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Self-Driving Tech: Job Killers or Job Creators?

In a previous article of mine, I argued that self-driving vehicles were going to transform the transportation system beyond recognition. And while I stand by this statement, I don’t believe that I really went far enough in explaining just how disruptive self-driving technologies will be to society in and of itself. In truth, we’re about to witness one of the most transformative shifts in both appearance and function of our everyday reality in history.

Which raises the question: will this transformation result in more jobs lost than created or vice versa? Thankfully, our friends over at Galactic Public Archives have created two new video content addressing both probabilities. Let’s start with the probability that self-driving tech will be…

Job Killers

As you can see, when I say self-driving tech, I’m not merely talking about the transportation system; I’m talking about all systems and nearly all jobs being transformed by this technology. Of course, by discussing the probability that self-driving tech will ultimately be a job killer, we might as well first look at how many jobs it’ll kill off in the transportation industry:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were nearly 1.8 million heavy-truck and tractor-trailer drivers in 2014, with a 5% increase per year. Meaning, there are likely around 2 million of these drivers today.
  • There were around 1.33 million delivery truck drivers in 2014, with a 4% increase per year. Meaning, there are over 1.4 million today.
  • There were around 233,700 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in 2014, with a 13% increase per year. Meaning, there are nearly 300,000 of these drivers today.

In other words, with the full mobilization of self-driving vehicles, we’re looking at around (+/-) 4 million jobs being automated in the next few years in the United States alone, thus no longer requiring human labor.

Then again, that’s nothing in comparison to what the underlying technology behind these vehicles will do to other jobs throughout society. As the video above reveals, whether it’s traffic police, mechanics and repair shops, or even the motel/hotel industry, self-driving tech has the potential to completely disrupt each of them into oblivion.

We’re looking at millions of more jobs being automated and provided for at the simple push of a button. Then again, there is also the probability of self-driving tech becoming…

Job Creators

When it comes to fleets of subscription-based, app-based, self-driving vehicles, one might think that individuality goes out the window. However, this may not be the case. The prospect of this potentially-emerging industry could be great for digital artists.

Let me explain: as the video above notes, there’ll likely be a demand that, whenever you hail a vehicle to come pick you up, that vehicle will arrive with the appearance and design of your own choosing. Meaning, for something like this to be a possibility, the external shell of these vehicles will need to be made of an interactive, smart material that changes its own design and color in real-time.

For digital artists, this would be a dream come true. They could create partnerships with the companies who own these fleets of vehicles, whereby the proceeds of each design selected will go into the pocket of the original artist. As a result, millions of potential artists (both amateur and professional) could profit from the rise of nationwide self-driving industries.

Another potential in job creation would be on-the-go services, restaurants, etc. for an increasing population of travelers. The idea of remaining in a remote location for a long period of time will be replaced by a new wave of modern nomadic living — the birth of 21st-century nomads. As such, many job-creating industries could pop up all throughout the sides of these roads.

And as the above video mentions, this only lends weight to what the famous futurist FM-2030 once referred to as the mobilia!

“The home or commune was a place you lived in. The mobilia is any place you translive through.
The family by its very structure is conservative. The mobilia by its nonstructure dynamic.
The family and the commune foster stability. The mobilia encourages movement.
The family by its exclusivity leads to sluggishness — boredom — loneliness. The mobilia by its fluidity maximizes growth and aliveness.
The family encourages possessiveness. The mobilia sharing.
The family has been the nucleus of a tradition-bound — settled — fragmented world. The mobilia is the nucleus of a fluid Universal Life.
To translive through mobilias is to be involved in the human family.”
- FM-2030, Up-Wingers: A Futurist Manifesto

This article was originally published by Serious Wonder.

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