Car Industry

Top 5 things you'll do in a self-driving car

What will you do when you don't have to drive?

Rinspeed

When carmakers show us the self-driving future it always looks like utopian sci-fi, needing only Spock playing a lute in the back seat to be complete fantasy. But let's get down to earth. 

A more realistic vision emerges from a new survey by PSB Research on behalf of Intel that asked 1,000 real people what they plan to do in a car that drives itself. 

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5. Grooming: 26 percent
Apparently self-driving cars will inspire us toward a sartorial renaissance. Didn't see that one coming. Just please don't make me watch you floss in the car next to me. 

4. Host meetings: 33 percent 
Think crappy, VoIP-based conference calls from people on cell phones in their noisy cars who have never heard of a mute button are intolerable now? Wait till everyone is calling in that way.

3. Work: 56 percent
If your commute can become a productive hour of work time instead, that should mean you have to spend an less hour each day at the office. But will you? Or is the autonomous car just the next step toward a 16-hour work day?

2. Socialize: 57 percent 
The opposite of the 56 percent above, these folks just want to chill. Maybe that's because carmakers always show us an autonomous vision full of leisure, seldom depicting someone hunched over a spreadsheet on a MacBook in traffic. 

1. Entertainment: 58 percent 
Finally, some respondents told the truth. We're already watching videos and flicking through Instagram while driving. Autonomous cars will just move that out of the "dangerous and dumb" column. 

Notice anything missing? Nobody said "if this AV's rockin', don't come knockin'," although the No. 6 response was "exercise" -- but maybe that's a euphemism.

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