The Internet of Things made headlines and migrated toward the mainstream in 2016. While there were huge advancements in historically important manufacturing and industrial sectors, one major development of the past year has been the increasing prominence of consumer IoT devices. This likely contributed to a surprising increase in buzz around connected devices and how they might affect our lives. Heading into 2017, look for this trend to continue, with further steady, incremental improvements in behind-the-scenes operations at companies using the IoT routinely eclipsed in everyday conversations by splashy stories and developments in the consumer space.

Below are our top predictions for the IoT in 2017. These predictions are based on our ongoing tracking, analysis, and forecasting of the IoT market, and conversations with industry executives.

Look for an approved test of self-driving cars on public roads without a driver behind the wheel. Self-driving vehicle tests began to pop up all across the globe in 2016, from buses in Finland to campus shuttles in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to taxis in Singapore. Those tests, however, had drivers behind the wheel at all times, ready to take control should something go awry. In Uber’s tests in Pittsburgh, for example, human drivers were still needed drive the autonomous vehicles across bridges or through certain dangerous intersections.

What we’ll see in 2017, however, is the next stage in the development and testing of self-driving cars, with some governmental organization granting permission for a company to test fully autonomous vehicles on public roads without that backup driver. This will move autonomous vehicles a step further along the path to full autonomy and the future where vehicles will not have manual driving equipment at all. A recent report profiled how car ownership and mobility might change given these developments. It's not clear where these tests will happen or who will be involved, but some locality will want to take the leap to become a hotbed for autonomous development moving forward.Global Self Driving Car Shipment ForecastBI Intelligence

Apple and Samsung [...]