Get ready for the $7 trillion passenger economy in 2050: Intel

Credit: posteriori /

A new report from Intel and Strategy Analytics predicts that autonomous vehicles will create a new so-called passenger economy that will be worth $7 trillion in 2050 – more than twice the size of the sharing economy.

The study says the passenger economy won’t take off for some time – it will take until 2035 just for it to reach the $800 billion level. But Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said companies should start thinking about their autonomous strategy now, because we’ve already seen that new digital business models ushered in by personal computing, the internet, ubiquitous connectivity and smartphones have given birth to whole new economies. Autonomous driving will do the same, he said.

“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,” Krzanich said. “This is why we started the conversation around the passenger economy early, to wake people up to the opportunity streams that will emerge when cars become the most powerful mobile data generating devices we use and people swap driving for riding.”

Autonomous driving and smart city technologies will enable the new passenger economy, gradually reconfiguring entire industries and inventing new ones thanks to the time and cognitive surplus it will unlock.

“Not unlike the space race of the 1960s, today’s announcement is a rallying cry to the world to put its best minds on this challenge,” said Greg Lindsay, urbanist and mobility futurist. “The future of mobility, economic advancement and the emergence of new growth opportunities like the passenger economy demand ongoing dialogue.”

The new report frames the value of the economic opportunity through both a consumer and business lens and begins to build use cases designed to enable decision-makers to develop actionable change strategies.

“Autonomous technology will drive change across a range of industries and define a new landscape, the first green shoots of which will appear in the business-to-business sector,” said study co-author Harvey Cohen, president of Strategy Analytics. “The emergence of pilotless vehicle options will first appear in developed markets and will reinvent the package delivery and long-haul transportation sectors. This will relieve driver shortages around the world and account for two-thirds of initial projected revenues.”

The report further points out that autonomously operated vehicle commercialization will gain steam by 2040 – generating an increasingly large share of the projected value and heralding the emergence of instantaneously personalized services.

For numbers and lots of new jargon, here’s a very big infographic.

Credit: Intel

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