Driverless vehicles set to create vast swathes of developable real estate

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Driverless vehicles and commercial propertyA new report from WSP and Farrells claims to identify exactly how the advent of autonomous vehicles will have a significant impact on the real estate sector worldwide. It suggests that changes in the way cars are owned and used will free up large tracts of potentially valuable property for other uses. Although the report confirms that driverless cars may increase the amount of people able to use cars for transport, including those currently unable or unwilling to drive, the amount of parking necessary to accommodate them may shrink significantly as shared ownership becomes a norm and road design changes to meet the needs of autonomous vehicles. The end result will be significant changes in the way urban space is planned and developed with a potential increase in the amount of land available for development by up to a fifth. IN the UK this will equate to hundreds of millions of pounds of added value for major city centres.

According to the report’s authors: “As AVs can move while empty, they can therefore offer door-to-door journeys to match individual needs exactly without needing a parking space at either end of that trip. This is critical to the potential for better placemaking. With reference to the latest DCLG figures [for the UK], a 100 hectare AV zone development in the heart of London could gain more than £1.25 billion in additional land value uplift as a direct result, or £300m in outer London or £15-£75m across much of the rest of the country.”