Because humans cannot be trusted not to get it on at every possible opportunity, Canadian feds tasked with governing the safety of self-driving vehicles are worried that driverless cars will lead to more road sex, which could be hugely dangerous.
But isn't the point of autonomous cars that you can do other important things on the road, like eat your breakfast burrito, without having to worry about actually driving the car? Well, yes, eventually. But automated driver technology as it exists for purchase today is not intended for human drivers to literally f*ck off while their cars autopilot. Rather, the autopilot feature on makes like Volvo, Mercedes, and Infiniti is intended for humans to be doing most of the driving, and the autopilot feature to kick in in a case of human error (like failing to brake in time).
Tesla cars are more autonomous when self-driving in the futuristic, hands-free-burrito-consumption sense, but even those cars recommend having a driver behind the wheel and attentive at all times, in case the vehicle needs a human to take over, which does happen.
"I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars," Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence told CBC News. "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.'"
And that's a terrifying prospect. In a briefing compiled by investigating federal officials for the Canadian Transportation Minister, it's noted that people are simply too comfortable with and trusting of the technology behind driverless cars: "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."
The problem is that the completely autonomous self-driving technology people are dreaming of already exists, but with some serious bugs that still need to be worked out. So drivers are under the mistaken impression that all self-driving cars will perform flawlessly, even though the technology isn't quite there yet.
In an interview, Kirk said,
These cars will have enough artificial intelligence to deal with any and every eventuality. In fact, some of the concept cars are already out there have the front seats turned around so occupants can face each other. You can talk, have a meal, or you can have sex. Those cars are being designed with a whole different lifestyle inside the vehicle.
He even suggested makers of autonomous cars would start selling "car curtains" for backseat privacy. Cue "Siri, roll up the partition, please" parodies.