Numbers: Projected Job Losses from Driverless Cars

This is a long post with a lot of correct (if perhaps obvious) points. But I got excited about this part near the end, where there are some numbers. I’m not entirely sure where these numbers are from, but they are interesting to think about.

At the same time, driverless cars will dramatically affect employment around the world.

  • Over time over 232,000 taxi and limo drivers in the U.S. will lose their jobs.
  • Over 647,000 bus drivers will be out of work.
  • Over 125,000 truck drivers will be looking for new careers.
  • Other jobs affected will include jobs at gas stations, parking lots, car washes, traffic cops, traffic courts, doctors, nurses, pizza delivery, mail delivery, FedEx and UPS jobs, as well as vehicle manufacturing positions.

In the future, the number of vehicles sold will begin to decline.

4 thoughts on “Numbers: Projected Job Losses from Driverless Cars

  1. I wonder what this will do to the morality of paying for services. Government positions like bus drivers, mail delivery, etc could be taken over by taxes. Pizza and private mail delivery would probably have to switch to a “payment up front” model. But what about taxis? Varying traffic conditions would probably prevent you from paying up front, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of people wouldn’t feel bad about running away from paying a robot. You’d probably have to swipe a credit card or government ID (like a hotel deposit) before the taxi started moving. Not everyone can get a credit card and the govmint IDs tend to get people worried about privacy rights… but I guess the trade off would be “free” bus rides paid by tax money.

    Sorry, I’m not really adding to the conversation here, just thinking out loud. Still, the image of a gang of teenage hoodlums beating up robot and stealing his pizzas is going to keep me entertained for the rest of the day.

  2. When your cellphone will pay for you this problem goes away. In the meantime what’s wrong with a vending machine model? Put in the destination, it calculates cost, you put cash in a slot, it goes.

    Funny image, but i’m guessing more like a rolling pizza vending machine that makes the pizza for you as it rolls to your location is probably more realistic. Probably hard to steal from. Although a like gang of teens could probably overturn it.

    Yeah, that’s the future. Everything becomes a vending machine/atm.

    • I was thinking that the pay in advance model wouldn’t work because cabs currently don’t run on a flat fee basis. If you get stuck in traffic, the meter still runs. But I’m starting to see what’s wrong with this thinking: 1) if all cars are automated there will be fewer accidents, detours can be more efficient, etc. so the likelihood of unforeseen congestion is reduced 2) you’re not paying for a cab driver’s time. Yes you’re taking up resources (ie another person can’t use the cab), but with reduced overhead you could put more cabs on the street at all hours of the day and night. With that, taxi companies might just switch to a flat fee model (like when you get a cab at the airport).

      And yes, I realize an humanoid delivery robot would be completely impractical, but it’s still funny. The robot’s hydraulic extension arms would try to keep the pizza above the fray, while the “youths” keep pushing it around trying to mess-up it’s internal gyroscope and make it fall over….