If Google and other companies are successful with robotic cars so that all cars, trucks and buses were converted to robotic vehicles there would be huge employment impacts. There are a lot of driving related jobs. Fortunately a lot more jobs will be created from expanded cities and greater mobility and productivity.
According the American Trucking Association there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, with total industry employment at over 8.7 million. That means that one out of every 15 people working in the United States is employed in the trucking industry.
Professional truck drivers drove over 400 billion miles in 2005, a 146 percent increase in 25 years. In 2006, the trucking industry hauled 10.7 billion tons of freight, or 69 percent of total U.S. freight tonnage. In contrast, rail was the next busiest mode, moving 13.3 percent of the nation’s freight tonnage.
A shortage of professional truck drivers exists in some segments of the trucking industry. There is a current shortage of approximately 20,000 truck drivers per year. This number is expected to increase to 111,000 drivers by the year 2014.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Robotic cars will provide a lot more mobility and independence to the elderly and to those younger than 16.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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