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This report looks at the potential impacts autonomous vehicle deployment could have on parking demand and how that might impact urban development. The study focused on three distinct areas of San Francisco. The research found that, contrary to headlines about AV impacts on parking, achieving large reductions in parking demand based on AV deployment will not be easy. To achieve significant parking reductions, AVs would need to be shared (not privately owned), pooled (riders willing to pick up other passengers along the way), have widespread geographic deployment (across entire metropolitan areas), and would need to complement high-capacity transit. Without all or most of these factors, parking demand may only by marginally impacted by AV deployment. The study also found that if parking demand could be reduced, different areas of the city would see quite different results. While many areas in San Francisco would see minimal development impacts as parking is not currently a significant driver or limiter of development, more auto-dominated areas could see substantial impacts if parking demand could be reduced by more than 40%. This raises interesting questions of how these levels of parking demand reduction might impact more auto-dominated and suburban areas throughout the country. This research was funded by Waymo.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by forces of change including—but not limited to—AVs and related technologies.
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