Autonomous Vehicles: Repurposing Parking

Industry experts predict driverless cars will have largely replaced traditional automobiles by 2030. In “The Game-Changer for Future Cities: Driverless Cars,” Gensler researchers estimate “6.8 million cars will be removed from the road in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas” in the next 15 to 20 years. The report predicts the shift in how these vehicles operate and how they are stored will lead to significant changes in land uses and urban amenities.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will unload passengers at building entrances and then park themselves in compact stacked spaces or begin another trip. The need for human-scaled parking structures will decrease, freeing up much of the estimated 500 million parking spaces which consume “more land than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.” Existing parking garages and surface lots can be repurposed or redeveloped to suit current market needs. Future development can be built with less intensive or flexible parking that can be later converted to office space, apartments or fitness facilities as AVs become more widely adopted and parking demand shrinks.