Image: iStock/metamorworks Image: iStock/metamorworks

A new report has concluded that it won't be long before driverless cars are flooding our roads - and being used as on-the-go-places in which to have sex.

The paper, published in the Annals of Tourism Research by academics at the Universities of Surrey and Oxford, said they think autonomous vehicles (AVs) will have a profound effect on our sexual exploits because they are private, comfortable, convenient and (unlike taxis) without a front-seat onlooker.

Study author Scott Cohen said: "Besides sleeping, what other things will people do in cars when free from the task of driving? And you can see that in the long association of automobiles and sex that's represented in just about every coming-of-age movie. It's not a big leap."

He even suggested that car manufacturers will actually start designing their AVs around functions separate from driving, including having sex.

"Of course sex sells, and there’s likely to be a capitalisation on this in terms of commercial interest," the researcher told the Fast Company.

Indeed, Volvo has already started designing AV models with sleeper pods, although they are officially for tired executives or other travellers hoping to innocently catch up on some rest.

Of course, driverless cars are still some way off being the only things on our roads, as their reliability has not yet been perfected (i.e. they keep running people over).

But the researchers believe that once their design kinks have been ironed out, they'll be ready for kinkiness of a totally different kind.

And when will that happen? Cohen believes it might be the 2040s. That's quite some time to wait if you're eagerly anticipating the thrill of making love to someone as scenery rushes by on either side of you.

What's more, it might be worth considering that taxi companies are already thinking of thwarting questionable activities in the back of their cabs by installing cameras, sensors and other monitoring equipment. Spoilsports.

Until the day of sex in AV comes, maybe you could consider booking a trip on a train with sleeper cabins?