There’s a driverless car on the way from California to the East Coast – today. Right now.
As of now, the computerized Audi is three days into the trek; using “four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six lidars, a localization system, intelligent software algorithms and a full suite of Advanced Drive Assistance Systems” to navigate safely and efficiently on city streets, highways, parking lots, and all manner of other paved surfaces.
This isn’t just a “wow that’s cool” thing.
It portends huge changes in employment in this country – and others.
Traffic accidents kill about 32,000 people a year and injure over 2 million more. Property damage is in the scores of billions of dollars.
So, the computers driving vehicles don’t have to be perfect – they just have to be better than we texting, drinking, tired, distracted, angry, dumb, oh-so-human humans. Doesn’t sound like much of a challenge for devices that crush we humans in chess, medicine, and Jeopardy
There’s no question – none at all – that automated transport will dominate within two decades – and will be common far before then. Here’s my superficial sense for what that means.
- millions of jobs are going away – drivers, body shop techs, spare part manufacturers, auto adjusters, claims personnel. There are 2.4 million truck drivers…
- some jobs will be created – programmers, radar experts, robot polishers, things I can’t even conceive of.
What does this mean for you?
What’s going to happen to those newly-unemployed? Where are they going to get new jobs? What will those jobs pay? If a worker is about to be computerized out of a job, are they going to be more likely to file a work comp claim?