In addition to following the usual commercial real estate blogs, I periodically find myself pulled down various rabbit holes when it’s related to energy or transportation as both have huge impacts on the built environment.

My favorite “what if” scenario was recently described in “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030″ which was put out by a think tank called RethinkX.

It proposes that within 13 years self-driving cars will represent some 95% of all car miles driven and the old model of people owning internal combustion driven cars will be quickly replaced by electric self-driving shared vehicles.

So here are my questions for the commercial real estate community:

  1. What happens to the parking lots when the revenue dwindles to zero? Reuse? Abandonment?
  2. What happens to the gas stations when cars are charged up in driveways or centralized charging locations? Who pays for the environmental remediation that always seems to be required for old gas stations?

To download the report, and scare the heck out of anyone you know who owns a parking lot or a gas station, go here.