“Since we’ll be able to read or play video games during our commutes, people won’t mind the extra time spent traveling to work.”
disclaimer: I don’t travel very much at all.
I honestly don’t understand the reasoning here… Just because you’re more comfortable doesn’t mean you magically have more time to spend getting somewhere. If you have to be at work by 5, then you have to be at work by 5 regardless of whether you have to drive in a hard seat, bean-bag chair or can be driven while laying down reading, or even in a van large enough (and stable enough) for you to stand up and get dressed in.
How many things are you doing between waking up from a (recommended) 8 hours sleep before driving to work are even possible in a vehicle, particularly if it isn’t really stable? Could you even comfortably eat breakfast in the vehicle if you have a friend driving you to work? I find it difficult to believe for most things. Mostly likely you can save some time by checking missed online interactions during the travel time (news sites, facebook, email, etc.)
As for simply visiting further places, yeah that’ll probably increase some since you don’t have to mentally drain yourself to pay attention while driving there but the actual hours away that people drive probably aren’t going to change by more than 2–3 at the _most_, since again if you need to be somewhere at a certain time how comfortable you are doesn’t matter and a lot of what you do prior to leaving can’t be done while traveling. Also, unless vehicles are large enough for you to get up and move around in you’re still going to become uncomfortable sitting in one place for extended periods of time, and just a few minutes break to walk around doesn’t completely change that.
This really only make sense to me if the expectation is that people will use their travel time to sleep (not sleeping at home or staying in hotels like they do now) but that really only works for relatively long trips to begin with.