Why builders might bring autonomous vehicles to communities

(Photo: Jshanebutt | Bigstock)

Autonomous shuttles could be the next big amenity in planned communities, according to a survey from Beep, a Florida-based transportation and technology provider. The company surveyed more than 2,500 builders and developers around the country to gauge how well the industry has embraced this form of advanced technology. More than a third of respondents said their communities already have some form of community-based transportation or driverless shuttle, and another 12% say it’s in the works.

Over two-thirds of respondents said that having these options in their communities could increase home values, with half saying they could add between 4% and 6%. Attracting new residents (56%) was the primary motivation for implementing community-based transportation, the report found, but almost as compelling was the ability to offer enhanced services (52%) and increasing revenue (50%).

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“This data reinforces that builders and developers share our same beliefs that alternative, safer and accessible community-based transportation services provide great benefits both socially and economically for the areas and people they serve,” Joe Moye, CEO of Beep, said in a statement. “Autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service transportation options are still a relatively new concept for many of these communities, but millions of Americans have already embraced new forms of connectivity and now are interested in finding better alternatives for the communities in which they live, work and play.”

Denver’s Regional Transportation District tested a driverless shuttle in 2019, when a 12-person electric autonomous vehicle roamed the loop around the 61st and Peña Blvd. rail station between January and August.

“The demonstration helped everyone involved assess the benefits this technology can provide in meeting our region’s future mobility needs. We believe that autonomous shuttle services may well become an integral part of how communities are designed in the future,” Dave Genova, general manager and CEO for RTD, said in a blog post.

Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus is the managing editor of Colorado Builder. She can be reached at [email protected].

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