Self-driving car pioneers link up to study "human impact" of driverless future

June 20, 2018

Millions of jobs could be eliminated by driverless cars in the future.

A newly formed organization announced Tuesday—The Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO)—combines the forces of the major firms building and testing on self-driving cars with the intention of studying the "human impact" of driverless cars. This 501(c)(6) organization, which can accept donations like a nonprofit and can lobby government entities, includes automakers like Ford, Toyota, and Daimler; tech giants like Waymo, Uber, and Lyft; and logistics providers like FedEx and the American Trucking Association.

MORE: The 5 levels of self-driving cars

Cabbies, truckers, and food delivery drivers could see a loss of 25,000 jobs per month or 300,000 per year as self-driving vehicle saturation peaks, according to a report from Goldman Sachs Economics Research released last year.

The organization doesn’t have an easy task cut out for it. For instance, it will need to take a look at truck driving which employs about 1.7 million people and is the most common profession in 29 states.

According to The Verge, In the first six months, the PTIO has set its goals to first begin to develop a well-rounded and data-based understanding of the impact and implications of autonomous vehicles on the future of work, then solicit the expertise, concerns, and aspirations of a variety of interested parties, and finally begin to foster awareness of existing and near-term career opportunities for workers during the transition to a new autonomous vehicle-enabled economy.

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