An economist and commissioner at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) want you to know: Automation isn’t going isn’t going to eliminate nearly as many truck driving jobs as people fear. In a study published in the Harvard Business review, Maury Gittleman, the BLS economist, and Kristen Monaco, the commissioner, list several reasons why the industry should breathe easy, or at least easier.
First, truck drivers do more than drive trucks, and so even if the driving is automated, the work of customer service, loading and more will still be in high demand. Second, regulatory and technology hurdles mean that automation of truck driving is far into the future. Last, there simply aren’t as many truck drivers in the U.S. as people think. Although many reports peg the number of drivers at 3 million “in reality the amount is smaller, which means fewer jobs can be lost even in a worst-case scenario,” the authors write. They put the number of drivers vulnerable to automation at 456,000 – “a much smaller number than the self-driving truck headlines suggest,” albeit “still quite a significant one.”
Did you know?
The General Motors (NYSE: GM) strike is hurting Canadian auto parts maker Linamar’s earnings by as much as about $750,000 per day. Linamar’s stock fell by as much as 13% during trading on October 3 after the company made the disclosure in a mid-quarter update.
“A 10% tariff on a bottle of wine may not deter the Bordeaux aficionado, but the same for an Airbus plane may lead a U.S. airline to defer delivery,” said Sandy Morris, an analyst at Jefferies in London.
Sandy Morris, an analyst at Jefferies in London, on the impact of Trump’s proposed tariffs on Airbus planes and parts (IndustryWeek)
In other news,
Zulily aims to beat Amazon and Walmart on price
The online seller announced the launch of a new price comparison tool pitting its prices against similar items on Amazon.com and Walmart. (Retailwire.com)
Tesla’s Summon feature attracts scrutiny from feds
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is gathering information about a Tesla feature that allows customers to remotely call for their cars to pick them up. (TTNews.com)
Door Dash botches one penny Big Mac promotion
Factoring in taxes, tip and DoorDash’s $2.99 delivery fee, the Big Macs cost a lot more than one cent. (FastCompany)
Great Britain completes first autonomous fleet driving in a city environment
Silicon Valley technologists developing self-driving vehicles don’t want autonomous car testing in their neighborhoods, and are concerned about the impacts on everyday life. That’s the takeaway from a long-form article in the Washington Post reporting on Silicon Valley residents who are leery of the AV tests underway in their communities. Tech executives have a history of keeping their own families away from the technologies they helped create — e.g., limiting screen time and keeping iPhones away from their kids. “Now that skepticism is coming to the streets,” the Post reports,
Hammer down, everyone!