Driverless Cars Might Intersect with Housing Industry

Filed in Economics, Technology by on February 12, 2018 4 Comments

Flying cars are still a thing of fiction … for now. But like it or not, driverless cars are becoming a reality.

In the not-too-distant future, you might get passed on the freeway by a car without anyone behind the wheel — that is, if the car even has a steering wheel. Among several automakers currently developing models, GM says a large fleet of its self-driving cars could be deployed as early as next year.

According to a recent national poll conducted by NAHB, 59% of all adults surveyed said they would at least consider buying a driverless car. Not surprisingly, younger generations appear much more open than older generations to the idea. Those who responded “yes” or “maybe” to the possibility of buying a driverless included 71% of millennials and 66% of Gen Xers — compared to just 45% and 36% of baby boomers and seniors, respectively.

Infographic: Portions of those who would consider buying a self-driving car.

What might be a huge milestone in the transportation industry is something that could also have implications for the housing industry. The advent of driverless cars could potentially impact the decision of where to live for many prospective home buyers.

In theory, having a self-driving car would reduce the stress of driving, which could ease apprehensions about having a longer commute. Sure enough, of those 59% of adults who’d consider a self-driving car, nearly two-thirds said having one might encourage them to move further away from work.

For additional insights, go to Eye On Housing.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Ron Jones says:

    Let’s not concern ourselves with issues like more exhaust emissions and time spent on the road due to longer commutes or the negative environmental impacts of leapfrog-greenfield development. Why should we worry about the big picture? If it helps sell more houses that’s all that really matters. Right?

    • Mark Davis says:

      The development of self-driving cars is almost exclusively on electric vehicle technology, which doesn’t contribute to emissions. More time on road in an exclusive self-driving environment could mean productivity or leisure activities while mobile. I think the article speaks to an important trend that builders need to be cognizant of – and how it could impact consumer city/suburban preferences and the corresponding home values. Some studies have shown this could result in a decrease in a “commuter premium” which for builders is important, because it may mean a tightened gap between surburban and urban land/housing values.

    • Good points, Ron. Keep it up. We all need the awareness.

  2. Zully Ruiz says:

    Advances in transportation are great, but I doubt millenniums would really move further from work.
    City living is near all they like. Affordability is the problem.

    People wasting time inside the car is not an effective way to spend precious hours.

    It will take a long time before substantial amounts of persons would consider the issue of buying this type of car to live further.

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