Muhammad Obaid, founder of Dubai-based architecture and engineering consultancy EMKAAN reveals how driverless cars would reshape mega-cities in the future.
Obaid explains that the sleek and compact futuristic vehicle opens up incredible potential in the construction and design field, affecting design considerations.
Designers would now consider having two entries on a building; one on the roof for autonomous drone passengers and one on the ground for pedestrians.
Parking spaces currently on the ground, would be replaced by parking lots on the roofs, dedicated to drones.
He also adds that construction will no longer be limited to building on flat land, as builders can now reach higher environments, more easily such as mountainous areas.
Here is a full list of ways in which compact futuristic vehicles can affect design considerations:
The building design:
Designers would now consider having two entries; one on the roof for autonomous drone passengers and one on the ground for pedestrians.
Parking spaces currently on the ground, in basements, and multi-storey buildings would be replaced by parking lots on roofs, dedicated to drones. Most likely, ground parking spaces would be replaced by landscaping.
The urban community:
The current width of roads (15m.), designed for cars, will return to its original smaller width prioritising the needs of humans, focusing on microclimates and child safety
Narrowing the streets not only enables more shaded areas, but it also reduces the effect of heat islands. Open squares could be designed at intervals to allow for heat islands to be generated within them, creating movement and cool breezes, changing the microclimate of current cities. A walk in the historic areas of Dubai is a perfect example of this phenomenon
As a consequence, community centers such as shopping malls could be outside, bringing life back to the street.
The city and infrastructure:
Location: At present, cities are located where they connect to existing roads. As roads become obsolete for certain transport activities, cities can then be built anywhere. The investment made in connecting these cities to the primary road network can now be put into agriculture
Topography: Construction is longer limited to building on flat land, as builders can now reach higher environments more easily such as mountainous areas
Although the use of drones will not make the use of roads completely obsolete, especially for heavy vehicles, it will certainly reduce the traffic on highways making them last longer and reducing maintenance requirements