NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Impacts of Driverless Vehicles”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at impacts of driverless vehicles.  Mike, there are some forecasting that driverless vehicles will be the dominant form of surface transportation in future decades.  Such a big change will obviously bring a mix of benefits and costs.  Give us a summary of these pluses and minuses.

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Pluses: safety, more time to do other things while traveling, easing of congestion
  2. Minuses:  big one is loss of labor
  3. Almost 12 million individuals could lose their jobs – almost 10% of total employment
  4. Cargo truck drivers, delivery drivers, bus drivers, and maybe even some car mechanics
  5. One issue – many of these folks are older who have few transferable skills, so would require significant re-training
  6. Clearly an issue to follow
  7. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension