In what is probably an entirely unsurprising turn of events, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has now officially voiced its support of the Coalition for Future Mobility (CFM). The logic behind the move is fairly straightforward since the CFM is one of the leading proponents of self-driving vehicles in the U.S. and publicity surrounding accidents caused by drunk drivers is bad news for the WSWA. If individuals who have been drinking are able to seatbelt into a driverless vehicle then the chances of an accident occurring drop significantly. That remains true whether the initial push for the autonomous vehicle industry centers around personal vehicles, taxis, or both. Moreover, the scenario only gets better, the more advanced those vehicles become, as some of those will undoubtedly not even feature any controls for a human driver to manipulate. In the long run, self-driving cars feasibly stand to offer a total solution to the safety concerns caused drunk drivers.
A spokesman of the WSWA, Jeff Solsby, says that the organization more generally views it as just one more method by which road safety can be improved. That's actually one of the leading reasons that companies and governments around the world are embracing the technology. Aside from drunk drivers, people are generally just not that good at maintaining high levels of concentration while driving. The problem has grown worse over the past several years as smartphones have become more and more of a distraction to people behind the wheel. Meanwhile, technology attached to cars themselves has moved in the same direction and poses a genuine threat to road safety. If implemented correctly, autonomous vehicles could save hundreds or thousands of lives every year. That's not accounting for less-serious injuries or loss of property associated with accidents.
For those who may not be aware, the WSWA is an industry representative conglomerate which provides a voice to more than 360 alcohol-related companies across the U.S. While that may make its motives appear self-servicing, this move may just be the extra push the autonomous vehicle industry needs to convince the general public that the tech is worth pursuing.