Autonomous Vehicles and Job Loss Why Loss of Jobs Associated with Autonomous Vehicles is a Concern

While autonomous vehicles are seen to be the future and are expected to revolutionize the transportation industry, it would also lead to a lot of disruption to the current industry, and it would lead to the loss of a lot of jobs.  This will be the case because most of the earliest adopters of autonomous vehicles will be mass transit, trucking, and ride-hailing industries. These industries will now use autonomous technology in their vehicles to self-drive vehicles from one point to another. Most reports project that jobs will be lost at an alarming rate of25, 000 each month within the period of steepest decline. In 2017, the trucking industry had over 3.5 million drivers who earn $42,480 (Kerr et al., 2019). The ride-hailing industry employed over 900,000 drivers. Aside from this, every sector which requires driving part of the time would be affected. The adoption of autonomous vehicles would see millions of drivers losing their jobs and source of income, and this would have a knock on effect to the United States economy. This should be an area of concern since the adoption of this technology will leave millions jobless and negatively affect millions of families in the process.

Plan of Action

Complete automation is not feasible primarily because of the great effect it will have of the millions of people making a living from driving jobs. To address this, vehicle manufacturers should look to incorporate a lower level of automation technology to ensure drivers are still needed. The primary goal of automation should be to make roads safer and increase efficiency by helping the driver perform tasks much more efficiently. Because of this, I would recommend the adoption of partial automation. According to Norman (2015), partial automation is performed on level 2 vehicles which have two or more sophisticated driver assistance systems which can control certain features such as acceleration, braking, or steering the vehicle. The addition of key features such as automatic emergency braking, active lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control will help the driver make a better judgment while on the road, and this will go a long way in enhancing road safety (Norman, 2015). This is the best judgment because autonomous vehicles will not impact employment in the transportation sector; however, the technology will improve road safety. Therefore, car manufacturers must shift their focus from complete automation, which would result in job losses for drivers and chiefly focus on developing partial automation.

Benefits and Consequences of Action

The adoption of partial automation would offer a number of key benefits to the transportation industry as a whole. One key benefit is, it will help preserve the jobs of millions of drivers within the transportation industry. This is particularly key since complete automation would have implied that millions of drivers would have lost their jobs to make way for the integration of this technology. Another key benefit of integrating partial automation is the reduction of road accidents, which improves road safety (Bagloee et al., 2016). Partial integration will help drivers reduce human errors, which may result in road accidents. Another key benefit is this action will help lessen traffic jams. Since automated vehicles are fitted with acceleration and braking technology, they are able to accelerate or brake simultaneously by participating in platooning (Bagloee et al., 2016). This will reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. One key consequence of this technology is it is relatively expensive for research, develop, and integrate.