The reality of driverless cars may be further away that many in the real estate industry think. There have been predictions that there will be widespread adoption of self-driving cars in as soon as a decade. In reality, however, self-driving cars need an intelligent infrastructure, especially in areas without GPS data. Parking garages and parking lots are particularly challenging for autonomous driving. While self-driving cars seem to be inevitable, adoption will likely come through slow adoption and private and public investment in intelligent infrastructure over several decades.

“Intelligent infrastructure is what will enable the driverless cars. To get a vehicle to drive itself into a parking garage with no GPS data, it would need maps of the internals of the structure to know where to go, and that is near impossible today,” Lester Mascon, EVP of Sentry Control Systems, tells “Driverless cars don’t have the data or satellite information, and likely, it won’t have a cell connection in a current parking garage.”

Real estate owners interested in supporting the adoption of autonomous vehicles should first look to creating a connected parking garage. Parking garages already outfitted with technology support are good candidates. “In order for a parking facility to support a driverless vehicle, it needs to be connected to the facility,” explains Mascon. “In facilities with parking guidance information, we are working on sharing that information with driverless cars to create it a driverless car-friendly area. That is one of the first steps, and that will likely extend to the whole garage in the future.”

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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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