According to recent projections, up to 47% of American jobs could be replaced by robots in the next twenty years. Among the jobs that are likely to be replaced by technology are those currently held by truck drivers. Self-driving technology is developing quickly, making it a tempting choice for companies looking to cut expenses, but can the economy really withstand the change to a driverless society?
How Self-Driving Vehicles Might Benefit the Economy
Some experts say that replacing human drivers would be a major boom to the economy. If you only consider the amount of money that would be saved from car accidents and productivity that is lost during drive time, some projections show that driverless vehicles would save $642 billion every year. This figure doesn’t even factor saving from lower insurance rates and reduced need for parking lot space.
Serious Concerns About the Economic Impact of Self-Driving Vehicles
One of the biggest concerns about technology taking over American jobs is whether the job market can sustain the levels of unemployment that have been projected. Some economic experts think that workers will simply shift into social and creative work, but the workforce isn’t currently being trained to make this transition.
With 1.7 million truck drivers in the United States alone, the hardship caused by the loss of so many jobs could be devastating. The transition into other careers could prove challenging and costly for many truck drivers. There is good chance that transportation industry workers could resist the transition to self-driving vehicles, causing costly strikes and protests.
And truck drivers might be the first to suffer from the transition to self-driving cars, but they would not be the only workers to feel the impact. Auto insurers could expect to see 90% of premiums disappear. Governments would lose revenue from traffic and parking violations. The health insurance industry could suffer. Utility companies and parking lot providers are also expected to suffer from the switch to self-driving vehicles.