3 industries that won't exist in 20 years

Insurance, transportation, and retail will be absorbed into broader, horizontal ecosystems, says Tata Consultancy Services.

Our autonomous future: Driverless cars, drones, and robotic vehicles will drive unprecedented change and touch every industry Driverless cars are the world's most prominent example of AI and robotics in action. But driverless trucks, semis, delivery vehicles, and drones are poised to unleash a new level of automation in the enterprise.

The insurance, transportation, and retail industries will either not exist in 20 years or will have changed completely due to artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, and other factors, according to Dave Jordan, global head, consulting and services integration at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

"AI plays a considerable role in removing friction from our current experiences with both mobility and shopping,'' Jordan said. "Over the next several years, AI will combine with … building-block technologies to enable a mobility and a maker ecosystem that absorb these three industries."

SEE: Special feature: Autonomous vehicles and the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Jordan provided examples of the ways TCS' futurists see each of these industries becoming absorbed into broader, horizontal ecosystems.  

Insurance

Insurance is either absorbed as a value-added piece of ecosystems, or the need simply goes away.

"As autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous, there will be dramatically fewer traffic accidents, reducing or eliminating the need for auto insurance,'' Jordan said. "And when an accident does occur, 3D printing will eliminate the need for costly repairs. In addition, the mobility ecosystem will eliminate the need for car ownership, and thus, personal auto insurance."

Transportation

The emerging mobility ecosystem will make car ownership obsolete, as autonomous vehicles, drone taxis, and electric aircraft seamlessly deliver passengers to their destination directly from their home or nearby transportation hubs, according to Jordan.

"Also, the logistics internet will dramatically improve the efficiency of transporting goods from point A to B, upending long-haul trucking, warehousing, and distribution industries,'' he said.

Retail

The maker ecosystem will allow consumers to print personalized goods using 3D, 4D and 5D additive manufacturing technologies, ranging from clothing to hard goods to food, eliminating the need for traditional large "one-size-fits-many" retail outlets.  

Other technologies combined with 3D, 4D and 5D factor into these building blocks to accelerate innovation, he said. They include mixed reality, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G networks, edge computing, and natural language processing (NLP). 

"These technologies and others create a path to the complete reimagining of industry in the next two decades,'' Jordan said.

SEE: Special report: How blockchain will disrupt business (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Sleepless nights for CEOs and boards

CEOs are struggling with the rapid pace of change, the sheer number of future scenarios emerging, and the implications to their viability, growth, and business models.

"This era of rapid change represents both risk and opportunity. The complex, uncertain and unpredictable environment makes it challenging to exploit opportunity while mitigating risk, said Jordan. 

Also see

young woman using a smart phone in a autonomous car. driverless car. self driving vehicle. heads up display. automotive technology.

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