from this principle. The Mile High Club, to cite the prime example, was founded in the early 1900s by pilot Lawrence Sperry, who created a precursor to the autopilot system and promptly bet both his and a lady friend’s life on it working. It did work and the next autopilot, the one set to drive our cars, will as well. That will free up time sure, but also our hands.
The inevitability of driverless car sex isn’t just a consequence of opportunity. It’s also a matter of tradition. In an essay in 1983’s Automobile and American CultureFord Motors historian David Lewis highlighted the early years of car sex, describing flappers consummating their lust in Model Ts and a risque postcard from the ‘30s that depicted a woman asking her driver to use “both hands.”
“If only the car would steer itself,” the driver replied.
This is to say that even lecherous, pre-WWII cartoonists realized that when autonomous cars materialize, so does autonomous car sex. There is no question about “if” — there are only questions about logistics.
How will this work?
People have sex in cars for all the same mundane or exceptional reasons they have sex anywhere else: It’s thrilling; there’s nothing better to do; they’re getting paid; they’re exhibitionists, or they’ve carved out a moment of privacy. The only difference here is that driverless cars will be in motion and, at least on highways, within sight of other cars. Presumably, the old euphemism, “parking,” will be replaced with a new one: “commuting.”
What sort of timeline are we talking?
That’s the big question. The guiding principle behind the Google driverless car is that the computer is benevolently in control — certain recent models even lack steering wheels. That being said, completely conking out in a post-coital interlude will remain illegal and inadvisable for the foreseeable future, if regulators have anything to do with it. (They have lots to do with it.)...MORE