Everything will change. Smaller cars. More efficient traffic. Smaller parking lots. No need for garages. Overnight travel for long distances (the airlines are going to HATE it). Tether a "cargo" vehicle for trips, or to deliver your stuff from The Home Depot. UPS/Fedex deliveries completely changed...
Autonomous vehicles are going to be a disruptive force we haven't seen yet.
But we had the Detroit auto industry to supplant horse economy. This is just taking people out of the workforce
Exactly, and many of those jobs quite frankly offered a high quality of life than many people had enjoyed up to that point. High-technology so far has replaced jobs way faster than it has created them, and this is just another big step in that direction. A big part of the reason why truck driving is such a common occupation these days is that, up to now, it's been safe from automation. When that ends, I think it's going to be pretty bad for workers across the country, and just saying "People will move to new fields." is nothing but blind hope. There's literally nowhere you can point to right now that represents a plausible place for so many workers to go. We have every reason to believe this is going to be a very real problem, not simply a "painful transition." I mean, transition to what?
You know what though? The sooner the better with this as well IMO. We are going to have to deal with the issue of reduced human work either way unless we want to live in a society that bans technology and progress. It's going to suck for most of us because we'll spend most of our lives in the transition period, but we can all die with the hope that other people will live in a great world of leisure and cheap and dirty sex with robots.
Between automated cars and AI slowly taking over most white collar jobs, something drastic will need to change when it comes to how we see basic human needs and providing them to people. The current model simply isn't going to work for much longer, there will need to be, at least, a minimum standard of living provided to people otherwise the whole economic system is headed for collapse as all those people out of work will also cause less goods to be bought in every other industry causing more people to go out of work and it just falls apart eventually. However, that discussion is entirely off topic.
What we need is a guaranteed income so that displaced workers can feed & house themselves and their families. In the coming years, not decades, there will be millions of Americans replaced by tech, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
This could cause serious social issues with thousands being made unemployed. As if we haven't got enough unemployment.
You're right of course. We should never, ever, ever develop any technology whatsoever that can automate jobs done by humans now. Ever.
LMFAO. Most illogical argument ever. Horse and buggy drivers got put out of business by Henry Ford, bet you arent dying to ride horses.
Their skills lost value. It happens, theres no guarantee the skills you acquire will be worth tomorrow what they are today. Things move forward, and in so doing displacing people with skills contingent on older models - econ 101 deal with it.
Not the case. Horses (as transport) got put out of business by Henry Ford, the drivers had a chance to drive something new. There is no substitute product for drivers to adapt to here.
In a micro 101 sense, as things move forward ppl need to adjust to new skills. However on a macro level, we've never seen a shift towards technological autonomy like we are experiencing today broadly across industries. Which has real implications toward unemployment.
I do agree in that history has repeatedly shown workers learn new skills and adapt. However beyond just the automotive industry, thriving businesses these days reap profits by having minimal human labor as a part of variable cost (ie. most costs associated with R&D of the self-driving software, minimal human costs needed as demand picks up).
The trend of this business model across industries (globally) is something not seen before in history at this scale.
There was a time less than 150 years ago when 95% of the population worked in agriculture. That included husbands, wives, children, etc. Thanks to technology, we don't have to slave all day in fields just to get a meal. Now, we can slave away for 8 hours at a mindless cashier job and still afford flat screen TVs and Smart phones.
The advancement of technology has always produced this risk, and society always adapts.
You walk into a hospital and don't think twice about all the amazing technology helping to massively increase our quality of life. To get to this level, millions of doctors whose whole profession was seeing patients in their homes were replaced. Worth it? I'd sure rather be sick with today's technology than risk the same in the 1800s.
Why should I face redundancy or retraining at 52, which is what I'll be in five years, just because some geeks from Google have decided that their pet project is so important for mankind?
However, I can see this happening over time, and I don't think technology will ever be held back because its inconvenient for some.
How many people who worked in the cassette industry were out of work when CD's came around? The same thing happened to CDs when MP3's took off. There's examples of these things everywhere. It is a matter of supply and demand.
If no one is willing to pay for a physical driver because a better and/or cheaper alternative exists, there's no rational reason to support that industry.
So far the main problems raised about driverless cars have been technical, with social aspects mainly concerning the safety of passengers and pedestrians (14 February, p 20). But no one has discussed their impact on jobs.
Long-distance haulage, taxis, buses and coaches will no longer need human drivers. There are 92,000 registered black cab and private hire drivers in London alone, and an estimated 300,000 active drivers of large goods vehicles in the UK.
I expect that human-driven services will become a rarity - reserved for socially significant events like weddings and funerals and those who like to drive for pleasure; if, that is, human-drivable vehicles are still made, and are affordable.
I think the closest thing to compare this to is the industrial revolution. we dont have massive nubers of fieldhands now. most farmwork is done with massive machines. overall its safer to be a working human in america at least. and our work week has been whittled down. thats the closest comparison to me, but this next revolution of technology will be like nothing we've experienced hence my not wanting to make a prediction.
The biggest difference, however, is that during the industrial revolution while thousands of agriculture jobs were lost equal numbers (or more) of manufacturing jobs were being created. You didn't need more education to move from farm hand to factory worker.
The problem isn't that automation is killing jobs, it's that it's doing it faster than new industries are forming and too quick for displaced workers to adjust.
Exactly... we have no way of predicting... so we have no way of predicting those new industries will create a comparable number of jobs... but maybe you suggest we should just wait here and hope for the best. People keep saying there was 'always' new jobs, except technological improvement basically started in the C19, so that 'always' is just 200yr old, and technology is evolving in an exponentional fashion, so that 'always' might actually be just a short parenthesis in technological history.
With the current technological revolution all the new jobs being created are for high education positions. While this in of itself is not bad the problem occurs when you factor in the current education issues. Post-secondary education is more expensive than ever and is simply becoming unobtainable for the vast majority of people (let's not even get started with the broken, crippling student loan system). If you remove good paying, low skill jobs then nobody has the resources to send their children to university. This creates a cycle of poverty and despair.
I would add that our society lacks the economic framework to support automation far more than we lack the technical one. We really need to start thinking about an economic system that can handle the fact that, through continued technological advancement, we don't actually need the entire working age population of our society to be working. At some point, we will have to decouple the allocation of resources through money from the labor market. I know that sounds like communism, but communism was only one possible (though failed) solution to the problem; we'll need to think of a better one if we ever want to end material need.
So you're willing to forgo technological advancements for the better of society because 'The rich are only gonna, like, get richer, maaaan (sixties hippie voice)'. Honestly we need more intelligent people in society, not bus drivers. We need people who can advance the human race, to progress as a species. As bad as it sounds to say, natural selection will take care of the less intelligent who relied on menial tasks to get by. As an engineering major I'm not particularly worried about this as I know my place in life will always be secure, so maybe that's just me.
They'll have to introduce Basic Universal Income or there will be revolt. You can't have 70 million people out of work just like that, and that's just the transportation industry. Either way. The world will be VERY VERY different in 10 years.
I will expect thing to settle at the point in which the unemployed majority receive some stipend that’s just a bit above the amount that will get them to revolt. This isn't the result I'd like to see (which is some sort of star trek like future) but this is the likeliest scenario IMO.
Ranch hands and farm hands in the 19th century made a barely livable wage +room and board. Factory workers made slave wages and could be fired any second. In terms of income, quality of life and access to public services, American poor have never been better off. As for the wealth gap, compare a 12th century peasant to the aristocracy, the king and the royal court and outlaying dukes. Or in the Renaissance compare the average person to the great merchant families. A disparity between the commoner and the wealthy has always existed.
Yeah with respect to quality of life, everyone is better off. I think the technological advances of the last century have acted to shake things up and kind of like a reset of society but we are again heading towards the feudal system you mention. Except now its not royal families who do the ruling, its just those with money.
We already should be talking about a 'minimum income' as a country that ensures every family can at least keep a roof over their head, and that if they go out and get a job they'll safely be in the middle class - regardless of what that job is. However, this is going to become more and more important in the future, where no matter your level of education or your work ethic, you won’t be able to compete with robots or computers that can do your job for you.
We've told the kinds of people who used to work at our factories to go get a job at Walmart for poverty wages, or join the army... or live under a bridge.... because, sadly, the politicians in power don't care about working class families and haven't for at least 40 years. But what happens when we have computers to diagnose patients and robots to perform surgery? What happens when all the fat cat jobs at Goldman Sachs are replaced with sophisticated software? What happens when we have turbo-tax like software to handle all legal needs? Are doctors and lawyers and Wall Street types going to be told by our politicians to go get a job at Walmart, join the army.... or live under a bridge? I doubt it.
A minimum wage, that guarantees at least a modest, livable income, and that grows with our country's 'productivity' (such that our path is Star Trek rather than Star Wars) is inevitable. Some could call it the robot tax - if CEOs and the neo-aristocratic families who've inherited all the money (pretty much literally at this point) aren't going to pay us to do the jobs since robots will be cheaper, then by god we're going to have tax the robots.
An alternative to a violent revolution is to just pass a minimum/basic income. For example, tax 20% of the country's productivity, then divy it out equally, regardless of income, to all legal adults. That means 20% of Bill Gates and the Koch Bros. income is taxed, and 20% of yours and mine... and we spread it across to everyone, evenly. That's 14k in the hands of every legal adult in the US every year - enough that even a job at Walmart pretty much puts someone into a middle class income level.
Everyone who makes less than about $75k a year (after taxes) would directly benefit, and everyone would have the piece of mind that they could survive a job loss or a maternity leave or a health crisis.
It would also force low wage employers to treat their workers with respect and dignity, because suddenly that Walmart employee or that waitress or nursing assistant could absorb the economic pain of quitting their job while looking to find a better one. It would also enable families who work 50-60 hours a week to spend a little more time at home with their kids or with sick relatives, etc.
Finally, it would take some money out of the hands of people who aren't spending it (billionaires and hundreds-of-millionaires) and put it into the hands of people who are (poor people and the middle class), boosting main street's economy.
Entire naked chrome girl mudflap decal factories will be forced to shut down!
I don't remember reading anything that requires this country to stay the same. Just as with the business that fails because of gentrification, or the diner that existed solely because of a now-defunct mine, the burden is on the business. If you know this is coming (and it is), and if you're going to be affected by it, then start NOW with a business plan transition. Will it be easy? No. Will it save your business? Maybe. But it's more likely to save your business rather than just sticking your head in the sand and hoping it works out.
Can you think of a major technological advancement that had a detrimental impact on the economy or on jobs as a whole? I would struggle to come up with an example. The printing press reduced the need for scribes, but you end up with more people learning. On the surface, the steam engine reduced the need for manual labor but ended up ushering in the industrial revolution. Computers seemed to reduce the need for secretaries, but there has been an explosion of administrative work. The benefits of automated vehicles will be hard to discern until a few years in, but based on the history of technological advancements, it's a safe bet to say the overall economy will be better for it.
These vehicles will fix so many issues, and the only con is loss of obsolete jobs. The only alternative is to not use them, which means we pay people to do jobs we no longer need them for so that maybe they won't kill people while driving. All of those risks and costs just so those folks have a paycheck.
They already have self-parking cars. What possibly makes you think that a self driving truck won't be able to back it's trailer to a loading dock. If anything, it will do it faster, more accurately and more consistently than a human. You can also be pretty sure that they'll work on automated ways of hooking up and unhooking trailers, besides that wouldn't it be more efficient to just have a person at the warehouse unhooking all the trailers as trucks drop them off, instead of bringing a driver along to unhook just their own trailer? Same with the car dealership. A car dealership employee could simply unload the cars. Is this different from how it's done now? Yes, and people will probably try to implement protectionist schemes to try to say only truck drivers can unload trucks or unhook trailers, but this wasteful type of protectionist thinking will only hasten the demise of the companies that implement it as they get passed by by their more efficient counterparts.
(Ford 2016 F150's will have a trailer self-reversing function - the driver lets go of the steering wheel and grabs a dashboard control knob labeled Trailer Backup.) Link
Perhaps trucks will carry a driver for the foreseeable future, or on certain routes, to do things like put on snow chains, or fill the gas tank. More likely, and more efficient, would be a chain station at the bottom of mountain passes that trucks pull into and human workers install the chains and send the trucks on their way. After all, all of the trucks going up that pass will need to install chains. That will be just one of the currently unforeseen type of jobs that will replace some of the truck driving jobs.
No one is saying this will happen overnight, but there's a good chance that once the data on safety starts to roll in we’ll see the majority of trucking being automated within the next ten years. The results for the general public will be safer roads and faster, cheaper shipping of goods. Some truck drivers will find jobs in the new industries created, and some will have to move on to other industries.
Screw progress, we gotta save unskilled jobs!!!! It should always be 1902!!! Those phones will take telegraph worker jobs!!!
You realize that what you just said is basically, "this is a good thing, because the people that lost their jobs can get new ones further away" right?
Yeah there are benefits to it, thats why it WILL happen, less accidents, easier commutes, like you said. but the bad thing about it is that these people will lose their jobs and these cars will not be adding additional jobs to the workforce to replace it.
No that's not what I meant, I meant while it does take away specific jobs, it also increases access for other jobs. For example I don't drive, I don't own a car, I'm terrified of driving, I don't have a license, and where I live isn't Practical to drive. Therefore I'm limited to options within my city, If driverless cars would allow me super speedy access to locations not accessible by public transportation my options would increase, as they would for others.
Hopefully, driverless cars will also create jobs. It would free up parking space hopefully allowing more construction. And would expedite shipping of goods, improving other industries.
It will also vastly improve the efficiency of economies. People will commute to work way earlier and in farther places seeing that they can sleep in their cars now.
This is a good thing for consumers. In the 1950's, even a billionaire couldn't own a mobile phone. In the 80's you had to be very wealthy to own one, and now almost everyone has a smartphone. Another example: Aren't you glad you have a refrigerator in your home? What about all the milkmen that lost their jobs? In the short run, yes it sucks that people lose their jobs, but in the long run, EVERYONE including those that lost their jobs will be better off because of it.
It will make sense to have universal free education, to occupy the unemployed, to give them some hope, and to increase the chance of more progress. And to sort out the drones who don't want to make an effort. Soma for them.
The Wisdom of the Crowd - Future of Work and Self-Drive Cars