Intel thinks there will be a very definite driverless car “passenger economy” by 2050, creating numerous opportunities for businesses as individuals change from drivers into passengers thanks to the advances in driverless technologies.

Some of the more outlandish predictions from Intel’s research include what it calls “car-venience” applications like onboard beauty salons in the car, as well as mobile health clinics and treatment pods. It goes beyond this and imagines self-driving vehicles becoming pod hotels too.

“Companies should start thinking about their autonomous strategy now,” Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO said. “Less than a decade ago, no one was talking about the potential of a soon-to-emerge app or sharing economy because no one saw it coming..

“This is why we started the conversation around the passenger economy early, to wake people up to the opportunity streams that will emerge when cars become the most powerful mobile data-generating devices we use and people swap driving for riding.”

Krzanich also predicted an “unlocking of cognitive surplus” – that will give individuals back the time spent driving to use it differently. Self-driving cars are expected to save up more than 250 million hours each year of commuters’ time in the most crowded cities of the world.

In addition to the $7 trillion that will be generated every year, Intel thinks $200bn will be raised via tourism, entertainment and healthcare centers as passengers spend their time watching a film, playing a game or shopping instead of driving.

Storage Lakes is another feature of this new environment, suggesting fleets of vehicles will be able to recharge, restock and momentarily park.

The report explained it will become easier “to envision an electric Uber delivering people and goods on a nearly around-the-clock-schedule as needed. It is also realistic to expect that trucks transporting goods between distribution centers and retail outlets will be able to run on an almost 24-hours a day, seven days a week schedule. These high-utilisation rates will spawn a very active secondary market for used pilotless vehicles as companies replace and refresh their fleets.”