In the future, there will be fewer vehicles on the roads. That, combined with the fact that many of those vehicles will be non-privately owned self-driving pods, means the need for car parks as we know it will decline. Those are my projections, anyway. If I’m right about this, then the question should eventually arise of what to do with existing car parking facilities in urban centres.
Seeing as there’s pressure for more housing in a lot of cities, I’m thinking that the car parks will probably end up being transformed into high-rise apartment blocks. Of course, that wouldn’t work if people were going to keep owning cars, because then there’d be even less places to park them than there are now, but if things pan out the way I predict, then it could be a solution to housing shortages.
Even then, there’d need to be a viable traffic management plan in place for the pods or whatnot. I mean, it’s not like they can just de-materialise into thin air… or is it? Who knows? Maybe someone’s working on that as we speak. Or perhaps the pods can be teleported away from the urban centre when not in use. I guess that would depend on whether teleportation uses more or less energy than driving them there the conventional way.
That would introduce a whole new range of factors to be dealt with by traffic consulting services. Melbourne would need to have teleportation pads installed, for starters, and it’s possible that these would take up just as much space as car parks do. It’s also possible that they’d be tiny, or simply fitted onto the road itself – like, the pods just drive over them while in teleport mode, and off they go.
Efficiency will be the name of the game in the future. Not just in terms of energy or time, but also in terms of space. It’s going to be like a real-life game of 3D Tetris.