Fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) should become commonplace within 10–20 years, disrupting entire industries while triggering structural shifts in housing and the economy.
The path to government approval and consumer acceptance of AVs will have hiccups no doubt, so we expect ride-sharing along with semi-autonomous vehicles to kick-start the movement towards AVs.
For consumers, the tipping point for large-scale adoption will come when not owning a car makes more financial and logistical sense than traditional ownership. Car enthusiasts, the affluent, and rural households will continue to own cars as AVs evolve.
The combination of widespread ride-sharing and self-driving cars will reshape housing in 8 significant ways:
- Prime real estate will be unlocked for new home construction (parking lots, auto dealerships, gas stations).
- Outlying drive-until-you-qualify housing markets will eventually reemerge once the majority of core infill markets have repurposed their prime real estate.
- Urban employment should continue rising as prime real estate is repurposed for housing, allowing more people to live closer to city centers.
- Density will increase, with the days of wide streets, massive driveways, and two-/three-car garages a thing of the past.
- Construction costs will decline as transportation costs plummet for moving building products from manufacturing facilities/warehouses to new home construction sites.
- Fewer home sales will occur, as the elderly will be able to stay in their existing home long after losing their driving rights.
- Assisted-living facility demand will be less than most people expect.
- Repair and remodeling will flourish due to seniors remodeling their homes to age in place. Millions of garages will also be converted to fully functioning livable space.
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I know a guy who said one of the major reasons he bought a Tesla was the ability to let the car drive itself in stop/go freeway traffic, while he tends to more important matters. He’s a consultant, and has to drive all over Orange County and LA, at all times of the day. I think as long as he keeps a hand on the wheel, he can read a book, if he likes. He said he probably wouldn’t be able to stick with that job, if he had to deal with stop-go traffic on his own every day.
I still believe unassisted self drive cars are about as likely as personal helicopters, with landing pads in every backyard.
> I still believe unassisted self drive cars are about as likely as personal helicopters, with landing pads in every backyard. <
My feelings exactly.
But then again I thought Uber would be a dud. Now I'm using Uber to attend all my downtown events.
What's next… doctors on demand? I already used the service on a business trip. Works great. The prescription was delivered to my hotel room in a couple of hours.
You’ve heard six of these from me for years. Funny thing is the other two of them are diametrically opposite. Density will plummet. A companion to drive til you qualify after all. Second, jobs location. When you can live more places and employers don’t need to be in the city they too will be able to flee the cores as the costs of relocation are going to go way down. Don’t need to pay for bigger roads or transit or parking. Outer ring suburbs will love to accommodate at half the taxes.
Agreed – and this should solve the ‘housing crisis’. We aren’t short of land….we are short of land close to town. Driverless cars means hail to the boondocks!
Thanks for the offer but the job location is so close I am afraid you will be asking me to be the one to come in extra hours because everyone else is so far away.