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MIPIM Day One: Driverless Cars Are Far Off, but Here’s How to Prep

Real estate professionals are eager to discuss the subject of driverless cars.

As self-driving cars slowly transition from fantasy to reality, real estate professionals eagerly crammed into a panel devoted to the subject on the first day of the Marché International des Professionnels de L’immobilier conference in Cannes, France.

But panelists didn’t make bold predictions of massive changes needed for buildings and roads. In fact, the experts were stumped about what would exactly happen as an effect of driverless cars—and when they would take over the streets.

“The key question of will we see more cars or less cars [on the road]—let me tell you we don’t know,” said Carlo Ratti, the director of innovation and design firm Carlo Ratti Associati, which has offices in New York City and Italy.

Speaking hypothetically he added: “According to most estimates if you’ve got self-driving cars moving around, then the cost per mile can decrease significantly. Today an Uber is $2.20 [or] $2.50 per mile in the United States. Well, that number could go down to something like 20 to 60 cents per mile [if the cars were driverless] according to some studies. Well, if that happens then it’s going to be hell, because nobody would want to take the subway anymore. The subway will be more expensive than a car… There will be jams everywhere.”

And when will self-driverless cars be the norm?

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