Could driverless cars see a move towards city fringes?

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Since the advent of self-driving cars, the technology that made this possible has come a long way. Google’s driverless car project started in 2009 and Tesla introduced it as a feature in the Model S cars in late 2014. All of the major automobile manufacturers have been testing this technology for their mass produced cars. With autonomous transport becoming a reality, it is going to have an impact on different sectors of the industry. One of the majorly affected areas will be the Real Estate Industry.

Since long we have settled around hubs of transport. From shipping ports to major stations as well as airports, that ideology has not changed over the years. The ease of commute always is a deciding factor when people move to another city or
are looking for a place to live. With autonomous cars and other forms of transport being a possibility, this will give birth to a whole new real estate market.

The suburbs will not seem so distant anymore. The commute used to be a problem wasted on driving and not being productive. Now, people can use that time to complete that presentation, make themselves look presentable and be more productive in general. This might lead to city dwellers shifting back to the suburbs.

Traffic jams will become a thing of the past due to the accuracy and precision as self driving cars have and the ability to “talk” to other cars on the road. This will further change the morning commute, and those commuters who are happy to spend an hour on a jam packed road in present day, may choose to instead live on the city limits where real estate is cheaper and a dollar buys more house, still spending an hour on the roads in the morning, but not sitting in jams.

Another added advantage of self-driving cars is the reduced cost of transportation. With lowered transportation costs and less time spent for repairs, people won’t mind living in the suburbs and public transportation will get a whole new meaning. In fact Singapore is already testing self driving buses on their roads and the same can be applied to other means of Public Transport System and automate the industry altogether.
What is interesting is that self driving cars will actually change how we own cars as well. The average car spends 95% of its time sitting there doing nothing – with driverless cars we will see a ‘Transport as a service’ model implemented much like Uber today. This will, in turn, render parking lots and garages useless, leaving them open for rezoning and further redevelopment.

With streamlined roads and an efficient transport system, Real Estate will be more feasible and grow at a rapid pace. Builders, developers, and architects will introduce new ideas based around autonomous transport. There will be a shift in the Real Estate sector, but it is hard to deduce what changes it will bring.