A Trump Presidency Could Set Back IoT and Autonomous Technology By Years

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Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. What many once considered a joke that will run its course has turned into a frightening reality for many communities and industries.

One question that we as tech watchers have is the effect a Donald Trump Presidency will have on the Internet of Things. The president of the United States is rightly considered to be the most powerful man in the world and can achieve a lot if he sets his mind to it.

Obama was instrumental in getting 200 nations to sign the Paris accord (something that Trump as said he will pull out of) and was very supportive of funding newer technologies like self-driving cars, smart cities and other IoT projects that he hoped would allow America to remain competitive in the technology sector and even bring back some manufacturing jobs to the country.

Trump, on the other hand, has claimed that he will close off the internet, may overturn net neutrality, give increasing snooping powers to the NSA and amend immigration laws that allow American tech companies to pick out the best rains from around the world.

These are potentially catastrophic moves and one can only hope that most of it was campaign rhetoric that will never materialize into reality. Trump has also proposed tax cuts that will greatly decrease the amount of federal funding the government is able to provide to emerging projects like Smart Cities.

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A firm non-believer of Global warming, Trump may also see the tax credits being given to electric car companies as a waste of money and decide to cut back on those. If he does that, though, he will be directly affecting the one company that is bringing back modern car manufacturing to America. Tesla, the company being referred to, of course, stands to lose the most from a shift in government policy against zero-emission vehicles.

The company has also invested into making all of its cars technologically capable of autonomous driving and was poised to herald in this potentially transformative change to society. A lag in policy and regulation from the government on self-driving technology will once again push back its ambitions and allow other car companies to catch up.

Trump has won by stoking populist fervor and tapping into a deep resentment that was obviously more widespread than most pundits believed. It is, therefore, logical to assume that he will continue to follow populist policies while in office. IoT, which aims to improve efficiency and productivity through automation, will also result in loss of some traditional jobs.

Will Trump be able to back technologies like this that may not be ‘people friendly’ at first glance or will he go the easy route of doing away with them completely? It remains to be seen, however, IoT enthusiasts would be right to be pessimistic.

The only ray of hope that we see in Trump’s presidency is his insistence that American infrastructure needs to be upgraded. If he is serious about making it the best in the world then he will have no option but to look at cutting edge IoT technology for the management, maintenance and long-term cost-effectiveness of these projects.

A Trump presidency is a reality that America has to face now. His campaign of hate won and even though he may not be able to deliver on the many threats he made, cutting funding to technology and going back to labor intensive methods will be an easy decision to make for his administration.

 

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