Driverless cars could soon start impacting commercial, retail project design

Offsite parking and more space for valet parking lines are among the foreseeable changes.

June 17, 2016 |
Driverless cars could soon start impacting commercial, retail project design

Nissan driverless car. Photo: Charly W. Karl/Creative Commons.

Driverless cars could have an impact on the design of commercial and retail projects a lot sooner than many believe, according to a principal with a California design firm.

Autonomous vehicles are expected to enter the market within the next 10 years, and this has implications for parking standards in particular. Onsite parking could be reduced, with parking for driverless cars moved to less valuable properties nearby.

At hotels, taxi lines will be longer, requiring more robust concierge systems and lines for guests while they wait for their driverless cars. Driverless vehicles will need less room on roads and smaller parking dimensions to maneuver, so the overall size of a development could be reduced.

Driverless cars could also be used to deliver goods to consumers. That may mean that the back of retail outlets would not need to hold as much inventory, making it possible to shrink their building footprint.

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