RALEIGH – The top technology trends to expect for 2023 are new efforts to develop hydrogen-powered vehicles, the further rollout of 5G networks, and an increased level of investment in smart grid technologies by public and private sector organizations, according to an analysis conducted by Juniper Research.

During a webinar on Wednesday, researchers from the organization highlighted the top technology trends expected in 2023, including a prediction that hydrogen vehicles will gain market share.

Top 10 Tech Trends

Image: Juniper Research Webinar Slide (Screenshot Taken by WRAL TechWire.)

The case for hydrogen vehicles

Here’s the case, according to the researchers who delivered the presentation on Wednesday: While the adoption of electric vehicles continues, there are challenges in the EV marketplace.  Those challenges include continued range anxiety, or the term given to the concerns that consumers have about the driving range between charging their battery, as well as reliability and price concerns.

“Hydrogen vehicles do have advantages over electric vehicles,” said Nick Maynard, one of the presenters that spoke during a virtual webinar hosted by Juniper Research on Wednesday.  “The spike of fuel prices is putting pressures on economies to accelerate decarbonization.”

Maynard went on to note that while electric vehicles do save consumers on fuel prices, they’re still expensive to purchase outright.  “The downturn will motivate manufacturers to invest in hydrogen vehicles,” said Maynard.  “To hedge their bets.”

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Top trend: Continued investment in smart grid

The top trend noted by the researchers is an anticipated increased investment into smart grid technologies.  The rationale behind this trend, according to Maynard, is the “ongoing pressure to decarbonize” and the drive to make changes due to a perceived energy crisis.

“We’ve seen a lot of disruption here, and that’s going to have a significant impact going forward,” said Maynard.  “Governments and energy companies will drastically increase smart grid investments to boost resilience within the energy grids.”

More increases in the price of energy are expected, said Maynard, particularly in Europe, but also in the United States.

That means that governments may see decreasing energy prices as a key priority in 2023, and utility companies may elect to make continued investments in the energy grid.

“We think this winter will be a big motivating factor for that,” said Maynard, who added that the possibility of blackouts is real this winter.

Duke Energy, for example, put in place efforts and new technologies earlier this year to ensure customers in its service area would have reliable power, even if it were to be knocked out due to hurricanes such as Hurricane Ian.

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More trends to expect in 2023

The researchers also anticipate the continued growth of 5G networks, including the launch of satellite-based 5G networks in 2023. Despite a high cost to deploy, the researchers anticipate that operators will consider deployment in 2023, including Starlink and Amazon, which could capture market share from existing 5G operators.

But there are also additional trends expected during 2023.

Those trends include further deployment of eSIM-only Android smartphones as the market adjusts to a trend begun by Apple, noted Scarlett Woodford, another Juniper Research presenter, during the webinar.

There will also be a greater focus on edge computing, said Sam Barker, a third presenter from Juniper Research, during the Wednesday webinar.

“More and more use cases are demanding edge computing,” said Barker.  “Networks are going to be able to handle these use cases.”

One of the keys to the continued growth of this trend, said Barker, is the further automation of the network environment, as well as automation of network services.  And a key driver of the expansion of edge computing, said Barker, is that the costs to deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning have fallen dramatically, which has increased affordability and cost-effectiveness.

The continued adoption of eMobility solutions is also expected in 2023, said Maynard.  And, with more and more third-party logistics companies capable of developing or integrating technology to address logistics challenges including “last mile” problems for shipping and delivery, Maynard anticipates this trend to continue well into 2023.

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