June 20, 2024

The Macro-Effect of Autonomy on the Labor Market

Autonomous Vehicles Autonomous Driving

Sid Krishnamurthi

Numerous advantages that autonomous vehicles bring to society include fewer accidents, less traffic, and more accessible transportation. One thing that frequently goes unnoticed is how self-driving technology can have a favorable impact on the labor market.

From a labor perspective, the long-haul trucking business is currently under transition. According to MarketWatch, there was a 40% shortage of drivers in 2021. Measures to entice more people to the truck driving profession did not have a significant positive impact on addressing the driver shortage (which was 78000 in 2022). The inefficiencies in the transportation of goods have led to increased prices while rising demand on same-day delivery has further exacerbated the need for even more drivers. Autonomous driving offers a remedy to this problem. The demand for human drivers will be eliminated or decreased if self-driving trucks can safely navigate on their own, which would reduce time to delivery and lower operational costs.

Autonomous Driving

Driving autonomy in ride-hailing lowers the cost of transportation. Leading companies in this sector continually face uneven distribution of available drivers in certain areas, resulting in a lack of profitability (link) as well documented in their reports. Autonomous cars in ride-sharing fleets will help enable these businesses to achieve profitability while providing better service to customers. As a result, these businesses will be long-term viable, enabling cost-efficient access to a large consumer base.

Full autonomy must become a reality for these advantages to materialize. Although we have achieved partial autonomy, we still have a way to go to realize the full potential of self-driving. Companies are making an attempt to solve this issue with traditional and general-purpose technologies, like CPUs, GPUs, and processors that are designed for non-automotive applications. However, solutions that are not purpose-built face a multitude of issues including flexible computing capacity, processing latencies, and high power consumption. Autonomous vehicles need to incorporate a plethora of environmental sensory functions, have the ability to process data ranging from moderate to high resolution in real-time, and have a very low power consumption footprint to enhance driving range.

About The AuthorSid Krishnamurthi, Senior Manager @ Recogni

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