Passengers are reportedly engaging in sexual activities in driverless taxis in San Francisco.

Passengers are reportedly engaging in sexual activities in driverless taxis in San Francisco.

The Rise of Robotaxi Romance: Love on the Open Road

Self-driving taxis

Imagine this: You’re cruising down the streets of San Francisco in a self-driving taxi, with no one in the front seat driving. The sensation of freedom and innovation fills the air. But for some passengers, these autonomous vehicles offer more than just transportation – they provide a chance for romance and adventure.

According to a recent report from The San Francisco Standard, riders have been using Cruise’s self-driving taxis to indulge in a little extra-curricular activity. Several individuals in the city admitted to fooling around or even having sex in one of Cruise’s robotaxis over the past few months. The publication granted the interviewees anonymity but referred to them with pseudonyms.

“It seems like I’m a trailblazer,” said Alex, one of the passengers interviewed. “It’s also fun to realize that this is like the first place you can do this in the country.” Alex revealed that he had engaged in sexual activities in robotaxis on three separate occasions – a testament to the allure of these cutting-edge vehicles.

Alex was not the only one captivated by the novelty. Megan, one of his partners in robotaxi sex, admitted that her encounter with Alex was her first time riding in an autonomous vehicle. Despite acknowledging that the experience was not the most comfortable or ideal, Megan found the taboo of engaging in public acts exhilarating and exciting.

Interestingly, the idea of passengers using robotaxis for sexual exploits is not entirely surprising. In 2018, a study published in the Annals of Tourism Research predicted that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) could replace hotels-by-the-hour, affecting urban tourism. The researchers suggested that private CAVs might even be utilized commercially, envisioning Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District “on the move.”

While Cruise and Waymo, another autonomous vehicle company, have been operating driverless vehicles in San Francisco since early 2022, the recent expansion of their services to offer fully driverless rides 24/7 has likely fueled the rise of these amorous adventures. Cruise currently operates around 300 vehicles during the night and 100 during the day, while Waymo has confirmed a fleet of 250 robotaxis in service.

Despite the excitement, it’s important to note that both Cruise and Waymo have security measures in place, including cameras and microphones inside and outside their self-driving vehicles. These features enhance safety and support for riders. Cruise utilizes videos from their vehicles for various purposes, such as customer support, safety, vehicle maintenance, security, operations, or if legally required. However, it is unclear how diligently these recordings are monitored.

It’s worth mentioning that such surveillance can be overcome or disabled, as implied by the researchers in their study. This raises questions about the potential for passengers to find creative ways around these systems. Nevertheless, both companies state that microphones are only active during rider support calls. Additionally, Cruise’s community rules explicitly prohibit illegal activities or inappropriate behavior during rides, and passengers are required to wear seatbelts.

Waymo declined to comment on this particular aspect, leaving room for speculation on their policies and approach towards such incidents. Cruise, on the other hand, emphasizes its commitment to enforcing their community rules and condemns any illegal or inappropriate behavior during rides.

While it may be tempting to partake in robotaxi romance, it is essential to remember that having sex in a vehicle within public view is considered inappropriate behavior, violating the guidelines set by Cruise and undoubtedly Waymo. So, although some passengers are defying the rules and letting their passions get the better of them, it won’t be long before these companies face the challenge of enforcing their regulations more rigorously.

The rise of robotaxi romance showcases the myriad ways in which technology is transforming the human experience. Moreover, it underlines the increasing importance of considering the social and ethical implications that arise from these technological advancements. As self-driving vehicles become more commonplace, they will undoubtedly continue to spark our imagination and curiosity, reshaping not only how we view transportation but also our expectations for romance and adventure on the open road.