A town designed specifically for the driverless car could become a reality in the UK. Aldred Drummond, 38, owns a 300-acre site in Fawley, near Southampton, which is dominated by the disused Fawley Power Station. His aim is to convince investors and employers to back his scheme which will create a model for urban living without the need for commuting or the school run. The ‘smart town’ will feature an underground car park that can hold 4,000 cars taking the blight of parking off the streets.
This is made possible due to a pre-existing basement under the power station which can also be used to store boats and yachts in a dry stack.
Drummond also thinks that demand for personal transport will shrink as driverless cars become more popular. According to an article in the Times he is quoted as saying; “If you can summon a car like a taxi why would you want to own one.”
Drummond aims to create a “merchant city” where employment can be found within walking distance of homes. He is targeting hi-tech firms and marine supply companies to locate in the town and also has a partnership with Southampton University.
A planning application will be submitted by the end of the year with construction commencing in 2018. With forecast investment of £1bn the target is for the whole town to be completed within 30 years.
The oil-fired power station was decommissioned in 2013 after operating for more than 40 years.