Parking garages take up an enormous amount of space in retail zones and bring less value than a retail store, business block, or housing complex in the same area.
Sadly, in a world where almost everyone drives, they’re a necessity if a city or supermarket wants to avoid congestion and road accidents.
It is no surprise then that AvalonBay Communities, a real-estate investment trust, is eager to see the introduction of self-driving cars.
The Virginia-based developer has already shown future plans for the two-floor underground parking garage, part of a residential complex under development in the Los Angeles Arts District, to the LA Times.
When it is finished in four years, the parking garage will still serve approximately 1,000 cars, but as people switch to ride-sharing vehicles, it will make way for shops, a gym, and a theater.
Not just AvalonBay
AvalonBay is not the only property developer eager rid the world of parking garages. Upscale shopping centre Grove has talked to Google about how to prepare for the future.
There is no definitive time when parking garages will become obsolete, but some analysts have projected 2020 to be the peak point for car ownership. After that, ride-sharing and shuttle solutions will start to rise.
Even though most automakers have not said it publicly, it sounds like self-driving cars will be for rental or ride-sharing services only, at least for the first few years. Ford’s head of research, Ken Washington, recently said customers will not be able to purchase self-driving cars until at least 2026.