A Democratic presidential candidate is making headlines for his bold predictions about how he believes truck drivers will fight back violently if autonomous vehicles take away their jobs.
Andrew Yang, 44, is an entrepreneur turned presidential hopeful for the 2020 election.
Yang recently appeared on the popular Joe Rogan podcast, where he made some chilling predictions about how he believes America’s truck drivers will react to losing their jobs to automation.
During the podcast recording, Yang told Rogan that he believes truck drivers will start losing work to automated technology within 6 to 10 years. Yang says that human truckers, who must comply with Hours of Service and Electronic Log Device regulations, simply won’t be able to compete with a machine that never needs to stop to rest.
Yang told Rogan that he does not believe that truckers will take the loss of their jobs lying down. “There’s going to be a lot of passion, a lot of resistance to this. Anyone who thinks truck drivers are just going to shrug and say, ‘Alright, I had a good run. I’ll just go home and figure it out’ — that’s not going to be their response,” he said.
Yang said that it is likely that displaced truckers would “park their trucks across the highway and get their guns out, because a lot of these guys are ex-military, and just be like, ‘Hey, I’m not going to move my truck until I get my job back,’ and there are going to be a lot of truckers in the same situation.”
Yang went on to predict that the loss of truck driver jobs to automation could take a violent turn. “We’re going to displace jobs at three to four times the rate of [the last] industrial revolution and that industrial revolution included mass riots, so thinking that this one will not strikes me as really, really optimistic and perhaps unrealistic,” he said.
Pointing to manufacturing workers who are already losing their jobs to automation, Yang also predicted that driverless trucks could cause some truckers to turn to self-harm:
“So you’ll see truckers going home and drinking themselves to death or doing drugs and overdosing or killing themselves. And then eventually there will be an outbreak of violence because some truckers will say instead of killing myself how about I bust up a robot truck?”
Yang says that if he wins the presidency, he will install a “trucker transition czar” to help former drivers develop new skills to succeed in the labor force. He also backs a universal basic income plan that would give citizens a $1000 monthly payment to help ease the job losses caused by automation.
You can see of Yang outlining his dire predictions for the trucking industry on the Joe Rogan podcast in the video below.