Self-driving cars: Oh! What a feeling!

By Bhushan Salunke
The Devil’s Advocate, serving you a cocktail of humour, wit and sarcasm

When Uber recently sold its self-driving/autonomous car business to a start-up, the balloons went up for the future of the ambitious autonomous cars. It appears that the autonomous car idea is skidding and running off the road.

How did the autonomous cars idea even originate? Was any consumer survey done or even a straw poll taken to justify the need for such a requirement? Were car drivers banging on the doors of the Silicon Valley nerds, begging them on their knees, to design a robotic car? Or did the Silicon Valley nerds come up with this thought bubble while sipping organic vegan latte, sitting on their bean bags? Were they thinking, “We will build, they will come”?

Why would any person buy an expensive luxury car and hand over the steering wheel to a computer? What about the “Sheer driving pleasure” that BMW’s adverts have kept harping about since 1930s?

Here are a few things you will lose if you let silicon chips drive your car:

  • The excitement of stepping on the accelerator and feeling the adrenalin rush as you embrace the bends in the road, enjoying the exuberance of driving
  • Slowing down to ogle or wolf-whistle at an attractive girl. Your autonomous car will just zoom past her and deprive you of that perk
  • Road rage is every driver’s right. The right to get angry at another driver on the road, hurl abuses, flip the bird, honk or at the worst, attack the offender with a baseball bat, will all be taken away from you.
  • No more slowing down or “rubber-necking” while driving past a road accident scene
  • No more assisting a pretty woman, helplessly thumbing for a ride by the roadside because your autonomous car will just cruise past her
  • No more thrills in chasing and overtaking another driver, who just cut you off in traffic to get ahead of you

But there is one tempting reason to owning a self-driving car; namely, to have sex in it while it is on the move, thus adding another erotic dimension to the sex act, a topic not covered by the Kamasutra.

In fact, BMW released a teaser ad (since taken down), for its Vision iNext concept vehicle, promoting sex in their autonomous cars, with the tag line “Moments of Joy”.  Not entirely sure if BMW requires the copulating couple to wear their safety seat belts during the act or not.

Now, sex in the autonomous car has become a reality. Taylor Jackson, a porn star, performed the stunt with her boyfriend in the front seat of their Tesla car, while speeding down a highway and then uploaded the sex tape which immediately went viral on Porn Hub, prompting Elon Musk to tweet, “Turns out there’s more ways to use autopilot than we imagined”

Cars are known to be “chick magnets” and with the tantalizing prospect of passionate sex in an autonomous car, the best pick up line in a pub may turn out to be “Hey babe. Do you want to check out my autonomous car?”. Autonomous “pickup” utes will now justify why they are called pickups.

A study on “Autonomous Vehicles and the Future of Urban Tourism”, published recently in the Annals of Tourism Research by co-authors Scott Cohen and Debbie Hopkins, has found that self-driving cars could drive up the business of prostitution and the concept of “brothel-on-wheels”. The autonomous cars would be luxuriously appointed for a fast and furious sex romp and fine dining. This would have a devastating & disrupting effect on other industries such as hospitality, restaurants, hotels and motels which are used for one-night stands & romantic escapades, according to the study.

A hard road lies ahead for the autonomous cars in becoming a reality, though. But is there a pressing need for it? Will they succeed in navigating through the chaotic Indian streets? Are the poor people of the world clamouring for such a car or is this fad reserved just for a few elites? Will James Bond now chase his villains while making love to his girl in the back seat? The money poured into autonomous cars R&D could have produced cures for human cancers, a few times over. Autonomous cars are driving me up the wall, indeed. (pun intended)

Several big challenges still face the evolution of autonomous cars. Computers can malfunction at any time, causing accidents. I reboot my laptop every other day. The cars are not suitable for all road conditions, such as snow, ice, hail, fog, rain etc. Changes which need to be made to the road layout and traffic systems to accommodate autonomous vehicles will be extensive and expensive. Like all computer systems, their security can be compromised. Vulnerability to hacking could mean that private car data can be stolen, and cars could even be hijacked electronically. Job losses for driving professionals, such as truck, bus, taxi drivers etc will be drastic. With no driving practice, we may end up forgetting our driving skills and be vulnerable and helpless as an Indian housewife with no kaamwali, in a time of need.

Despite these lacunas, the one thing which may keep the autonomous car flame alive could be the opportunity for (car)nal pleasure in it.

The next time you see a bouncing autonomous car go past you, you’ll know why. Autonomous cars have given the phrases “sex drive” and “joy ride” entirely new meanings.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author

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