Our Automated Future: How L.A. Can Prepare Today for the Robot Cars and Parking Innovations of Tomorrow

Friday, March 17, 2017

In the future, cars will drive themselves. In the future, elevators and conveyor belts will whisk cars away for storage. In the future, Los Angeles will have no traffic. What we don’t know is when the future will arrive.

While some of these innovations are a long way off, others are on the cusp of reality. The advent of self-driving cars and automated parking facilities are well on their way. They hold tremendous promise, and, for many, they hold the key to reclaiming cities from asphalt. Perhaps nowhere will these advances be more welcome than in traffic-choked, parking-heavy Los Angeles.

But the future isn’t here quite yet.

Developers can’t know how long we’re going to be on the “cusp” of technological breakthroughs. In today’s world, property owners are forced to heed tenants’ demand for generous parking. At the same time, some are trying to anticipate what’s coming in 5, 10, or 20 years and to build so that today’s trophy properties aren’t tomorrow’s follies. Likewise, cities are crafting long-range mobility and land use plans that accommodate the needs of today along with the hopes of tomorrow.

WUF will look into the crystal ball and the pro forma to discuss ways that developers and cities can navigate this unique moment of transition – to serve the needs of 20th century Los Angeles while preparing for the 21st and many centuries to come.


Wally Marks, Owner of WNM Realty
Michael O'Bryan, President of Park Plus California
Ryan Snyder, Principal at Transpo Group
Erik Thoreen, Director of Investments, Hudson Pacific


Michael Manville, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs