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Autonomous Vehicles, AV, the Driverless Bus. The end of the ATU?

There is a lot of speculation about the development of driverless buses. Some think it’s already here. Some think it’s 30 years out, because there will be necessary infrastructure developments that will take that long to make it a success.

I don’t know. I agree that it will take time to develop. But we cannot assume that our industry and jobs are safe. First, that friendly boss we all have would be happy to run a system without drivers. Second, it will save a ton of money. Third, the developers of the new technology will be made very rich.

There are huge forces behind it.

But what about the workers?

We are developing a strategy

If we don’t take our place in the discussion, our future will be nobody’s concern. So we must weigh in, and we will. We are developing a strategy through the coming convention to get out in front of this.

But the bigger picture is one of continuing technological developments in all industries. And in all industries, there will be massive worker displacement.

We cannot allow the owners of the technologies to get all the income in that world. So, here are some thoughts:

A Start
  1. We should limit the hours of the workweek to 20 hours. Pay should remain for 40 hours for a 20-hour workweek. Employers can afford this as robots will do the remaining work.
  2. All employers should be required to train current employees to perform these high-tech jobs.
  3. Every driverless bus should have a conductor to perform all the critical non-driving functions – first response, assisting riders with disabilities, bus breakdowns and malfunctions - we perform on a daily basis. 

In the end, as jobs and workers are replaced by machines, we will need a way to share in the economy which is no doubt coming.

The real core question is not will we work, but will we share?