Autonomous vehicles will allow people to do more during their commute—catch up on work, sleep, read, and according to scientists, have sex. These mobile red light districts will be a boon for prostitution. People are already engaging in car sex (about 60 percent of Americans have had hanky panky in a parked vehicle, the Journal of Sex Research reported in 2016). So, if people aren’t required to drive their cars, what else will they be doing when they’re travelling?
A new study published in the Annals of Tourism Research claims that self-driving cars will change people’s behaviours in multiple ways.
Scott Cohen, deputy director of research of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey in the U.K. told Fast Company that AVs will become increase competition among hotels and restaurants because people will be eating and sleeping more in their vehicles.
“That led us to think, besides sleeping, what other things will people do in cars when free from the task of driving?” he noted. “And you can see that in the long association of automobiles and sex that’s represented in just about every coming-of-age movie. It’s not a big leap.”
Researchers noted that AVs will enable passengers to have a mobile place where prostitutes can service them, such as areas in Europe where the activity is legal.
“Particularly in cities where the governance is in place, where prostitution is legal, and regulations allow AVs to develop fast and be on roads quickly, we could see this come together rapidly. Europe is one of those places,” said Cohen, who led the study. “It’s not impossible or that far-fetched to imagine the red light district on the move. Prostitution doesn’t need to be legal for this to happen. Plenty of illegal activities happen in cars.”
Cohen noted that more needs to be researched about the topic to determine what the implications will be.
Autonomous vehicles themselves will be designed in ways that will facilitate a variety of activities, including sex. The interior spaces will be private and comfortable, making them a practical location for a quickie. Automakers may even construct the inside cabins of cars so they can accommodate intimate interactions because sex sells, Cohen pointed out.
It’s an interesting development, but people will have to be careful about their activities during the daytime when it’s easy to see inside passing cars. In most places, sex in public has legal consequences. No doubt there will be a solution, such as shades or self-darkening windows.
Cohen believes sex in self-driving cars will become commonplace in the 2040s if not earlier. By then, AVs are expected to be pretty common.