Here's A Free Change/Innovation Exercise to Use With Your Managers
On Walmart's Commitment To Creating 1 Million Jobs by 2023

What Will The People Do When All Jobs Are Done By Robots?

The answer to the question that's the title of this post is simple.

Chill, my friends. That's what we'll be doing when the Robots are doing all the jobs - chilling. Trucker

Or we'll be running for our lives - caught in an AI apocalypse looking for a dude named John Connor to bail us out.

But rather than be scared about the future reality where robots/AI takes over, I'm more interested in what happens to big chunks of the workforce along the way. As most of us hear about self-driving cars from Google and Uber, we're intrigued. But the zig to that zag is a bigger play that happens after cars.

What happens when self-driving trucks take over the trucking industry and displace millions of trucking jobs?

To say that change "is going to leave a mark" is an understatement.

Google has long held the spotlight in developing driverless technology; however, with the emergence of Otto and Elon Musk’s announcement of a Tesla Semi, “driverless trucks” are coming to the forefront of the autonomous vehicle conversation (I'd encourage you to click on both of those links, they're pretty interesting). One major reason the trucking industry is so interested in driverless technology is a chronic shortage of truck drivers, which is threatening to get worse as the Baby Boom generation hits retirement age.

But beyond shortages, when truck drivers can be replaced by technology, it's going to be one of the biggest issues we've dealt with in America since offshoring really became the de facto choice. 

There are approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States, according to estimates by the American Trucking Association. The total number of people employed in the industry, including those in positions that do not entail driving, exceeds 8.7 million. About one of every 15 workers in the country is employed in the trucking business, according to the ATA.

Closer to home, I'm from the midwest, where countless families who once held jobs in manufacturing reacted to offshoring by - you guessed it - hitting the road to become truck drivers.

You can't say that driving a truck cross-country is your first choice from a work/life balance perspective and raising a family.  But you do it to provide, and it's a reasonable pivot when there are no jobs left in your rural area that pay a decent wage if your highest diploma is of the high school variety.

If you're looking for an honest conversation on why people would support Donald Trump, look no further than economic opportunity, my friends.  What's going to go down soon in the trucking industry will only increase the pressure that can make candidates like Donald Trump look like a reasonable choice.  

Comments

Matt Landrum

Maybe they will be truck "programmers". Seriously, many jobs in IT and Electronics don't require a 4-year degree.

Or they can serve with Captain Kirk somewhere in the galaxy.

I have no doubt we'll figure something out, but we need to figure out a way to keep people from being scared (or less scared) as well.

AC Longino

Someone has to build these trucks. This would be a great opportunity to repatriate some manufacturing jobs. Matt makes a good point - truck programmers or repair technicians could become the "hot" new job.

J. Jack

Q. What Will The People Do When All Jobs Are Done By Robots?

A. Learn how to write programs for all the robots (Also, think of the neat lines of code the sciFi, now just fiction writers, will think up...toasters or refrigerators activated to ???)

Matt Landrum

The Internet of Things. It's here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things

KD

Hi peeps -

I thought about development jobs as well - then you start looking into that and at some point those will be automated as well.

we'll figure it out, I'm sure. The trucking thing will cause some hard change - many of those folks won't have a piviot in them to development jobs in coding or be close enough to work at the truck plant...

KD

SunnyCA

Robots will also put lots of recruiters out of work (you don't need to recruit robots).

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)