As the great minds of the world ponder all the game-changing implications of a world featuring autonomous cars, along comes Barrie Kirk to say what we've all really been wondering about.
"I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars," Kirk, of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, told The Canadian Press on Monday.
"That's one of several things people will do," Kirk continued, "which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, 'Take over'."
Meanwhile, in other autonomous car news ...
Forget sex, let me sleep
A survey by whatcar.com reports that 26 per cent of British motorists would be comfortable taking a nap while being driven in a self-piloting vehicle.
Google cars in two accidents
Google reports that its self-driving prototypes were involved in two minor accidents in April, both in Palo Alto, Calif., one on April 7, the other on April 28. Neither accident, however, was initiated by the Google cars. In the first incident, another vehicle's mirror grazed the side of a Google Lexus RX 450h when it attempted a pass and, in the second, a vehicle travelling at about 15 km/h rear-ended a stopped Google "bubble car" – which was waiting for an opening in traffic to make a right turn.
Google, FCA join forces
Google has teamed up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to build a fleet of 100 self-driving minivans.
Google's autonomous technology will be integrated into 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans – which will be tested by Google's self-driving car team on its private test track in California.
"The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits," Sergio Marhionne, FCA's CEO, said in a statement released Tuesday.
Traffic isn't going anywhere
Contrary to the widely held belief that self-driving vehicles could ultimately eliminate traffic congestion, at least one transportation expert is saying the opposite.
"We could end up with a lot of cars on the road," AnnaLisa Meyboom, director of the Transportation Infrastructure and Public Space Lab research group at UBC, told CBC's The Early Edition on April 25. "You've all sorts of potential extra people on the road that don't currently drive, including kids, dogs and people who are blind."
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