The University of Michigan has recently revealed that the rise of automated trucks would mean the loss of 500.000 jobs in the US.
Indeed, it was reported that human drivers would still be able to carry loads but at some transfer hubs, the loads would be shifted to automated trucks. By doing so, human drivers would handle the more complex segments at the start and endpoints of the journey while the automated trucks would do the long-haul portions.
There are still challenges to take into account such as automated driving in poor weather conditions. If researchers are able to mitigate these issues, the system should be viable in any case, even for journeys over 500 miles to destinations across the US.
However, if the project goes ahead, then around 500.00 jobs could be lost across the trucking industry, including the maintenance and support staff working at the truck stops. The University of Michigan believes that roles could be filled out at transfer hubs but it wouldn’t compensate for every job lost.