Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) have the potential to dramatically change the way people live, work and travel in cities. They will not only make travel more affordable,CAVs will also affect hotels, events, restaurants and bars.

Those are according to a new study from the Annals of Tourism Research. Below you will find some of the highlights from the study.

Shared CAVs (SCAVs) would make CAV travel affordable and provide wider socio-economic access, and may be most appealing for tourists – particularly in terms of destination mobilities. Ride sharing could be incentivized by cheaper fares, as is presently so with uberPOOL in some American cities, and will especially appeal to budget-conscious travelers, whether that be city residents or segments of the urban visitor economy.

Hotel location will become less significant in guest selection criteria as it will no longer be as important that hotels are located by public transport, other hotels, or other types of facilities such as bars or restaurants, which will in many cases be easily reached through CAV travel. Many hotels, as in the US for example, are adjacent to motorways that link cities. Widespread use of CAVs may affect travel patterns so that passengers decide to sleep in their car, while it takes them onwards to their final destination, rather than overnight in these hotels. CAVs as ‘moving motels’ would affect both business and leisure travelers in this respect.

Prostitution and sex in CAVs

The deployment of CAVs in cities will affect hotels, events, restaurants and bars in ways not yet meaningfully considered by the tourism, hospitality and events industries, or the academy. Tourism in the urban night is intricately connected to the hospitality industry. At the same time, violent crime and antisocial behavior often take place in areas of busy nightlife, thus the intersection of automated mobility and the urban night demands systematic and place-specific analyses. This might include questions of how prostitution and sex more generally, in moving CAVs, becomes a growing phenomenon. For instance, ‘hotels-by-the-hour’ are likely to be replaced by CAVs, and this will have implications for urban tourism, as sex plays a central role in many tourism experiences.

Creation of new urban tourism destinations

New urban tourism destinations may emerge as CAVs rise in popularity, whether this be specific attractions that were previously hard to access within existing city destinations, or new secondary cities emerging as stronger competitors for visitors due to newfound transport connectivity.

Risk for Rail Tourism

There is a greater likelihood of electric urban mobility, while for long-distance trips, petrol and diesel fuels may prevail. There is furthermore a risk that CAVs could erode train use for intercity travel, thereby reducing their environmental benefits.

Photo shows Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept Car