Self-driving car sex while in a moving car raises questions about legality and safety, but the only thing stopping some people from doing it, apparently, was the presence of a driver.
As of several weeks ago, robotaxis can operate in San Francisco 24/7. Previously, these autonomous vehicles (AV) could only operate in the city during nighttime hours — 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. — without a safety permit. Now the self-driving car companies Waymo and Cruise can shuttle busy passengers at all hours of the day.
According to an article in The San Francisco Standard, some customers aren't just literally busy; they're also, uh, getting busy. The Standard spoke to numerous people who have claimed to have sex in robotaxis, specifically Cruise, not Waymo. While these people's names were changed, the Standard confirmed these rides happened through receipts.
Alex and Megan, a couple who spoke to the Standard, said that the ride wasn't exactly comfortable, but it was thrilling. "The fact that we were out and about in public, the whole taboo of it being kind of wrong made it more fun and exciting," Megan told the Standard.
Is sex allowed in robotaxis? Waymo and Cruise didn't comment on that explicitly to the Standard, and their respective rules don't mention it specifically. In Cruise's Community Rules, there are bullet points about respectful behavior in the AV, including not engaging activities that are "disrespectful, offensive, or inappropriate toward others" in and outside the vehicle. There are also rules about cleanliness and noise control — but nothing overtly about sex.
Waymo's Rules also call for passengers to be respectful of the car and to keep it clean as well, but there's no mention of sex either. Smoking and vaping aren't allowed in either Waymo or Cruise cars, and Waymo specifically forbids alcohol. As AVs are so new, regulations are still ambiguous and subject to change.
While self-driving car sex isn't against the rules, per se, passenger activity is surveilled inside the car. There are cameras inside (and outside) Waymo and Cruise vehicles. Both companies say they are for safety and maintenance purposes, but the chances of your sexscapade getting recorded are high. Also, the windows aren't tinted, so those outside the car are likely to catch a glimpse, too.
The Standard cited a 2019 article about autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism, saying that sex and sex work inside these cars will be a growing phenomenon. The article even predicts that AVs will replace "hotels by the hour," and they'll be monitored to prevent sex and drug use inside of them.