Driverless Cars To Impact Tourism Industry Says Academic Study

Thu 8th Nov 2018

The era of driverless cars may be just around the corner and academics at Oxford University have suggested that the transport revolution may shake-up the tourism industry.

A study, titled Annals of Tourism Research has been put together by experts at the University of Surrey and University of Oxford and suggests that Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) will be on our roads by 2025.

While some of the benefits will be reduced traffic congestion and emissions, reduced parking requirements and cheaper taxi fares, the report also focuses on the seedier side of tourism by suggesting that Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District could be impacted as workers take their business into vehicles, rather than static buildings. AVs could also be used as a form of dining, whilst traditional hotels may be affected by passengers sleeping in moving vehicles.

The report was put together by Professor Scott Cohen and Dr Debbie Hopkins and they are suggesting that there will be other effects, such as less of a dependence on train travel, while the increased car dependency will make for greater urban areas, away from traditional centres.

Professor Cohen, Head of Tourism and Transport at Surrey's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said: "This groundbreaking study will benefit urban planners, policy makers and the tourism and hospitality industries, who will face a range of threats and opportunities as AVs begin to reach the mass market in the coming decade.

"The visitor economy will be gradually transformed if AVs become fully automated and mainstream, leading to a future where hordes of small AVs could congest urban attractions, hop-on hop-off city bus tours may go out of business altogether, motorways between cities could fill at night with slow-moving AVs carrying sleeping occupants and commercial sex in moving AVs becomes a growing phenomenon."