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Supply Chain Graphic of the Week: Uber Says Autonomous Trucks will Increase Driver Jobs


Reduced Logistics Costs will Drive more Demand for Goods, as Local Driver Jobs to Explode in Transfer Hub Model

Feb. 22, 2018
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Autonomous self-driving trucks will soon destroy millions of truck driver jobs in the US, right?


That has been the consensus from many quarters, with some very concerned about the social issues such a dislocation could create.


Hold on, says ride sharing giant Uber, which got into the self-driving business with the acquisition of OTTO a couple of years ago.


In a recent blog post, Uber says it has done some deep analysis on this key issue and finds that under all scenarios it has constructed, total trucking jobs will actually increase in the US through 2028. as shown in the chart below:


All Uber Scenarios Analyzed Show More Trucking Jobs Through 2018



How is that possible, you ask?


Here is the logic: Uber says the deployment of self-driving trucks will improve efficiency on long haul routes, lowering the overall cost of trucking and reducing the total cost of the goods being shipped. When goods are cheaper, consumers buy more of them. And when consumers buy more, more new goods need to be shipped than before, which drives truck freight volume up.

"In this scenario, when 1 million self-driving trucks are operating on highways, we would expect to see close to 1 million jobs shift from long haul to local haul, plus about 400,000 new truck driving jobs will be needed to keep up with the higher demand," Uber says.

The company foresees what it calls "transfer hubs." These, Uber says, will be "central exchange points that seamlessly connect automated long haul routes with drivers specializing in local hauls."

Very interesting indeed.


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