Are self-driving cars speeding past smartphones?

Amid the stalling out of previous technology market darlings such as smartphones, a new report shows that autonomous cars have a bright road ahead.

As reported by PE Hub, Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends report. And the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner observed in her 213-slide report that the growth of self-driving cars was coming on strong.

Meeker said the computerization of the automobile may be in its early stages but innovation is accelerating in the US for this industry. This bodes well for American manufacturers and firms like Uber Technologies, where in less than two years uberPool could comprise 20% percent of all Uber rides.

Morgan Stanley predicted that autonomous vehicles could generate $507 billion in productivity gains annually. And in the long term, Accenture anticipates that half of all cars will be self-driving within the next 25 years.

America still leading the way in autonomous cars

Indeed, America is proving to be a global leader in driving the autonomous vehicle market forward.

General Motors recently arrived in San Francisco to test its own self-driving system, using a modified 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. It comes just weeks after GM’s $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation, a self-driving startup based in the testing city.

As well, several US states have prioritized efforts to update old laws or institute new ones to allow more autonomous vehicles to be tested and developed on their state’s thoroughfares.

Besides autonomous vehicles, Meeker’s report threw a positive light on the evolution of voice interface technology. It noted that voice interfaces are currently showing 90% accuracy rates, and when they reach the 99% threshold widespread use will likely ensue.

On the downside, Meeker said that the slowing trend of global smartphone shipments was a significant trend. She saw the possibility of iPhone sales peaking in 2015. As well, growth of internet users was flattening as India surpassed the US as the second-ranked internet nation on earth, following China’s lead.

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