Technological innovation or unintended consequence?
An excerpt from The Telegraph: Brothels could move into self-driving cars, British academics predict.
A paper by researchers at the University of Surrey and Oxford suggests that "pay-per-hour" hotel rooms are likely to be replaced by autonomous cars when the technology is introduced.
"While SCAVs [shared, connected 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.
"Moreover, personal CAVs will likely be immune from such surveillance. Such private CAVs 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 paper says.
The study titled "Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism", published in the Annals of Tourism Research, also suggests that the budget hotel and flight industry could suffer if the cars are introduced, as travelers opt to sleep in their cars and travel overnight between cities that they might otherwise have flown between.
They could also herald the end of the coach trip, as tourists who might have opted for a coach tour choose the greater freedom and independence that comes with travelling by car without having to worry about driving or finding parking spaces.
This could lead to congestion and traffic in tourist hotspots, the researchers warned.
"Should CAVs replace traditional coach-tours, major urban attractions can anticipate congestion as ten or more CAVs may equal the capacity of one conventional tour bus.