Approximately 1.8 million Americans, primarily men, drive trucks for a living, but with companies like Google eyeing automated trucking, those jobs could soon be a thing of the past.
As The Guardian reports, automated vehicles are projected to save billions but cost millions of jobs, as Google, Uber, Tesla and major truck manufacturers look to automate the trucking industry.
At the very least, truck drivers could be downgraded to co-pilots, once automation hits the industry.
Many truckers believe automated trucking won’t change jobs all that much, at least not any time soon, but several states have passed laws allowing autonomously driving trucks in “platoons,” where two or more big rigs drive together and synchronize their movements.
But the change won’t come easy. Just this summer, after arm-twisting by the Teamsters union, the U.S. House of Representatives energy and commerce committee exempted vehicles over 10,000 pounds from new rules intended to accelerate the development of autonomous cars.