The Moving Issue - February Modus
The Moving Issue

Oliver Parsons

Editor of Modus (RICS)

In this, the first edition of Modus in RICS’ 150th celebratory year, we case our eye to the future and ask: where will self-driving cars take us?

Car manufacturers have now reached a stage of development where the possible benefits of fully automated vehicles are becoming apparent, and challenges that were once seen as insurmountable now seem relatively minor. Consequently, we’ve never heard quite so much positive future-gazing about our transport future.

But will the self-driving car be all good news – or are we allowing ourselves to travel into a world even more dominated by the car? In our cover feature this month, we explore some of the possible futures for automated vehicles, speaking to experts in the field about how they may affect cities, infrastructure and real estate in both positive and negative ways.

Also this issue: first we had smartphones, then smart buildings, now smart technology is converging with urban planning, and many figures in city governance, infrastructure and transport are beside themselves at the thought of the possibilities. Ideas such as real-time accident detection, dynamic messaging signs and passenger drones all sound brilliant, but what does it all really look like in practice, and how much of it is feasible?

Finally, while blockchain was developed as a support structure for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the technology underpinning it could help to solve three big real estate industry challenges: transparency, fraud prevention and the relatively slow speed of property transactions. We assess blockchain’s potential in real estate, and when we might start to feel its impacts

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