What impact will driverless cars have on urban development?

1 November 2016

What impact will driverless cars have on urban development?

Driverless cars are due to appear on UK roads sooner than most probably imagine and have sparked much controversy in the media in recent weeks. 

Not only are UK drivers worried about how safe these robot cars really are but a recent London School of Economics study has raised concerns that driverless vehicles could be more prone to “bullying” by other motorists.

Volvo, who plan to start testing their driverless car in London’s notoriously busy traffic with volunteers from the public as soon as 2018, announced this week that their vehicles would be unmarked, making them undistinguishable from other Volvos to avoid any intentional challenges from other drivers.

Looking past the safety concerns, however, how will driverless cars affect our lives in the future and what impact will they have on urban development? Will reduced commuting times blur the lines between urban and suburban living, freeing up space in cities and making urban accommodation more affordable? Where will driverless cars go to park or recharge and how might limited urban space be used more efficiently?

Chris Choa, Head of Urban Development at AECOM will answer these questions at Property 2016, regarded as the premier gathering for property developers, investors, occupiers, lenders and service providers in Scotland, which returns to Edinburgh on 10 November. More information about the event is available at www.property2016.co.uk.