Self-autonomous vehicles are expected to be available commercially within the next five years, and by 2030, driverless cars could make up as much as 60 percent of U.S. auto sales, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs.
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But how could these driverless cars impact the look of homes and communities? Homebuilders are already considering the impact.
For example, KB Home and KTGY Architecture unveiled the KB Home ProjeKt this year at the Greenbuild Conference, which featured a home without a garage.
“One of the biggest challenges will be to convince suburban municipalities that not all homes/home buyers will want or need a garage, or at least won’t need two spaces,” Gregg Nelson, co-founder of Trumark Homes, based in Newport Beach, Calif., told BUILDER. “The other challenge will be whether home buyers are willing to accept not having a garage, not only for their own use, but as a resale value question. Who will be those first buyers/early adopters? Who will take the first step of building a home without a garage?”
Another change – and challenge – will be faced with a community’s roads and the transition to more driverless vehicles. How can self-driving cars and traditional cars coexist? Nelson speculates that the carpool lanes of today may become the autonomous vehicle lanes of the future.
Five to 10 years from now, Nelson also foresees less need for internal roadways due to greater reliance on driverless cars. That could spawn greater walkable, open spaces in its place.
“We should see a reduction in land area dedicated to parking,” Nelson says. “Studies show that roughly a third of urban real estate is devoted to parking garages, and that there are eight parking spaces for every car operating in the U.S. As time goes by, this ‘wasted’ space will be re-utilized in a way to enhance the environments of our communities.”
Source: “Autonomous Cars Will Reshape Residential Communities,” BUILDER (Nov. 17, 2016)