As the future of autonomous vehicles continues to evolve and consumer awareness of the technology rises, one city is looking to bring it all together.

The City of Kent is working to lead the conversation of new autonomous vehicle technology and is finding ways it can benefit the Pacific Northwest region and beyond. To outline the economic impacts and workforce analysis, the city has released a new study. Highlights of the study include:

  • The Kent Valley is an import hub for global trade and supply chain management in Washington state, facilitating the movement of billions of dollars in cargo and shipments.
  • An estimated 6.5 percent of cargo by value of trade entering or exiting the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are handled at some point en-route in the Kent Valley.
  • In 2017, these activities directly supported 51,400 jobs in the Kent Valley and $13.7 billion in business revenues.
  • The total economic impacts of the global trade and supply chain management sector in the Kent Valley summed to 80,500 jobs across the economy from “core” activities and an additional 20,900 from activities in other sectors.

According to a recent survey conducted by global law firm Perkins Coie and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the market for driverless cars is projected to grow as large as $7 trillion a year by 2050.