Driverless cars could change our lives in more ways than you can imagine.
Studies have already shown how driverless cars can ease congestion and make our lives easier. Since we won't have to pay attention to the road, we'll be able to catch up on work, make phone calls, read a book, or take a relaxing nap while the car takes over the laborious task of city driving. But there's another unexpected advantage the technology will bring that probably hasn't crossed your mind.
According to a paper published in the Annals of Tourism Research, more people are likely to have sex in self-driving cars due to the relative privacy of a car and the fact that drivers obviously won't need to keep their eyes on the road or their hands on the wheel. Because passengers will have to occupy themselves somehow, right?
The study reviewed papers on self-driving cars and cities to identify future trends around how self-driving cars will reshape the tourism industry. "This is something that seems to have stimulated interest," said Scott Cohen, deputy director of research of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, who led the study.
The survey noted that around 60 percent of Americans have already had sex in a car, but Cohen believes that autonomous vehicles could become a new venue for sex tourism. "Sex is a part of urban tourism and commercialized sex is part of that too, so it is quite likely that autonomous vehicles will lead to prostitution, whether legal or illegal, to take place in moving autonomous vehicles in the future," he told NBC.
However, Cohen said he predicts sex in autonomous vehicles won't become a reality until "the 2040s," adding that it will happen most often "in cities where governance is in place, where prostitution is legal, and regulations allow self-driving cars to develop fast and be on roads quickly."
Obviously, sex tourism isn't the only industry that will be affected by driverless cars. "Hotels will be affected in the future, particularly roadside motels," he said, as people will just sleep in their cars as they travel. He added that people may be more likely to choose a less expensive hotel outside of a city center, since they can rely on their self-driving car to get them where they need to be, with little effort. Even restaurants could be affected since dining pods in self-driving vehicles could replace some dining establishments.