It may have been unthinkable a mere decade ago, but attitudes towards automobile ownership have seen some dramatic changes that could affect real estate in a profound way. Car purchases are giving way to ride sharing programs. In fact, domestic and international auto manufacturers are now investing in new options for consumers who don’t want the long-term commitment of ownership. Ultimately, it is predicted that many drivers will choose to join auto-sharing clubs to free themselves of ownership, maintenance and insurance costs.

The consequences of such decisions will affect many aspects of a largely automobile-driven society. The insurance business, the fuel industry and car rental services are all susceptible to dramatic changes as this reality unfolds – not to mention the consequences for owners and employees of parking accommodations, auto repair shops and other after-market retailers.

The potential impact becomes even greater when you factor in the inevitable acceptance of driverless “autonomous” vehicles. This change begs the question, “What will become of garages, driveways and parking pads?” The evolution in the auto industry may eventually have many ramifications on all of us in terms of where and how we live.