On-demand CAVs could serve new Essex housing development

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A new housing development in Essex could see no driveways built, with residents instead served by on-demand connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

Plans for Chelmsford Garden Village show a residential environment free of cars with a nearby driverless vehicle carpark from which people can summon CAVs.

Jeremy Potter, Chelmsford City Council’s spatial planning manager, told The Sunday Times, “If you’ve only got a certain amount of space, you want to maximise it for things that are really useful.

“A car is only useful for a person when they’re using it. The rest of the time, it’s just taking up space, on the road or drive, which could be re-imagined for trees, play space.

“Autonomous cars allow you to call it when you need it rather than having it there, a great big bit of steel, taking up a large amount of space.”

According to the council, the first 4,850 homes will have room for vehicles but predicts the remainder of the development will not require driveways. It is expected that there will be a total of 10,000 homes built.

The garden village will follow on from the area’s Beaulieu and Channels developments. It is designed not to be a co-dependent suburb of Chelmsford but its own place.

Additionally, it will feature its own train station, an expansion of Bus Rapid Transit as well as walking and cycling routes.

Work on the project is expected to continue until 2036.

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