Donald Trump’s surprise win in the US presidential election has sent ripples throughout the world, and the IoT is no exception. Here are our first thoughts on the impact of the historic results on the IoT:
- Self-driving car adoption levels may be lower than anticipated.
BI Intelligence has maintained an optimistic take on self-driving car adoption rates. Much of this belief has been driven by the actions and plans of Tesla, which has aggressively moved to make its vehicles autonomous, with all new cars shipping with the hardware for full autonomy. These autonomous vehicles, however, are also fully electric cars, and purchasers have thus far received generous tax credits in the US, making Teslas (relatively) more affordable. Further, with the upcoming Model 3, Tesla was set to offer a car that a consumer could purchase, after credits, for under $30,000, creating a vast pool of cars with the capability for fully autonomous driving. The Trump campaign, however, offered no proposals to combat climate change or pursue green policies, and may very well look to discontinue this and similar federal tax credits. Without these, Tesla purchases could grow at much lower rates than anticipated, leaving a smaller pool of potentially autonomous vehicles and slowing the spread of the self-driving car.
- Smart city program development in the US will stagnate.
In our recent report on smart cities, we characterized the North American smart city market as lagging behind other parts of the world, but with the potential to grow rapidly in the coming years due to new federal funding avenues and other points of emphasis. With Trump’s tax plan estimated to reduce federal revenues by $9.5 trillion over 10 years, which could potentially cause the national debt to dramatically rise, such avenues for funding will likely fade from prominence due to a lack of budget. Further, smart city developments focused on environmental impacts specifically will face the same hurdles as electric car subsidies as policies to combat climate change are de-emphasized. Look for smart city projects to stall or be abandoned due to a lack of federal support from a Trump administration.
- Manufacturing promises are at odds with industrial IoT trends.
Throughout the campaign, Trump promised to renegotiate trade deals to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. Advanced manufacturing in the US, however, has been looking toward IoT solutions that create major ROI and increase efficiency. A side effect of these gains, which we identify as a barrier to the growth of the IoT in manufacturing, is increased job cuts due to automation. The IoT will either serve to stymie the efforts of a Trump administration or, more likely, be de-emphasized and advocated against by the executive branch due to the potential impacts on jobs.
Regardless of how Trump’s administration ultimately plays out, the IoT Revolution continues to pick up speed. And when it does, it will change how we live, work, travel, entertain, and more.