Autonomous Cars Expected to Have Immense Impact on Real Estate

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According to a new report released by Transwestern, autonomous vehicles could have a massive impact on real estate sectors. The report states that with driverless cars, parking lots could be re-purposed into office buildings or homes, gas stations could be transformed into electric car charging stations, and they could overall transform and fully automate the industrial and supply chain.

At least nine automakers are in the process of developing self-driving cars and several have secured partnerships with tech firms in order to get the necessary technology. Companies such as Google, BMW, GM, Ford, and Uber are competing to be the first to introduce a fully autonomous car.

When the first fully autonomous car is introduced, it will change everyday lives, roads, and real estate forever.

The Transwestern report cites one study that says private car ownership will drop by 80% and the cost of ride-sharing will be four to 10 times cheaper than owning a car by 2030. With these savings on transportation costs, there could be a $1 trillion boost in annual income for U.S. households.

Oftentimes, about 35% of remodeling jobs involve the whole home. These renovations could include adding living space for elderly relatives to inhabit or adding more garage space due to inadequate public or street parking. But with driverless cars, this may no longer be the case.

Driverless cars could help seniors stay independent for longer, which in turn would slow home sales but also reduce the need for assisted-living facilities. Additionally, when people are looking for a new home, they won’t have to consider parking situations or easy access to public transportation. Furthermore, people wouldn’t need to be as concerned about their daily commute to work.

The jobs of realtors themselves could be impacted by driverless cars as well. With 78% of home buyers saying they found their realtors to be a useful source, real estate agents could become even more efficient at their jobs.

Matt Widdows, HomeSmart founder, says autonomous vehicles could come in handy when showing homes to a client.

“I could see where it would be cool to pre-program a route to show homes to a client and then have the ability to sit there and review them as the car automatically took you to each home via a designated route,” he said.

This would allow an agent to provide a whole new level of service to their clients.

Cities like Phoenix are already participating in trials of fully driverless cars. Google spinoff Waymo will allow participants to take the company’s fully self-driving car to their destinations. Phoenix’s grid-like roads and friendly regulatory system made it a great fit for this experiment.

The adoption of automated vehicles could mean fewer car accidents, which would affect healthcare facilities as well. There were almost 6.3 million auto-related accidents in 2015 with a total of about 110 million emergency room visits every year. Due to autonomous cars, healthcare facility owners should consider the possibility of fewer patients.

With all of the data and predictions, it looks like automated vehicles may prove to be the biggest disruption for real estate and various other industries since the invention of the car itself. However, this change will depend on how widespread and how quickly consumers and industries adapt to the change. Even though there are still obstacles like government regulation and consumer trust, the rise of driverless vehicles is sure to present challenges as well as opportunities in the future.