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Self-Driving Vehicles Could Take American Jobs

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steal jobs automated vehicles controversy

Automated vehicles could steal as many as 300,000 U.S. jobs per year, once the technology goes mainstream.
Photo: CNN Money

Many Americans are concerned with the safety of automated cars. India’s recent action prohibits automated cars due to safety concerns. In the U.S., there have been recent efforts to pass legislation standardizing safety requirements for testing out this technology. There’s definitely an underbelly to this exciting new technology. The latest report from the U.S. government indicates another concern that should be on the public radar: automated cars’ impact on the workforce.

According to Market Watch, the new report indicates that automated cars could possibly put 1 out of 9 Americans out of work. 11.7 million workers drive as part of their jobs, including real-estate agents, personal care aides, and police officers. For 3.8 million individuals, driving a truck, transportation vehicle, or ambulance is one of their primary job duties. Goldman Sachs predicts that self-driving vehicles could steal as many as 300,000 American jobs each year from the public transportation and truck driving industries.


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self-driving semi

Automated trucks could put many truck drivers out of work.

Despite these startling speculations, some prominent tycoons like Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, point out that these headlines are just hype: “This happens every 25 or 50 years, people get all amped up about ‘machines are going to take all the jobs’ and it never happens.”

Andreessen also claims that automated cars will create new jobs because every new technology needs a certain level of human-based support to stay up and running. For example, Andreessen postulates that construction jobs will boom in the future. This is because he predicts a rise in “exurbs,” prosperous communities that serve as commuter hubs for nearby urban areas. These exurbs would, in turn, increase the need for construction workers.

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Exurbia: Collective name for communities that lie on the outskirts of an urban area.
Photo: McMansion Hell

Only the future will reveal which predictions blow away and which ones take root. Whether automated vehicles decrease or increase American jobs, the new technology promises to change the landscape of the workforce as we know it.

Sources: Market Watch, The Drive, recode