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Self-Driving Cars Could Be $20 Billion Boon to Hollywood

New report shows what possibilities could be unlocked if more media and entertainment industries use the technology

Self-driving cars could add more than $20 billion in incremental revenue for Hollywood… someday.

Ernst & Young’s “Internet of Things” report analyzes how the connectivity of an increasing variety of devices to the internet could impact the media and entertainment industries. In the report, analysts claim Americans spend approximately an hour each day in their cars, opening an opportunity for content creators.

“If the focus during that time were to shift from concentrating on the road to watching video, that equates to more than $20 billion in incremental revenue for the video industry,” the report read.

Connected cars are already a part of our everyday life, allowing us to access email, music and social networks. But for obvious reasons, drivers can’t use that connectivity to watch a movie or TV show while driving — something EY analysts say automotive technology developers are working to change.

“The connected vehicle market is the U.S. is expected to grow at 31 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for the period of 2016-2020,” read the report. “The number of connected cars in the U.S. will almost triple in the next four years, from approximately 21 million in 2015 to almost 60 million in 2019.”

In January, Jennifer Kent, connected car analyst for Parks Associates, said we may also be nearing connectivity in cars that would support video streaming. She projected it would take three to five years for connected vehicles to offer bandwidth sufficient to support streaming video, through 4G LTE modems in cars.

Consumer demand has already arrived — at least in some markets.

Parks found that among internet-connected U.S. households, 55 percent of car owners who also use a smartphone want the next vehicle they purchase to offer Wi-Fi.

Ford, in its trends report, found that 84 percent of people in India and 78 percent of people in China strongly agreed that they see themselves buying a self-driving car in the future. That proportion fell to 40 percent in the U.S., where drivers more often use cars for recreation in addition to transportation.