Driverless vehicles could lower need for private vehicle-use and free up thousands of hectares of land for development, according to a design and consultancy firm.
The use of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) could free up over 6,300 hectares of land in London alone — enough space to build the equivalent of 180,000 new homes across the capital.
A national CAV ‘revolution’ could, in fact, according to Arcadis’ Citizens in Motion report, allow for the reclamation of up to 80% of space currently allocated to car parking in every city, which could then be used for much needed housing.
However, as the report emphasises, local authorities must consider how their cities can best adapt now to exploit the potential benefits of driverless technology in the future.
‘While the proliferation of driverless technology is inevitable, what isn’t yet clear is what shape it will take in London,’ said UK Cities director at Arcadis Peter Hogg, who focused on the capital.
‘We have the opportunity now to be on the front-foot; how London embraces CAV will be a key fork in the road that will either enhance or frustrate how well London performs economically.
‘From building CAV into the city planning process, to incentivisation, regulation and licensing, true success will only come if we can recognise and respond proactively to CAV disruption in a way that works specifically for London and — most importantly — its citizens.’
Richard Dilks, director, Transport Policy at London First added: ‘For London to remain a leading world city it must not only invest in new railways and runways, but also stay at the cutting edge of new technologies such as connected and autonomous vehicles.
‘CAV have the potential to keep people moving, ease congestion and free up parking spaces, but these benefits will only be realised if London government and businesses work together to integrate the city’s public transport network.’