19 May 2013

Self-Driving Cars & Suburban Chain Restaurants

A couple months ago I was driving around suburban USA and noticed how many restaurants there are with the "hey, come drink with your buddies here" vibe, as well as just outright sports bars, that are accessible only by driving. This is completely obvious when immersed in it but since driving in the US is a rarity for me I just don't see it.

Most of these bars and restaurants are corporate chains. Why aren't they all-in on self-driving cars? I usually like driving so don't much see the appeal for self-driving cars other than in a cool, futuristic, sci-fi, obviously-we-have-to-invent-this way. (At worst, it's part of a trend to ensure there's never a moment in which we're not working.) But if your business depends on customers 100% transported by car, and your profits are strongly (or entirely) dependent on drink sales, anything that lets more of your customers drink more would be a huge boost.

This is more than moral support. These chains and whatever associations [ Loyal Order of Managers of Parking-Lot-Surrounded Sports Bars & Eateries?] should be funding self-driving car research. Once the designated driver is your car instead of your friend, these places can go crazy with the promos and forget all about the "drink responsibly" hypocrisy.

1 comment:

JustJoeP said...

Umerikuns love their freedumb. It is very likely that such chains are afraid of the bad publicity that freedumb luvers would see in trying to "take their keys away" or "funding big brother's communist take over of suburban 'merica". Call me jaded, but I've lived and worked in many a suburban environment for most of my life, leaving high density city dwelling to my friends who've moved to Chicago, NYC, and London. In the suburban enclaves, where the city bus takes an hour to get you within a mile of your destination while a car ride can do it in < 10 minutes, freedumb luvers cling to their car keys, concealed fire arms, religion & hypocrisy.

Agree with you that it Would Make Sense and support the ethanol sales driven profit margin, but it is anti-intuiative and goes against what freedumb luvers perceive as their Gawd given right of self determination. 'Besides.... budfff... I can hold my licker.... ' as the Nickelback T-shirt wearing middle aged dad stumbles into the rest room.