Autonomous vehicles exist today, and while we are still years away from seeing them rise into total popularity, real estate owners should start thinking about how to adapt their real estate assets to a future with driverless cars. This technology will completely change the way people live, affecting city planning, development, parking and even signage. Some owners are still figuring out how to integrate ride-sharing zones, they should be looking further ahead.

“From a macro perspective, real estate companies should be thinking about how their real estate will be impacted by the ability for tenants, residents and consumers to access spaces without having to worry about parking,” Jeff Berman, a partner at Camber Creek, tells “What does that do to layout? Density? Accessibility? For example, widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles may make individual car ownership less attractive. For single-family home developers, this could potentially eliminate the need to include a garage for every home.”

Driverless vehicles will have a major impact on real estate, but the parking will be the most immediate impact. Driverless cars could reduce or even completely eliminate the need for onsite parking. “Theoretically speaking, a person could be picked up from their home, dropped off at work and their car could return home, or perhaps become an income producing asset for the owner by entering ‘ride share mode’ picking up other passengers before returning to pick up the owner from work,” says Berman. “Parking lot densities should also increase as autonomous vehicles will be able to park in smaller spaces. This may reduce the need for urban parking garages opening up the possibility for redevelopment. Reduced parking requirements should be a boon to developers both from a space maximization and development cost standpoint.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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