Self-Driving Beer Trucks. A Boon or Setback for Sober Driving?
Beer tends to make gatherings more fun, and it does the same to news articles. If Uber’s first self-driving truck delivery had been a load of Magic Bullet blenders or dog food, the articles would have been matter-of fact: a new age might or might not have dawned, in which truck deliveries can be made by self-driving vehicles in which people do nothing except, as in this case, practice their yoga.
But it was beer, so everyone paid attention. 50,000 cans of Budweiser made it from a Fort Collins brewery to Colorado Springs, 120 miles away.
So, is it good for drunk driving prevention to know that beer can be delivered without the need for a driver? At this point, we’ll say that, yes, it bodes well for road safety. Self-driving vehicles should reduce the death toll on the highways for one simple reason: autonomous cars and trucks can’t drive drunk.
True, it might become even easier to order a case of beer at home and have it dispatched by self-driving truck to your door, but if you drink it, you’ll probably have a self-driving car to take you wherever you have to go afterwards. So it all evens out.
The journey from one beer delivery to a road full of self-driving vehicles is a long one , so there’s no doubt that for the time being we’ll have drunk drivers to worry about, and other technology to rely on to prevent it: ignition interlocks, which prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. One day they may be obsolete, just as drivers might. But in the meantime, it’s imperative that states employ the devices to keep first-time drunk drivers from becoming repeat drunk drivers, and from causing lethal collisions on the road.
50,000 cans of beer made it, but every year 10,000 people don’t make it home, thanks to alcohol on our nation’s roads. Let’s use all the technology we can to prevent it – now and in the future.