The Self-Driving Car Trend Could Impact Development Strategies

The utopian idea of self-driving cars roaming the streets of Los Angeles has some real estate professionals scratching their heads.

Many think the trend could lead to massive roadway and traffic redesigns, which could drastically reshape real estate development patterns.

The most significant change could be a reduced need for parking, meaning that developers won’t need to worry about factoring in the costs of including parking spaces in new developments, Curbed reported. Developers such as AvalonBay Communities are already trying to accommodate for the change by building parking garages specifically designed to be convertible to retail or office space once demand for parking space lessens.

It’s also likely that developers will begin partnering with companies such as Uber or Lyft, rather than building out parking spaces, Curbed said.

“Developers will start using the promise of AV and driverless cars to realize net savings,” said Don Elliott, a zoning consultant and director at Clarion Associates. “It’s not necessarily cheaper, but more space can be used for commercial or residential purposes.”


Dale Kranz

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