he avoidance of accidents will cut insurance costs, while fuel savings from more efficient long-distance cruising and congestion avoidance are big potential pluses. There will be industrial winners too. Software for in-car applications to entertain drivers with new time on their hands will boom. Radio and recorded music businesses will lose a captive audience. Railroad and short-haul airlines will suffer. If you can move from your home to your destination, door-to-door in the comfort of your car, who’s going to take the train or plane? Highway speed limits are likely to be raised significantly when the new technology demonstrates it can eliminate accidents, cutting journey times and adding to the virtuous circle. All those high speed train schemes being touted in the U.S. and Britain are likely to end up being used by driver-less cars, not hugely expensive and inflexible high-speed trains.In Neil's piece he waxes poetic about the benefits of all this automation but fails to mention the real human costs. Sure a few disk jockey's on the radio may lose a few people (who will listen to them while in their commutes anyway) but what about all those people who drive trucks for a living? Do you really think a human is going to stay awake, at the wheel doing absolutely nothing for 8-12 hours while his or her truck does the driving? You think a company will pay for that? Really? How many truck drivers would be out of jobs? Truck Driver Salary.com says there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the US alone.
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. These figures indicate that trucking is an exceptionally stable industry that is likely to continue generating jobs in the coming years.Well there goes 3.5 million jobs. Doesn't include the soon to be automated loading and unloading jobs. According to the BLS There are 239,900 taxi drivers. Add that to your loss of truck drivers and there's nearly 400 million jobs up in smoke. But these "lowly" people barely rate a mention among the educated class with jobs where there is little competition from automation and immigrant labour. Oh yeah and most of these jobs that will go poof? They are done mostly by men. Oh I know, they can all be retrained as mechanics.