Autonomous driving sector could create new $7trn ‘passenger economy’ –

A new report into the potential for the autonomous vehicles sector has predicted that by 2050, a whole new ‘passenger economy’ could develop worth $7trn.

We’ve heard plenty over the past few years about the ‘sharing economy’ with the growth of companies like Uber and Airbnb, but in the decades the come with me all be talking about a ‘passenger economy’.

That is the opinion of Intel who has just released a new study looking at the long term economic effects of a society in which driving is handed over to autonomous vehicles.

With people having more time to do other things rather than driving, it is believed a new passenger economy will develop that could be worth as much as $800bn by 2035, and even a staggering $7trn by 2050.

Of that latter number, the area of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) will dominate with a value of $3.7trn – or 55pc of the economy – as people ditch their cars in favour of ride-hailing services.

Such a trend was predicted in a report last month that warned that the US car industry could totally collapse by 2030 if self-driving cars became mainstream.

Meanwhile, business use of MaaS through package delivery and freight delivery will be worth approximately $3trn.

Finally, the remaining $203bn will be comprised of other uses for autonomous driving such as in hospitality and tourism with additional options for healthcare and entertainment.

On-board salons?

Some other interesting financial estimates suggest that a fully functional world of autonomous vehicles would save $234bn between 2035 and 2045 in public safety costs related to traffic accidents saving half a million lives.

With 250m hours of commuting time cut each year as a result, suggestions for advertisers as to what to fill it with include location-based advertising on the road, custom commuting movies and even on-board beauty salons.

“Companies should start thinking about their autonomous strategy now,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

“Less than a decade ago, no one was talking about the potential of a soon-to-emerge app or sharing economy because no one saw it coming.”

Peugeot autonomous car concept. Image:  VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock

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