Yes, it’s happening: automated vehicles are coming round the bend.
After some 130 years of stalling, side swiping and reversing into pedestrians, humans have finally figured out how to produce cars that will drive us home for a change. And on the eve of this giant leap for mankind, Australian experts are sticking up their hands and asking the pertinent questions: like, does this mean we can have a few more beers at the pub now?
Well, yes – if the National Transport Commission (NTC) gets its way, it means we can have as many beers as we bloody well want.
The independent advisory board has expressed the view that anyone under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol should still be allowed to commandeer a driverless car. Their logic being that the cars are driverless, obviously, and so can’t really be ‘driven under the influence’ per se.
In a discussion paper released last week, members of the board suggest that expecting occupants of self-driving vehicles to comply with drink-driving laws “would create a barrier to using a vehicle to safely drive home after drinking. Enabling people to use an automated vehicle to drive them home despite having consumed alcohol has the potential to improve road safety outcomes by reducing the incidence of drink-driving.”
The NTC points out that “The situation is analogous to a person instructing a taxi driver where to go.” It does also acknowledge the risk of a drunk or munted passenger seizing control of the vehicle mid-trip, however – which, while still being possible in a taxi, Uber or even a night-bus, would be met with far less resistance in a driverless car.
Between our pissed drivers and our unpredictable kangaroos, automated vehicles in Australia are looking to be an absolute shitshow.
Source: The Guardian
Feature image: Travelola
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