As many as 100,000 high-end direct and indirect jobs could be created in Ireland by 2030 as driverless cars become the norm, a new report claims.
The study suggests the State has the potential to become a leading global hub for companies developing connected and autonomous vehicle technology.
However, it warns Ireland must act immediately to take advantage of the opportunities by ensuring we have the right skills base and by reviewing current legislation to ensure our road network is fit for purpose.
“The Government has an essential role to play in both facilitating the smooth and safe introduction of connected and autonomous vehicles onto our roads and helping to ensure that Ireland reaps the maximum economic benefit from these technologies,” said John McCarthy, associate director and leader of intelligent mobility for engineering group Arup in Ireland.
The global connected car market is expected to grow in the next five years to over $180 billion and this will be underpinned by the delivery of software and hardware services. Intel has indicated self-driving cars could lead to the creation of an additional $7 trillion in economic activity provided by a new wave of technology solutions.
Arup’s report says that Ireland is in a great position to benefit from the widespread adoption of driverless cars, given the strength of the local tech sector.
“Ireland Plc” is uniquely positioned to accelerate job creation across a number of related areas, including: cybersecurity; data centres and management; video analytics; infotainment; autonomy systems; communications networks; and detection sensors,” said Mr McCarthy.
“The Irish IT sector can also play a key role in developing technology to allow for seamless, stress-free payment mechanisms offering integration with payment services outside of the vehicles themselves – for example, one integrated payment system covering mobile phone usage, fuel costs, online shopping and in-vehicle services,” he added.
While Ireland is hardly a household name when it comes to cars, it has been successful in attracting some of the leading players in the autonomous vehicle space, including IBM, Intel, Analog Devices, Valeo and Magna and more recently Uber and Jaguar Land Rover.
“With over 5,000 technology and finance companies already in Ireland, we are ideally positioned to take a leading role in the creation of new high-end employment opportunities linked both directly and indirectly to the connected and autonomous vehicles market,” said Mr McCarthy.
“Grasping these job opportunities will require the creation of a suitable infrastructure for backbone development and testing as well as the development of high-calibre expertise in a range of areas, from artificial intelligence to video analytics,” he added.