retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The US Department of Commerce is out with a new study saying that “self-driving vehicles have the potential to reshape a wide range of occupations held by roughly one in nine American workers,” according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

The math, as laid out by the story, seems pretty simple: “About 3.8 million people drive taxis, trucks, ambulances and other vehicles for a living. An additional 11.7 million workers drive as part of their work, including personal care aides, police officers, real-estate agents and plumbers. In all, that’s roughly 11.3% of total U.S. employment based on 2015 occupational data.”

At the same time, car and technology companies “are racing to develop vehicles that can operate without a human driver. If successfully introduced in the coming years or decades, self-driving cars and trucks have the potential to reshape whole industries — and change the careers of millions of people who work in them.”

This is just another example of all the collateral damage that technological advances can and likely will create. They can’t and shouldn’t be stopped … but it is incredibly important that private companies and those who fashion public policy to have their Eyes Open to inevitabilities and possibilities.
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