Automation might not wipe out truck drivers

A new study by researchers Maury Gittleman and Kristen Monaco published by the Center of Transportation and Logistics, argues that despite contrary belief, truck drivers may not be at such a high risk of losing their jobs due to automation.

Gittleman and Monaco found among the 2-3 million estimated truck drivers that could lose their jobs, according to multiple media sources, may not be the case. Their research uses data on employment, job tasks, and operational characteristics to identify market segments that are more likely to be impacted by technology. In addition, Gittleman and Monaco considered whether autonomous truck deployment may weaken labor market churning on long-haul trucking.

During their research they found that a small amount of workers of the truck driving occupation which will be most affected. Gittleman and Monaco found three factors that attributed to the inflation:

  • The count of truck drivers is increased due to a misunderstanding of its occupational classification used in federal statistics
  • Truck drivers do more than drive and these non-driving tasks will continue to be in demand
  • Some segments of trucking will be easier to automate than others

In conclusion, the research suggests that even though autonomous truck will change how goods are transported through the nation, not all truck driving jobs will be easily automated and still require human labor. Technology may transform the trucking driving industry but it won’t eliminate the need for truck drivers.

Source: https://ctl.mit.edu/events/thu-05242018-1200/are-truck-driving-jobs-headed-rapid-elimination