Urban Planners already planning for driverless cars future

With current assumptions pointing towards driverless cars becoming the norm, a steep drop in the need for the giant carparks currently taking up large amounts of space in Australian cities has been forecast.  And urban planners around the country are already licking their lips at the prospects of what to do with all this space.

In a report by Infrastructure Victoria, it has been suggested that the future of driving will largely consist of driverless cars.

“In a driverless vehicle future we very likely will not need all those carparks because the car will come and drop you off and then go and pick up somebody else,” said Infrastructure Victoria chief executive Michael Masson.

While the exact model of vehicle ownership is still up for question, it appears certain that the need for carparks in the future will have declined, a future Australia needs to begin preparing for today.

“Will you own your driverless vehicle, in which case you’ll need a space in which to keep it overnight” said Masson.

“Or will we be seeing in the future, what we call robo-taxis where you’ve got a fleet of commercial vehicles – nobody owns any more vehicles – you just go and get it through your app.”

Other countries have already began preparing for this uncertain future in driving.

“In new developments, look at potentially retrofitting in the future based on the heights of the carparks because in 15 or 20 years time – and I will not put a fate as to when we will see autonomous vehicles – we are likely to have to reconvert that space into something different than just having a car in it” said Masson.

Some city councils around the country have already begun converting carparks into bays exclusively used by ride sharing companies in a sign that change is already here.

Original source: The Courier Mail | Urban planners already thinking about retrofitting empty city car parks. (Subscription Required)

24 July 2019