The proliferation of autonomous vehicles will free up lots of land, which could lead to the reinvigoration of mixed-use downtowns, suburban office parks, and everything in between.
Washingtonian explores what the impact of self-driving cars will be on local real estate. The vehicles will not need to park because they will be constantly in motion, picking up and dropping off passengers. Parking lots, then, could be turned into parks or sites for new housing, and on-street parking can be repurposed as bike lanes and wider sidewalks.
Self-driving cars could also make living in distant suburbs more practical, as commutes will be faster and less of a daily drain.
“Those office parks and residential areas in the suburbs that are disconnected from mass transit have very quickly gone to B-class status,” says Jeff Barber, design leader at the architecture firm Gensler. “But now there’s discussion about ‘[Will] the suburbs start to look interesting again?’ ”