Self-Driving Truck Feud Shows Tech’s Vulnerability in Jobs Debate

Bloomberg BNA discusses the pushback by unions on self-driving trucks with Marc Scribner.

A Senate effort to regulate self-driving trucks is spotlighting larger concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence technologies on an array of traditional jobs.

Unions have argued that including language on trucks in a larger autonomous vehicles bill could lead to truck drivers being thrown out of work if tractor trailers and other heavy trucks can roll down U.S. highways with no one at the wheel. That argument has hung up the draft bill in the Senate since July, while lawmakers try to agree about whether to include a provision on commercial vehicles.

Tech companies could address the issue by hosting public conversations about the topic, assessing what skills will be needed to develop and operate new technologies, sponsoring worker re-training and apprenticeship programs, and conducting more research on how their technologies may both create and eliminate jobs, tech trade groups, attorneys and academics said. ITIF, for example, estimates only 8 percent of U.S. workers are at high risk of job automation.

They also need to develop stronger messages about how the safety and mobility benefits of their technologies outweigh potential job losses, Marc Scribner, a fellow at the free enterprise non-profit Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Bloomberg BNA.

Read the full article at Bloomberg BNA.