HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Driverless cars of the future are on a collision course with office buildings, warehouses and shopping centers.
In a newly released study called “The New Industry Driver: How the Rise of Autonomous Vehicles Could Impact Future Real Estate Strategy,” researchers at Houston-based real estate firm Transwestern contend the snowballing potential of driverless cars, trucks and warehouse equipment could significantly impact every sector of the commercial real estate industry.
The Transwestern research says “one assumption frequently made in relation to autonomous vehicle technology is that car ownership will decrease as adoption of AVs, through ride-sharing services, increases.” If this trend comes to fruition, the document predicts some notable changes will occur in the urban landscape:
Traffic congestion would be reduced, freeing up space for other uses, such as pedestrian walkways, retail or restaurants.
Demand for parking would diminish, causing a re-examination of parking requirements and an opportunity to reposition or redevelop garages, surface lots and underground parking structures.
Public transit usage would increase, perhaps complementing first- and last-mile ridership from transit stations and enabling employers to attract talent from a larger radius.
Fewer driver-caused accidents would [occur, reducing] the inflow of injured patients to emergency rooms, trauma facilities and rehabilitation center.