silver springs village

You may have guessed that a world with driverless cars, or autonomous vehicles (AVs), would involve a much less stressful commute for you, a lot of legislation and a total transformation to the way we live our daily lives, but did you guess that it would involve tons of changes to the way builders, well, build?

Professional Builder reported on a recent study from MIT that predicts a couple of decades will pass before we truly see the rise of AVs, that these driverless cars will unlock new land to build on, lower the cost of building and that home sales will slow down. To start, it may be until 2040 that we see the AVs come onto the scene in an impactful way. Taxi drivers and public transportation employees will protest the use of AVs until a working transition plan is in place for them. U.S. cities, additionally, will have to find other sources of revenue than parking tickets, vehicle registrations and other human-error-related revenue. Further, as these vehicles become cheaper to produce, governments will have to find ways to keep the roads from becoming overburdened by them.

However, the approach of AVs means that parking garages, gas stations, parking spaces and more will not be used as car ownership in cities becomes obsolete and continue to spread to the suburbs, since homeowners will likely tolerate a farther commute without having to drive. Construction costs will decrease once autonomous trucks can be used to transport materials. This is good news for home builders, who may see a slowdown in home sales, since driverless cars will keep senior citizens living independently for longer and let them stay in their homes, rather than selling them and moving to assisted living facilities at the traditional rate.

Since the age of AVs hasn’t arrived yet, several scenarios could develop, Bloomberg reports. In one, the newly buildable land may temporarily slow price appreciation in cities and rise in value once they have been built on. In another, AVs could increase gentrification and property value simultaneously in already popular urban areas. Finally, AVs could decrease real estate values because of the new supply in the suburban areas.

We will know more once the day of the driverless car gets closer, but for now, imagine your commute to work as a future session for relaxation, if you can.