The greatest constraining factor to urban real estate development, ZOM Living CEO Greg West said, is parking. Building entrances for people to walk in is easy, he said, but constructing entrances and garages to store hundreds of cars is a major challenge.
If autonomous vehicles can drop people off at work and not have to remain parked there all day, he said it could open a world of opportunity for development.
“Ultimately what that means is developers will be able to build in urban places without any parking at all,” said West, speaking last week at the Dreamit x Bisnow Innovation Summit in Tampa.
Envoy Technologies, a provider of shared, on-demand, community-based electric vehicles (EVs), has announced the first wave of live sites and vehicle deployments in Sacramento, Calif., under the Electrify America Green City initiative.
Envoy and Electrify America recently joined Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg at an event to unveil the EVs and outline the vision for future development. Electrify America is a Volkswagen subsidiary created to help fulfill funding requirements under the automaker’s Dieselgate settlement.
Under the Sac-to-Zero initiative, more than 20 Volkswagen e-Golf vehicles are now available across Sacramento at over 10 multifamily properties, each with an accompanying Level 2 charging station. The majority of these sites are in disadvantaged communities. Drivers can use the “Envoy There” mobile app to use vehicles for a myriad of uses.
Soon, if you need a ride to the airport or just around town, you’ll have another decision to make. Do you hop in a cab? Request an Uber? Or perhaps….you take a self-driving taxi.
What just a few years ago seemed like futuristic technology right out of a sci-fi movie will be here before you know it.
Ford became the latest large auto manufacturer to unveil its plans for autonomous driving services.
Last week, the company revealed that it will start offering commercial self-driving taxis and delivery services in Washington, D.C. and other yet to be named cities by as early as 2021 – a mere 3 years away. Testing is slated to begin next year.
The District is designating curbside space for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft at locations across the city — an effort to reduce the number of vehicles that stop to pick up and drop off passengers in bike lanes, crosswalks and travel lanes.
The District Department of Transportation is adding the pickup and drop-off zones at five entertainment hot spots where visitors are dependent on the services to get around. Those sites are the nightlife hub of 14th and U streets, the National Zoo and Georgetown in Northwest, the Wharf waterfront development in Southwest and Union Market in Northeast.
The 24-hour-a-day zones will also be used for commercial loading, officials said. They are expected to go live later this year, following a public comment period and the installation of signs.
On Tuesday, Lyft offered a glimpse of its brand-new self-driving car. It’s a Ford Fusion hybrid sedan with technology designed and built by the ride-hailing company’s in-house team of autonomous vehicle engineers. Lyft also announced the acquisition of Blue Vision Labs, a London-based augmented reality startup that uses computer vision to process street-level imagery.