Analyst firm CEO: Human drivers may no longer be allowed in a decade

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By Edd K. Usman

At a conference in Macau late last year, Steve Brazier, president and CEO of technology market analyst Canalys, made a bold prediction ? that countries would eventually disallow humans driving on the road.

Canalys president and CEO Steve Brazier at the 2016 Canalys Channels Forum in Cotai, Macau
Canalys president and CEO Steve Brazier at the 2016 Canalys Channels Forum in Cotai, Macau

“I will predict that in 10 years time, probably sooner, some countries would just ban driving. It would be illegal to drive your own car,” he said.

“It is coming very fast,” said Brazier, apparently referring to the technology-driven development in the transportation industry as part of what is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Tech giants Tesla, Google, and Apple are already into programs aimed at developing cars that run on its own; that is, without a person on the steering wheel.

In relation with this, a report made by John Byrne, senior principal analyst for IoT at Canalys, showed that over 95.5 billion devices would be connected to IoT by the year 2025.

He said that by industry the number of IoT-connected devices in automotive is 1.17 billion; medical, 1.03 billion; military and aerospace, 13 billion; and, industrial, 48.3 billion.

“The IoT is a rapidly growing phenomenon, offering opportunities throughout the value chain — including for component/device suppliers, software platform providers, app providers, consulting/systems integration providers, etc.,” said Byrne.

The IoT analyst said in 2019 there would be 10 billion IoT devices predicted to be shipped, with nearly 50 billion connected devices with installed base in 2020.

“IoT is a difficult market. It is a vertical market. I don’t think there is much correlation between what IoT means to health care, what it means to the transportation industry, what it means to education, or to the financial industry,” he said.

But Brazier painted a bright future for IoT, saying a lot of money await a lot of money those who can deliver a secure solution.

Brazier suggested that the IT industry develop a model that charges for activity rather than the number of IoT connected devices.

“You can’t just deploy 10 devices and charge for a maintenance fee because some devices can be hammered by the second by very high traffic, others will be used only occasionally,” the Canalys CEO said.

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