There are many people who believe that with the advent of automated cars, drunk driving will decrease. After all, it seems relatively logical that if the car is being driven by a computer rather than an intoxicated human, this would prevent drunk driving.
However, many people are not as optimistic. According to Forbes Magazine, many experts believe that automated driving will actually increase rather than decrease drunk driving.
How will automation increase drunk driving?
One reason many believe that automated cars may lead to an increase in alcohol-related accidents is that automation may lure many drivers into a false sense of security. The reality is that fully automated cars are still a very long way off. Many cars are starting to come with an automated option, but the assumption is that the human driver will be able to take over if necessary. If the car’s AI is “assuming” that the human is a capable driver, this could potentially lead to catastrophe if the human in the car is too drunk to operate the vehicle.
Additionally, at lower levels of automation, an intoxicated driver may feel confident that his or her impaired skills will be “corrected” by the presence of automation technology, since the car will alert the driver if they are weaving out of lane or otherwise behaving erratically. A driver who might have otherwise taken a cab home may try to drive.
Will breathalyzers help?
Some lawmakers are beginning to suggest that all cars come equipped with breathalyzers if there is an automation feature. even if the courts deem automatic breathalyzer installation too intrusive, facial recognition software or speech recognition software may be able to detect intoxication.