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Impact of Automated Vehicle Technologies on Workforce

The pace of development and deployment of automated vehicle-related technology is expected to accelerate over the next decade. How might this new technology impact the transportation workforce?

The 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Joint Explanatory Statement) provided up to $1.5 million to the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the impact of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) and Highly Automated Vehicle (HAV) technologies. In October 2018, DOT issued a Request for Comments to solicit feedback on the scope of the study on the impact of automated vehicle technologies on workforce. We received a diverse set of comments and feedback to Docket No. DOT-OST-2018-0150, comment period closed on November 5, 2018.

This study focuses on four general areas:

  1. Labor Force Transformation/Displacement
  2. Labor Force Training Needs
  3. Technology Operational Safety Issues
  4. Quality of Life Effects Due to Automation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will develop this study in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To date, this study has focused on the long-haul trucking and transit bus sectors, which will result in a Report to Congress, expected in late 2020.

On March 20, 2019, USDOT convened key stakeholders representing industry (vehicle, ADS technology, trucking, and transit), labor, the public sector, academia, and research to provide input into the automation adoption scenarios that will underpin the study’s analysis. Recorded video of the leadership session can be viewed at the below link. Stakeholder roundtable sessions were be held under the Chatham House Rule; participants were asked to share their own observations and suggestions, rather than to develop consensus recommendations. Event proceedings can be found here.


Driving Automation Systems in Long-Haul Trucking and Bus Transit Preliminary Analysis of Potential Workforce Impacts report can be found here.