Report: Driverless cars risk 77,400 jobs in Canada alone

A report by The Conference Board of Canada has estimated that autonomous vehicles could lead to 77,400 job losses in the country alone.

Potential job losses from AI automating low-skilled roles are well-documented, but we’ve heard little about the impact from driverless cars.

Roger Francis, Director of Energy, Environment, and Transportation, said:

“The implications of connected, autonomous, shared, and electric values on the automotive aftermarket have generally been overlooked, despite the sector being a significant contributor to Canada’s economy.

Workforce impacts are among the greatest challenges associated with these disruptive technologies and, as a result, transition strategies for the sector will be required.”

By 2051, the report predicts between the following losses:

  • Jobs: 48,100 - 77,400

  • GDP: $7 billion - $11.4 billion in GDP

  • Labour Income: $5.4 billion - $8.8 billion

In a ‘worst-case scenario’, the report’s authors foresee “mechanics and repair shops being entirely bypassed for scheduled maintenance at dealerships.”

Due to data being collected by the dealer, it’s expected connected car owners may opt to go to a dealer directly as they’ll have more historical information. These appointments may also be longer in-between as they could be scheduled only when data suggests they’re needed.

Electric vehicles will also reduce the need for gas stations, further reducing job opportunities.

Introducing driverless cars will likely increase the number of vehicles on the road due to opening up mobility opportunities for those who did not previously. More ride-sharing would reduce ownership ‘significantly’ and impact jobs.

An increase in safety, however, will reduce collisions and take jobs away from the insurance sector.

The report highlights that occupations in the mechanical and collision sectors are most at risk from the rollout of connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles.

You can find the full report here (paywall)

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