Driverless cars have been an idea in the works for about 50 years. Now we have seen them become a reality that will change the nature of transportation. Many people worry about how effective driverless vehicles are and what it will do to jobs. Today we are looking at the impact of how this will impact the jobs that employ drivers for transportation and delivery.
Truckers Shouldn’t Worry Just Yet
A truck factoring company won’t be going anywhere for quite some time. As of now, only the personal vehicle has been used for driverless testing. Truckers require very specific training for a vehicle that weighs a lot more, deals with a lot more complications with driving, and we don’t have the technology just yet to redefine the trucking industry. The trucking industry is thriving and will continue to do so for a long time. While we are deep in a technological age, unlike the 1960’s when we just got started with tech, it doesn’t seem likely that we will develop the tech a big rig manufacturer would need to create an autonomous truck. We believe that even if the tech is developed, local drivers will be affected long before cross-country drivers.
Couriers And Postal Carriers Have Some Time
With smaller and more personal vehicles used for courier companies and the postal companies, it is possible that this is one of the areas that may see a change sooner. Couriers will be easier to adjust to an autonomous vehicle, once the tech is perfected. Yet signing for packages is the biggest hurdle and cannot easily be overcome. Postal carriers have an entirely different monster to deal with. Rural carriers often use a personal vehicle and could be easier to transition before other carriers, possibly even be the “guinea pig” before other fleets adopt. Suburban and urban routes will face other challenges with the increased need to stop and deliver the mail into a box or notify the homeowner/renter of packages awaiting their signature.
Local Transportation May Be At Highest Risk
Local transportation companies may be at the highest risk to see the change sooner. Uber, Lyft, taxi services, hired private cars, limos, and even buses could become completely autonomous long before any other service. There are a couple of things that will stand in the way. For driving services, it could be too awkward for someone to get into a vehicle and have it drive them somewhere. Take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft and you are likely to have a pleasant conversation with your driver. As of now, no one is all that comfortable not having a person in the car. This goes for even the most awkward of people. Limos are designed in a way that makes it a little more difficult to navigate and would need tech that can accommodate that. Busses are probably the scariest of all. Sure, you would have other people to chat with during your commute but the concern lies in how busses currently function. There would need to be the tech to ensure that fares are paid (or a new system designed for prepaying your fare) and a driver knows when to stop at a stop and when to keep going on (because no one is at the stop and no one needs to get off).
Autonomous cars sound scary but are an inevitable option hitting the streets soon as they perfect the kinks. It will take quite some time to get people to switch to a self-driving vehicle. Once they do, it is then that we will see other driving jobs follow suit. Our guess is we have another couple of decades!