Research by Dutch consulting engineer Arcadis suggests that the adoption of driverless vehicles could free up to 6,300ha of space in London.
The report, titled Citizens in Motion, estimates that the use of connected and autonomous vehicles could reclaim 80% of space currently allocated to car parks. It adds that if this freed-up space were to be assembled into sites, it could provide enough land to build 180,000 homes in London.Â
However, if the benefits are to be realised, the UK government will have to engage as soon as possible with the private sector, and draw up plans to integrate autonomous vehicles with other forms of transport.
Peter Hogg, Arcadis’ UK cities director, said: "London is grappling with congestion, overcrowded transport, poor air quality, and the need to improve the citizen experience. While the proliferation of driverless technology is inevitable, what isn’t yet clear is what shape it will take in London.
"We have the opportunity now to be on the front foot; how London embraces autonomous vehicles will be a key fork in the road that will either enhance or frustrate how well London performs economically."
Earlier this year Arup estimated that autonomous vehicles could create 100,000 jobs in Ireland, and last year Aecom received £4.2m in funding from the UK government to test the use of autonomous vehicles around public spaces.
Arcadis’ Citizens in Motion reportÂ is available to view here.
Image: A Google self-driving car in Mountain View, California (Grendelkhan/Wikimedia Commons)