What Will People Do
In Driverless Cars?

If you drive to and from work you’ll know how much unnecessary stress it can add to your day. From getting stuck in traffic to navigating the mayhem that is rush hour, when it comes to commuting, the struggle is real.

It’s not just you who feels that way, a recent study by VitalityHealth, the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer on the impact of commuting on employee health and productivity, they’ve proven that long commutes are bad for people's health. As well as having a negative impact on your mental wellbeing, long commutes increase the likeliness that you’ll get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. And to top it off, research from Moovit reveals that the UK has the longest commute times in EU.

But what if you could get this time back?

Driverless cars hold the solution to our commuting conundrum. Fully automated cars remove the need for human control, so that means no more pedals, steering wheels, or controls to worry about. Commuting in driverless cars will leave you free to whatever you want on your way to and from work.

Think driverless cars are a thing of the future? Think again. Fully autonomous cars are set to hit UK roads by 2021!

According to the Office of National Statistics the average commute time in the UK is 57 minutes, if you commute in a driverless car you would get an additional 220 hours of free time each year. This equates to 5 hours of extra time a week, 20 hours of extra time a month or an additional 10 days (full 24 hours / 27 working days) per year. That’s a lot of time! So what will you do with you free time during a commute in a driverless car? We’ve conducted a survey of 2000 motorists across the UK to find out just that.

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Mindful Millennials

Driverless cars would help us, especially men, to relax. It looks like the lack of sleep is taking it’s toll on UK motorists, with 20% of respondents saying that they’ll use this free time to sleep. This response was highest amongst male respondents, with a quarter (25%) saying that they’ll take a nap on their way to and from work. When it comes to your mental wellbeing, 15% of respondents say that they would use this time to meditate. Again, this stat is highest amongst men (17%). When looking at the trends in age, it’s the mindful millennials who are leading the way with 1 in 10 who would meditate.

A Nation of Workaholics

Over a quarter (27%) of respondents say that they’ll use this free time to catch up on work and emails. These responses were highest amongst motorists in some of the UK’s largest cities, with 17% of motorists opting to work in London, and 15% in the West Midlands. This mentality is also reflected in young adults trying to climb the career ladder, with respondents between the ages of 25 to 34 having the highest responses (17%).

1 in 10 Think You’ll Get Lucky

Forget meditation and catching up with work, 1 in 10 motorists say that they’ll use their time in driverless cars to have sex (10%). We took a look at the survey results by gender and found that 13% men think that they’ll have sex in driverless car, compared to only 7% of women. We hate to break it to you, gents, but sounds like you won't all be getting lucky.

That’s Entertainment

We all know what it’s like when you’re in the middle of great TV series, you’ll always make time for one more episode. Our survey reveals that we would use our time in driverless cars to do just that. Almost a quarter of motorists (24%) would watch TV series, and 18% would watch films.

It turns out car manufacturers are already one step ahead of us. Volvo has partnered with Ericsson to develop streaming capabilities for driverless cars, meaning you can binge-watch during your commute to your hearts content. There were also 16% of respondents who said that they’ll use the time to play video games. Driverless cars will soon become an extension of our living space.

Self-improvement

The extra time that we’ll get from commuting in driverless cars won’t just be used for entertainment, a large number of motorists will use this free time for self-improvement. 16% of motorists will spend their commute in driverless cars to learn a new language, and 11% will dedicate this time to learning a new hobby, such as painting, knitting or learning how to play an instrument.

What could we do in driverless cars?

Curious about how you could spend all that time? Take a look below to see how you could spend those extra 220 hours!

Novels

Our survey reveals that 28% of UK motorists would spend their free time in driverless cars reading. We’ve taken The Telegraph’s top 100 novels to calculate how many classics you could read at an average reading speed of 300 words per minute. It would take you 598 hours to read all 100 novels, so you would be able to read 38 with the 220 hours you would get from commuting in driverless cars.

Language

Our survey reveals that 16% of UK motorists would spend their free time in driverless cars learning a new language. To find out how much language you could learn in 220 hours, we teamed up with Lingvist who said it would take 152 hours to learn 3000 words in Spanish, French, Russian and German. That would provide 85% of understood language in Spanish, 86% in French, 84% in Russian and 79% in German.