Technology is constantly changing our way of life, making us adapt to a new lifestyle. If self driving cars are just around the corner then we are looking at an overhaul of how we utilize the spaces within our cities.
Currently, priceless real estate is occupied by car related needs. The average home is around 3,000 sq ft (and is only increasing) while the garage is usually around 500 sq ft, allocating 15 to 20% of the living space to the storage of cars.
Driverless cars could also mean fewer parking lots! Take a look around your city and notice how much land is taken up by parking garages- imagine if that real estate was used towards housing or retail, etc. Especially in places like Seattle where our supply and demand is off balance. Acquiring that extra space for affordable housing would be ideal. Some architectural firms are already planning for this change and have begun building garages with horizontal floors and exterior ramps so that one day they can be more easily converted to a traditional office space.
Also taking up prime real estate are gas stations. Experts are predicting that our society will shift to a "pay-per-mile" model rather than a full car ownership model. With this prediction, it will change where and when we require gas stations for everyday use.
Driverless cars could become a reality in about 5-10 years and with that could profoundly affect real estate within 8-9 years. Even though it seems like a far off future, keep in mind how much mobile phones have changed our world!
To read the full article at CNBC, click here.