Economy, Environment, Employment: How Driverless Vehicles Might Change Our World

The promise of widespread autonomous vehicles has dominated recent headlines in both the technology and automobile industries, but the idea has been around much longer than that. Public discussions about self-piloting vehicles took place as early as 1939. According to Wired Magazine, GM’s exhibit at the World’s Fair sparked such discussions. In 2010, thanks to Google, the first truly driverless vehicles hit the road. While the obvious benefits of self-driving cars have been discussed, like fewer accidents and better access to safe transportation, there are some unintended consequences worth discussing. From higher unemployment rates to better insurance options, a driverless future has an incredible potential impact on our lives.

Unemployment in Driving Industries

An increase in driverless vehicles could mean an increase in unemployment. According to U.S. labor statistics from 2014, nearly 2.6 million people are actively employed as truck drivers, taxi and independent service drivers, and public transportation operators. If driverless cars become commonplace, the devastating effect on American employment rates would be catastrophic.

Jobs related to the driving industry could be lost as well, like administrative services, management companies, and parent companies supporting trucking or driving positions will be eliminated or downsized.

Loss of Private Car Ownership

Industries and people learn to adapt. …

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