Subhrajit “Subhro” Guhathakurta is chair of the School of City and Regional Planning and director of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization. Guhathakurta’s research assesses how decisions made about urban growth relate to sustainability. He develops metrics and benchmarks for assessing sustainability outcomes and uses creative visualization techniques to make his analysis relevant to non-experts.
Guhathakurta has conducted extensive research assessing the potential impact of autonomous ground vehicles on urban form and land-use patterns. “Different business models for autonomous ground vehicles have been proposed and include shared AVs (SAVs) and private AVs (PAVs),” he explains. “A future of PAVs will likely lead to increases in the total vehicle miles traveled due to unoccupied vehicle movement. With the popularization of SAVs, we expect that the city centers would benefit from more accessibility and better amenities, partly through space made available from repurposed parking spots. Demand for parking infrastructure could decrease significantly.” However, he also cautions that “this future is possible only with deliberate and smart planning of our cities.”
In the context of future urban air mobility, Guhathakurta sees many connections between autonomous ground vehicles and urban air mobility operations. “Ground AVs will likely lead to a decrease in demand for parking structures,” he says. “We could identify parking facilities that will have a low utilization and potentially repurpose those structures to serve UAM operations.”
For more information on Guhathakurta’s research related to UAM, see: