We’ve heard about
them on the news.
Blind Man Finds Independence
in Google Car's Driver Seat
Driverless Cars Set to
Hit the Streets of London
Now Qualifies as a
“Google test cars log 3 million
simulated miles per day”
As designers, we see that
driverless cars technology will
not only revolutionize the way
we travel. . .
. . . but it will
also have a
Our towns and cities were
shaped by the automobile.
dictated by cars.
Driverless cars will require new
innovative ideas in highly trafficked
retail and mixed-use projects.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration illustration.
A group of forward-thinking
Cooper Carry retail and mixed-
use designers landed on several
ways the adoption of driverless
cars will impact retail design.
• needs to be parked
• proximity of parking to destinations less important
• cost of providing parking shouldered by
developers and governments
• rise in third party parking services
Bigger Valet Systems
• guests arrive and depart via
• retail centers will require an new
space to accommodate larger,
more robust valet system
• with designated waiting areas and
The transition from traditional cars to driverless
vehicles will be a bumpy road.
Everything from street widths to below-grade
parking will need to be rethought.
Street grids might need to expand or contract
depending on the size of cars.
• More people will be mobile
• Everyone from the elderly to the
visually impaired will have
access to transportation and
more likely to visit retail centers
• More accommodations for hand-
icapped guests may need to be
The reliability of driverless cars might make
neighborhoods and cities safer for pedestrians.
Less people likely to own a personal car.
Neighborhoods, retailers and office buildings will
develop around popular, pedestrian-oriented
There will be an uptick in truly mixed-use
communities, undivided by the spatial needs of
have made their debut
in Europe. Products will
be more efficiently
retailers’ ability to
quickly provide products
As a result of more efficient delivery
and logistics, retailers may require
less brick and mortar space. Expect
to see more retailers take on a
business model like Bonobos where
guests can try the product in store
and have it delivered to their home
within a day or two.
Smaller Square Footage
Requirements for Retailers
The retail center and its retailers’ brand
experiences extend beyond the property lines.
• Developers have already realized this, investing
in websites & social media
• Driverless cars will only add to that, creating
the social experience for guests in the car
before stepping foot on property
From safety features to reliability,
there are lots of hurdles before society
adopts the concept.
As designers, we are constantly
on the lookout for the next big
trends that will impact our clients.
And, we feel that driverless cars
will need to be addressed in the
future design of retail centers,
neighborhoods, cities and beyond.
At Cooper Carry, we believe in
connecting people to place. If
people are arriving via driverless
cars, our designs will adapt to this
new transportation to seamlessly
connect people to place. We look
forward to what the future holds!
David W. Kitchens
Lauren Perry Ford
R. Allen Dedels