Recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning have boosted the development of self-driving or autonomous vehicles. Major carmakers and players in the automotive business are now teaming up with tech giants such as Google, Uber, IBM, Ubuntu, and Apple to research and test new concepts in autonomous technology. Some prototypes of both semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles are already in various field testing phases in different parts of the world.
The self-driving car presents several attractive benefits, including safer driving and efficient road and fuel usage. But what does it mean for jobs in the automotive industry? What are some of the changes that car manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and affiliated businesses should expect to see once the massive rollout of autonomous vehicles begins?
Analysts fear that the emergence of self-driving cars could lead to a decrease in automotive jobs, particularly in driving and courier services. A recent report predicts that the U.S labor market could lose 4 million jobs to self-driving vehicles; however, in the process injecting $7 trillion to the national economy.
The truth about how self-driving cars will affect the automotive job market is quite controversial. Although the self-driving car could kill some careers, it creates new job opportunities as well. New occupations and professions are being realized in the autonomous vehicle industry. But, that is no to say that current workers will be transferred to new positions.
At the moment, it’s still not clear how to match the new jobs to the lost jobs since no one really has the full picture. But the fact remains that many jobs will be lost both in the private and public transport sector, which is a worrying prospect for millions of Americans.
Imagine all the truck drivers, chauffeurs, taxi drivers, and bus drivers being laid off. Some might argue that the overall economic benefits of self-driving cars outweigh the loss of a few million jobs, but keep in mind that there is at least one dependant or a family behind each working-class American.