With the rate at which technology is advancing,  global artificial intelligence, electric cars, Internet of Things and smartphone revenue can reach $22.2tn by 2030- a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, an intergovernmental organisation, has said.

According to the data from the UNCTAD’s recent report on technology,

frontier technologies have experienced unprecedented growth in the last two decades.

The report showed that for comparison, over this period “the global market for smartphones was expected only to double, from $508bn to $983bn.

It stated that, “By 2030, IoT revenues could reach $4.4tn.

“There is also a rapidly expanding market for AI, which by 2030 might be contributing between $13tn and $16tn to the global economy also, the market revenues for electric vehicles could increase from $163bn to $824bn.”

The total aggregate of these market revenue was an estimated $22.2tn by 2030.

It was important to note that these estimates may be inflated by double counting, for instance, many IoT technologies also involve the deployment of AI and big data.

UNCTAD explained that around half of the market value of these technologies was for the Internet of things which embraced a vast range of devices that were ubiquitous across multiple sectors.

The report noted the accelerated use of these multiple interconnected devices  by Tesla’s automotive factories, to Amazon’s warehouses, to IoT devices in sustainable aquaculture has increased demand for such technology.

It stated that, “Growth is driven by continued technical improvements in multiple sectors, such as AI-enabled self-programming robots for manufacturing, and AI-based software in financial investment, trading, and loan screening.

“AI is also improving urban service delivery in smart cities and drone delivery by directing semi-autonomous vehicles, cars, trucks, and buses, in which drivers are assisted by cameras, radar, and navigation systems.”

Expatiating on the factors that would contribute to the market revenue of electric cars, the report said that this growth was being driven primarily by “demands from consumers who wish to reduce their carbon footprints but are also responding to rising prices for gasoline and diesel that have arisen from geopolitical instability.”

Fortunately, the demand was now being met by many more suppliers, including companies who previously only produced vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Greater competition had reduced prices, encouraging better charging infrastructure, and supportive government regulations and incentives.

It also alluded to the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which triggered more rapid digitalisation.

The report showed that for the global investment promotion agencies, “ICT is now reported as the second most important industry, with technologies like blockchain, big data, 5G, and IoT as the main choices for online activities.”

It added that these frontier technologies were supplied primarily from a few countries, notably the United States, China, and countries in Western Europe.

The report added that, “Companies from China are particularly active in 5G, drone technology, and solar PV.

“Robotics and green frontier technologies suppliers, on the other hand are more evenly spread among developed economies in Western Europe and East Asia, where companies have benefitted from favourable regulation and rising demand for renewable energy.”

It noted that only two of the top frontier technology providers were from developing economies, and “both are in the renewables sector. Firms in these countries urgently need more government support if they are to operate more effectively close to technological frontiers.”

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