The American Center for Mobility (ACM) has commissioned the Michigan State University (MSU) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to conduct a workforce study that is being undertaken to understand and quantify the impacts of new ‘disruptive’ technologies on current transportation jobs.
Transportation jobs of the future, especially driver jobs, may be dramatically different due to the impact that connected and automated vehicles (CAV) will have on the transportation industry. The ACM-commissioned workforce study is designed to inform policy makers, employers and employees of the inevitable changes, and the potential new business opportunities that CAVs will provide.
The study will focus on driving-related jobs, such as professional truckers, taxi, transit, and delivery drivers. The study, led by MSU, will also identify how the future workforce should be trained to provide the skilled jobs that will power the development and deployment of the potentially beneficial technology. TTI is supporting the study based on its multi-year truck platooning research.
Located on the 500-acre historic Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township, ACM is a global center for testing and validation, product development, education and standards work for CAVs and other technologies. Part of the ACM’s remit is to accelerate the development of voluntary standards to improve transportation systems and ensure the USA’s competitiveness worldwide.
Special interest group AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) and Google/Alphabet’s self-driving vehicle division, Waymo, are co-sponsors of the study, which will be completed by the summer. Other announcements of support are expected in coming weeks.
Soraya Kim, ACM’s chief innovation officer, who is leading the education initiative, noted, “Our goal is to ensure that employees, employers and policy makers are informed about the potential developments, so they can approach them proactively rather than reacting to issues as they arise.”
Prof. Shelia Cotten, director of the Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research, commented, “The adoption of CAVs has the potential to lead to job impacts in the transportation and mobility sector, and create a range of new labor opportunities in businesses that develop and implement innovative usage models for them.”
Christopher Poe, assistant director for connected and automated transportation strategy at TTI, added, “Connected and automated technologies have the potential to create a safer and less stressful occupation for platooning truck drivers, while creating opportunities to be involved with cutting-edge technologies that will change the way freight logistics will be delivered in the future.”