Regardless of your feelings about them, self-driving cars are on their way to the mainstream market. Some, like Tesla, are already on the roads! These cars will undoubtedly make driving more safe and convenient. However, the changes self-driving cars bring will eventually fundamentally change how we drive…and drink.
That was not a typo. Self-driving cars are expected to cause a measurable uptick in the amount of alcohol that people consume, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. This shift is not entirely unexpected, particularly if you look at the how the relationship between transportation and alcohol has changed throughout history.
When the automobile was first invented, many people hesitated to make the transition from horse to mechanized-buggy. Surprisingly, the reasoning behind this hesitation often did not stem from a worry about the safety of the car, but rather that they would have to change their drinking habits accordingly. As we all know, you can’t drink and drive. However, in days past it was very common to drink and ride. If you became too inebriated to direct your horse, that was fine–the horse knows its way home and would deliver you right at your front door. The automobile changed all of that. That was win the relationship between transportation and alcohol became far more adversarial.
Of course, we are seeing the pendulum swing back now with ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. An increasing number of people now leave their car at home and have someone else drive them to and from the bar. If you extrapolate that out, it makes sense that as self-driving cars become more viable, people will begin to use them as they onced used horses–a way to get back home safely after a long night of drinking.
Alcohol has been an intrinsic part of human existence for thousands of years, but the relationship society has with it has been in constant flux. Just as laws changed to adapt to vehicles, so too will they change to adapt to self-driving vehicles. The one thing that is guaranteed to stay the same? Hangovers. Remember to stock up on Intelligent Drinking’s LAUNCH, so you can have a productive day, no matter how unproductive the night.