Global group: Countries must prepare for impact of driverless trucks

Semi trucks driving down the highwayAn international organization says governments need to have plans and policies in place to deal with the potential loss of truck driver jobs that could be caused by the deployment of driverless trucks.

A report by the International Transport Forum says that autonomous trucks “will help save costs, lower emissions and make roads safer” and help address the immediate driver shortage. However, it adds, “automated trucks could reduce the demand for drivers by 50-70 percent in the U.S. and Europe by 2030” displacing some 2 million drivers.

The report suggests that governments need to prepare for these possible job losses and says they should:

  • Establish transition advisory boards to advise on labor issues
  • Consider temporary permit systems to manage the speed of adoption
  • Set international standards, road rules and vehicle regulations for self-driving trucks
  • Continue pilot projects with driverless trucks to test vehicles, network technology and communications protocols

Participating in the study were the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the International Road Transport Union.