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Proposed Chandler Zoning Changes Plan For A Future With Self-Driving Cars

waymo car
Jackie Hai/KJZZ
A Waymo self-driving car.

Waymo’s self driving cars have been zipping around Chandler since 2016. Last fall, Google's autonomous car project took humans out of the driver’s seat.

As the technology advances, the city is considering a change to its rules to prepare for a future of autonomous vehicles. The city reports it would be the first in the country to adopt such regulations.

City Principal Planner David De La Torre said experts predict self driving cars will reduce the need for parking spaces.

“The autonomous vehicle will just keep going from one location to another without ever having to park the car in any of those locations,” de la Torre said.  

RELATED:  Is Arizona The Self-Driving Car Capital Of The Country?

Chandler zoning code requires a certain number of parking space for developments. Chandler City Council will consider a proposalThursday that would allow developers to reduce parking space by up to 40 percent if they can prove people’s needs are changing.

“First  it allows the city to be flexible to reduce the amount of parking that’s required,” de la Torre said. “Second it encourages the installation of passenger loading zones.”

The new rules would apply to future and existing developments.

“It sends a message to the autonomous vehicle industry that Chandler’s open for business,” de la Torre said.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.