Autonomous cars are coming. Actually, they’re already here… its crazy how fast this technology has advanced in the past few years, to the point where the novelty will be short lived and the societal transition feels expected and inevitable.
This shift may feel natural at the human scale, but the real impact will be on our cities. As vehicles evolve from dumb sedentary objects to smart autonomous robots, the ability to efficiently orchestrate millions of cars becomes doable. Cars spend the majority of their life parked and stationary. Soon, instead of taking up space for 8 hours, cars will be able to drop you off at your destination and then continue moving other people throughout the day. This should theoretically improve things like car services – instead of each household having 1 or 2 vehicles which congests the city, perhaps 1 vehicle can meet the needs of 4 or 5 families.
Assuming a drop in the number of vehicles, we’ll start to have an excess of parking spaces throughout many of our urban centers. It is estimated that the United States alone has a billion parking spaces. Wowwwza. The effect of the car on our cities, infrastructure and overall planning is pretty staggering. So what will we do with all those empty spots? Want to have your say on what a driverless New York City looks like? You can propose your wild and crazy ideas here at the Blankspace design competition, and have a shot at $60,000 in prizes. Plus… you might even shape the (near) future, because the city wants to work with you to bring the best ideas into reality. Win.