Designing for the Driverless Age

Driverless shuttle.What do cities look like when driverless cars are widespread? What are the implications for real estate?

This extensive report by the Urban Land Institute forecasts some of the changes we might see when car ownership and human-driven vehicles are on the decline.

Here are a few interesting factoids from the report:

  • The need for parking–which accounts for 15 to 30 percent of urban land area–could drop by 50 percent over the next 30 years.
  • The rapid growth of ride services such as Uber and Lyft already is creating logjams in front of buildings. Experts say the transition to autonomous vehicles–which would lower the cost of rides by eliminating the expense of drivers–is likely to intensify that problem.
  • Fleets of electric-powered autonomous vehicles will make some existing buildings obsolete. In addition to parking garages, “we have this ability to really take back spaces in our cities that are repair shops, car washes, gas stations. There are 125,000 gas stations in the U.S. We can gain all of those properties back.”
  • Whether on the ground or in the air, autonomous vehicles also may affect the built environment by making it so easy for people to move around that location–long one of the most important factors in the real estate sector–may not be quite as important as the building itself.

Read the whole report here:

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