First of all, assuming that every vehicle is autonomous, how many will there be. My guess is that there will have to be a lot of them if they are to respond with the same alacrity as one would experience if you had your own car. Plus, when they are empty, and not on a call, they have to be somewhere, if even for a few minutes. They aren’t going to just cruise around aimlessly waiting for someone to ask for them. They will need to park.
Plus, what about at night, or midday, when most cars aren’t being used. They will need a place to sit and be serviced, washed, detailed, repaired, and maintained.
It seems that Google’s Waymo, the giant’s autonomous vehicle arm, has hired Avis to supply places to store and maintain the company’s cars. But car rental companies usually don’t have the space, nor are they located in places where cars tend to be, like downtown.
But what is located downtown where cars could be stored and maintained? Can you say parking garages.
So parking garages could reach out to autonomous vehicle owners and offer these services to them. To Wit:
“Storage and maintenance will mostly like be best suited for parking structures/lots to accommodate self-driving car fleets,” write Ted & Alan Anglyn, of Parking Property Advisors. “While rental car agencies and other fleet management companies are natural matches, their properties are often not in great locations, which somewhat limits both the capacity and the ability to accommodate growth.
Gee, rather than just storing cars, parking operations could repair, maintain, fuel, clean, and provide a myriad of other money making services to the owners of autonomous vehicles.
The quote from Ted and Alan above is from an article you will find in September’s Parking Today. I’m not sure I buy all their comments, however, if, and its a big IF, autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous, someone has to provide the services mentioned. Who better…