Proposed Chandler ordinance looks ahead to when self-driving cars are the norm

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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The City of Chandler is looking ahead to when autonomous cars are the norm. Next week, the city council is expected to pass a zoning rule that, in the future, could put less emphasis on the number of parking spaces around town.

“If a lot of people do accept and use autonomous vehicles over using their own cars then that’s going to create an impact, a significant impact, on the need and demand for parking," Chandler's principal planner David De La Torre said.

He was also quick to point out that nobody knows when self-driving cars will take over, so to speak. Some experts think it will happen quickly, but others think it could be 20 years before a significant number of people choose to give up their own cars.

The rule encourages businesses to put in pick-up and drop-off zones specifically for self-driving cars, and the places that do wouldn’t have to provide as much parking on their lots.

De La Torre talked with big cities like New York and San Francisco to find some examples of a similar ordinance but he couldn’t find one.

“Just knowing that we’re the first or maybe one of the first cities to do this is pretty exciting," he said.

[WATCH: Waymo releases video from self-driving car just before crash]

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