Don't Expect Autonomous Cars to Take Over Jobs for at Least Another 20 Years
【Summary】An article by Digital Trends explains why self-driving cars won’t be taking jobs away from humans for at least another two decades.
Autonomous cars are going to revolutionize a lot of things, mainly the way we get around. No more having to sit in traffic for hours without anything to do. Self-driving cars will take a lot of the hassle out of commuting, long trips, and mundane stretches of road.
But driverless vehicles are also expected to change jobs that involve a human driver. Truckers, ride-sharing drivers, and delivery drivers could all see their jobs get cut as companies move to self-driving cars to cut costs. The autonomous semi-truck takeover, though, is still a way down the road.
Still 20 Years Away
In a lengthy article, Digital Trends outlined why self-driving vehicles won't be taking jobs away from human drivers anytime soon.
"I don't think in general the public and our lawmakers are in tune with the ramifications of technology and what the industry is necessarily trying to do," Wally Steagall, Vice Chair of the American Trucking Association's Technology and Maintenance Council, said in an interview with the outlet. "You can drive point A to point B autonomously. Don't get me wrong. That technology? We can do that. It's all the things that make it safe and viable that are tough."
Truckers cover the most miles out of any drivers on the road. They're also part of an $800 billion industry, according to Business Insider. There's also the issue of just how many open trucking jobs available at the moment, as American Trucking Associations claims that roughly 60,000 positions are available.
With that much up for grabs and that many open positions, the trucking industry could be the first to see the mass adoption of autonomous vehicles.
Big companies are already looking to implement self-driving technology in 18-wheelers. Waymo, startup TuSimple, and Tesla are exploring autonomous semis, while companies like Starsky Robotics have actually completed short trims with semi-autonomous semis. Uber was developing semi-truck technology, before shutting the program down last year.
What Jobs Will Change
Despite those things, Steagall doesn't see autonomous trucks coming anytime soon. "Given the rate of driver turnover and the shortage of drivers, I'm not worried about long haul drivers losing jobs, and I'm not worried about mechanics losing jobs either," said Steagall. "I'm very bullish on the role of technology as increasing the value of the people and hopefully bringing more stability to those work environments – not the opposite."
What will happen, at least what Digital Trends believes will happen, before the rollout of autonomous trucks is a spike in teleoperations controllers that can autonomously control the semi-trucks for the last part of their journey – those last few yards that aren't on public roads.
As Steagall stated, getting autonomous vehicles from one point to another isn't the issue, it's the whole safety and regulatory aspect. Teleoperators are also capable of handling multiple trucks at a time.
The whole idea of teleoperators could expand beyond semi-trucks into the world of ride-sharing companies before they go fully autonomous, too. And with the adoption of teleoperators, it's unlikely that anyone will lose their jobs. If anything, there will be a spike in the number of open teleoperations jobs before positions are cut.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
Ford Looks to Have 100% of EV Sales Be Online
Volkswagen CEO Believes It Will Overtake Tesla in EV Sales by 2025
Report Claims Nissan Leaf Will Be Discontinued by 2025
Autonomous Vehicles Will Require Cities to Change Their Transportation Methods
Rivian, Mercedes-Benz Partner to Produce Electric Commercial Vans
Tesla Believes Its Dojo AI System Will Help It Win the Self-Driving Car Race
Acura Prevision EV Concept Previews Brand’s Electric Future
Federal Tax Credit on EVs Still Applies to American-Made Vehicles
- Federal Tax Credit on EVs Still Applies to American-Made Vehicles
- Waymo To Partner With Uber Freight on Autonomous Logistics for the Trucking Industry
- Here’s How Waymo Uses Hyper-Local Weather Data to Improve the Capabilities of its Self-Driving Vehicles
- Tesla Rival XPeng Inc. to Start Deliveries of its New Flagship G9 Electric SUV in September, CEO Confirms After Sharing New Details
- Ford is Investing $3.7 Billion and Adding Over 6,200 UAW Manufacturing Jobs in the Midwest to Produce New Vehicles
- Tesla Rival XPeng and Alibaba Cloud Set Up China’s Largest Cloud-Based Computing Center to Train Machine Learning Models for Autonomous Driving
- Ford Motor Co Selects its Plant in Spain to Build 'Breakthrough' EVs for the European Market on a Next-Gen Architecture
- US-listed LiDAR Developers Velodyne and Ouster to Merge in an All-Stock Deal
- Stellantis and Samsung SDI to Invest up to $3 Billion to Build a EV Battery Factory in Indiana
- Biden Administration Announces New Standards to Make EV Chargers More Accessible