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Dec 9, 2016

TRUCKING AUTOMATION * USA: Available in 4 or 40 years ?

Truckers think automation won’t take their jobs for 40 years. Silicon Valley strongly disagrees

--- As far as most truckers can tell, the danger of losing their jobs to robots is still a long, long way off... “I don’t have a single member who’s ready to buy a bunch of automated trucks even if they could,” says R. J. Cervantes, whose California Trucking Association represents fleet owners in the state. “Everything needs to be sorted out. It’s still in its infancy” ...  Comments in online trucker forums point out the myriad difficulties of long-distance transport sure to foil computers... But Silicon Valley sees these as mere speed bumps. “Three years, at most,” says one venture investor in autonomous vehicle technology, estimating the time before such commercial trucks hit the road, who asked to remain anonyous because of involvement in several companies... The stakes are high. Investors and researchers disagree on the exact timing, but most agree on one thing: automation will arrive in years, not decades...  The technology could ultimately replace 1.7 million American trucking jobs—trucking was the most common job in 28 states in 2014—yet only create a fraction of new positions. The pay for whatever trucking jobs remain may fade from the current average annual wage of $42,500... The forces may hit hardest in states where economic populism is already on the rise: there’s strong overlap between the electoral map showing Donald Trump wins in the presidential election, and a map showing states where truck driving is the most common job... 
(AP / PRNewsfoto - Will keep on truckin even without the driver)  --  San Francisco, CAL, USA . Quartz, by Michael J. Coren - December 07, 2016

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