Self-driving cars are going to make some things about living in this world easier.
(They are also going to cause a massive upheaval in the governance of our roads, as well as raise serious questions about the protection of private information and the safety of all involved. They will also rob us of the distinct joy of steering ourselves through empty city streets in the early a.m. hours, windows down, or the freedom to circle the block a few extra times for fear of arriving somewhere uncomfortably early.)
Many of those things are currently super illegal. But stripped of any responsibility to hold onto a wheel and make navigational decisions, there's nothing technically wrong with partaking in, say, a lot of alcohol.
We're not just wishfully thinking about this. Analysts from Morgan Stanley predict that self-driving cars will increase passenger boozing by an average of at least one more drink per week, what with all the extra hours before and during traveling that can be used for imbibing. That's worth a hefty $56 billion to the alcohol industry, according to Business Insider.
With self-driving cars, designated drivers won't exist. You won't have to hold back on a second glass of wine before leaving dinner. If laws adapt, you can bring your unfinished beer along for the ride. Uber started these trends, but imagine them in a car you actually own. Drunk driving rates should also decrease, since fewer people will be given the option to drive while drunk.
And this is just alcohol. Think about streaming potential—so much more time for award-winning TV, trashy TV, and middle-of-the-road TV, and if you're Ted Cruz, porn. A new era of drinking games to play while you drink in your car will begin. And then you'll be able to nap after drinking while still in your car. Plus, today's Uber driver could be tomorrow's Uber bartender. Maybe the inevitable technological takeover won't be so bad after all.