Property owners fail to plan for AV future

Most Sydney property and infrastructure owners are unprepared for the impact of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on their businesses, according to Arcadis, a global design, engineering and management consulting company that conducted a series of indepth
interview with 20 of the major players.

Arcadis found that 100 per cent of respondents believe that driverless cars will impact on property and infrastructure, but only 10 per cent have a formal plan to meet and adapt to this challenge.

Most players acknowledge that the problem is pressing. Twenty-four per cent of the respondents expect major change in this regard within the next one to five years; 65 per cent expect impact within five to 10 years; and the rest are equally divided between seeing the effects of automated vehicles within one year or in more than 10 years.

Most of the planning that is currently underway relates to parking. Parking garages are expected to soon become redundant, and respondents are all concerned about having large and potentially dead assets on their books.

Early movers are already thinking and building their parking areas differently – for example, with higher ceilings so they can be transformed into commercial spaces. Some residential property developers are seeking council approval to build below the minimum parking requirements.

Property owners said they were reluctant to make too many major changes because they still saw barriers to the introduction of AVs, including legal uncertainties around their use, current technological barriers, an absence of clear and visible leadership in the market, and the need for community education and engagement in change.

They saw no framework around the introduction of this major technological and social revolution.


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