Should Truck Drivers fear automation?

truck driver hands on steering wheel

Automation, it can be a dirty word in the road transport industry, yet a new study says truck drivers shouldn’t really be afraid of being replaced by a computer.

Yes, driverless trucks are starting to appear, we’ve reported recently on some pretty big steps in automated platooning and even driver-less waste collection.

But does that mean everyone’s job is on the line?

A report commissioned by the American Center for Mobility has just been released and is predicting that while some driver jobs will go, the vast majority of applications will still need a human being at the controls.

The study was undertaken by Michigan State University (MSU) and supported by Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

It was found that significant numbers of automated vehicles will be deployed in the latter half of the 2020s.

And it won’t be truck drivers that are the most affected.

The researchers predict that it will be passenger car-based driving jobs such as taxi drivers that will suffer most.

“Automated vehicle technology could incorrectly be viewed as a change that will eliminate driving jobs,” – Shelia Cotten, MSU Foundation lead researcher

“However, the more nuanced assessment is that over the next decade, the innovation will foster broader societal changes resulting in shifts in the workplace and workforce demands.”

And Sheila says these changes could actually lead to the creation in more jobs.

“This level of advanced technology has the potential to lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in areas such as engineering, data analysis, cybersecurity, and vehicle “monitoring.”

We’ll keep you updated with the latest developments in the automated truck and bus space as additional info comes to hand.

In the meantime, are you worried about your job being taken over by automated technology? Do you think truckies are safe, or will driver jobs go in the future?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About Joel Helmes 1833 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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