Study highlights impact of self-driving cars on urban tourism

A study to be published in the January 2019 edition of ‘Annals of Tourism Research’ has revealed the impacts of self-driving cars on urban tourism.

Self-driving cars will have a huge impact on societies around the world. This study is among the first to explore what to expect.

One potential impact recently caused headlines about ‘mobile brothels’ whereby autonomous vehicles are used for sex work.

On the subject, the report states:

“While shared autonomous vehicles will likely be monitored to deter passengers having sex or using drugs in them, and to prevent violence, such surveillance may be rapidly overcome, disabled, or removed.

Personal autonomous vehicles will likely be immune from such surveillance. Such private autonomous vehicles may also be put to commercial use, as it is just a small leap to imagine Amsterdam’s Red-Light district ‘on the move.’”

The report goes further into the impact of self-driving vehicles on hotels, events, restaurants, and bars.

Event attendance could increase as attendees can be taken to and from their door without concern for using public transport, finding parking, or not being able to enjoy a drink. On the latter point, the study notes a potential increase in alcohol consumption.

Mobile restaurants could emerge providing meals on-the-go, potentially in conjunction with a tour visiting local sites for visitors.

Whereas today’s hotels aim to be close to transport links, self-driving cars will reduce that necessity. The report foresees this affecting the location of hotels.

According to the study, mass adoption of autonomous vehicles are not expected until around 2040. Until then, it gives a lot for city planners to consider.

The full report can be found here.

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