While it’s easy to imagine a future zipping around the state in driverless cars, what hasn’t been simple is measuring the actual economic impact of this future for our state. But economist Jim Rounds crunched the numbers and recently released a report for the Arizona Chamber Foundation on the various models and assumptions for Arizona. One thing they all point to? By leading other states, Arizona is poised to reap a disproportionate share of the billions in economic growth and investment this new industry will bring.
Rounds estimates – conservatively – that a $6.1 billion investment in autonomous vehicle research and development would lead to over 75,000 new Arizona jobs across the industry itself and in supporting industries by 2026. To put this in perspective, the growth alone in autonomous vehicle-related work in the next few years will employ more than double the number of Arizonans working in state government.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the way Arizona has uniquely positioned itself among the states to provide a welcoming environment to innovators.