I am not convinced that autonomous vehicles will make “location” irrelevant.
But I do agree with the following line from this recent Bloomberg article called, A Driverless Future Threatens the Laws of Real Estate.
“The link between property and transport has been perhaps the most durable in human history.”
So this remark by David Silver could very well be correct:
“Real estate might be the industry that is most transformed by autonomous vehicles.”
Technological advances in mobility have historically brought about decentralization because each advance – from streetcars to the automobile – made it reasonable to travel further distances.
Of course, autonomous vehicles are also expected to free up our time and focus while in transit – although trains do that for us today albeit with that pesky last mile problem.
But just like the internet in the late 90′s didn’t make location irrelevant (the opposite appears to have happened), I am similarly unconvinced when it comes to autonomous vehicles. What we consider a desirable location may simply shift.
So this is not to say that the won’t see profound change in our cities. We will. Which is why we’re all trying to get ahead of it.