Reading is among the favorite activities - but not the number one. (Photo: Volvo)

10 things people will do in their driverless car

Private Life and Mobility

Angelo Rychel

Angelo Rychel

8-04-2016

       

A driverless car will buy you time. Time to do almost anything while on the road. But how will people use that newly gained freedom? A recent survey asked just that – and it is quite telling to see what activities we desire the most!

Imagine it’s the year 2025. You have just pulled your car onto the highway. Now is a good time to switch into self-driving mode. Your steering wheel retracts and you make yourself comfortable. Now what? This is one of the most interesting questions about automated driving in our future society: If people no longer have to control their vehicles, what will they do with their gained time?

 

In 2015, the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, published a survey which asked this very question. The answers are a reflection of our contemporary society. Interestingly enough, males and females chose the same number one – with 59 percent each.

 

 

10. SHOOT AND POST PHOTOS OR SELFIES

A quick Google search proves that even in conventional 2015 cars, shooting selfies seems to be a wildly popular activity. How awesome would it be if you could turn your car ride into a photo session while not endangering your fellow road users by being distracted?

 

 

9. PLAN A TRIP

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Photo: Volvo

Remember the days when you would plan a trip in advance of hitting the road? In a connected, autonomous vehicle, that will not be necessary anymore. Just get into the car and proclaim your destination. You can take care of the details while on the road. If you do not know where you want to go yet, your car will probably provide you with some useful suggestions – and pick the fastest or most scenic route to get there.

 

 

8. PUT ON MAKEUP

That’s right, women (or men, for that matter) who normally wear makeup might now leave the house without it – that’s what they will use the car ride for. Depending on makeup habits, this could mean 15 (or 30? 60?) more minutes sleep in the morning.

 

 

7. PLAY VIDEO GAMES

Playing Grand Theft Auto in an actual auto: an appealing thought to young adults. According to the study, people aged 18 to 35 are especially keen on playing video games while being chauffeured. This comes as good news for the gaming industry which is already hoping to increase business.

 

 

6. PAY BILLS

Unfortunately, even the most progressive driverless vehicle will not spare you the hassle of paying your bills. However, you will at least have more time for your personal accounting – something many people apparently would appreciate.

 

 

5. DO WORK

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Photo: Rinspeed

Do you waste time every day driving to and from work? Autonomous driving has the potential to make car rides much more productive by turning vehicles into rolling offices. For many businesspeople, this day cannot come soon enough.

 

 

4. WATCH MOVIES

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Photo: Volvo

While driverless cars could be used as mobile offices, they could just as easily become living spaces. Just take carmaker Ford: the US company has already issued a patent for a self-driving vehicle that would essentially be a rolling movie theater.

 

 

3. READ A BOOK

Yes, your future car will have all those flashy displays and offer a large variety of on-board entertainment. But it’s not only about the digital advantages. Many people are looking forward to quite an analog pleasure: relaxing with a good book.

 

 

2. EAT LUNCH

It’s a well-deserved second place: eating in the car is an integral part of our modern culture. But directing that sandwich into your mouth while steering and shifting gears at the same time can be quite a challenge. Driverless cars will help you focus on what’s really important: peacefully enjoying your lunch – while your car does all the work.

 

 

1. USE MOBILE DEVICES

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Photo: Volvo

You’re not surprised, are you? Chances are, you have already felt the urgent need to look at your smartphone while driving. At any given daylight moment across the USA, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while behind the wheel. This distraction can have serious consequences: one in four car crashes involves drivers texting and talking on cell phones. So autonomous driving will finally give passengers what they really want: more time with their smartphones without being a safety risk.

 

 

Is there something missing on our list? How would you spend the time in your driverless car? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

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