A new study has surfaced indicating that the gradual rise of self-driving cars could lead to changes in how the society functions. These changes will also impact a number of industries including the urban tourism industry. Diving deeper in the impact, self-driving cars will likely ‘reconfigure’ tourism. This is because they will change how, where and when tourists move by allowing passengers to sleep while traveling. The study also noted some unintended consequences including an increase in the instances of sex in the car impacting the prostitution industry. It is also likely to turn red-light districts mobile.
According to the study “Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism” that was published in Annals of Tourism Research, self-driving cars will turn cars into private rooms on wheels giving competition to traditional restaurants and hotels. The study was initially reported by Fast Company which stated that “nearly 60 percent of all Americans have had sex in a car” as context. The report also indicated that the choice of activities that self-driving car owners choose to engage in will also influence the interior design of these vehicles.
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Scott Cohen, one of the researchers who worked on the study also stated that it is not about if self-driving car owners will use their vehicles for activities such as sleeping, having food or sex. Instead, the question is all about “When?”
The study also seems to provide an answer to the “When?” by giving a rough timeline of the 2040s. To give us a sense of the impact that self-driving cars will have, the study goes on to add that all the industries that are tied to transportation will “be gradually disrupted”.