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Friday, June 28, 2019

A self-driving 18-wheeler was tested on the Florida Turnpike earlier this month

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 7:17 PM

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The future is here, and if you're a truck driver it's coming for your job.

On June 16, San Francisco-based start-up company Starsky Robotics test-drove its first driverless semi-truck across a 9.4-mile stretch on the Florida Turnpike. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, the truck successfully managed to navigate the road, merge and change lanes, and enter a rest area.

That's cool. But it should also scare the shit out of you.

A widely cited 2013 study from the University of Oxford found that as many as 47 percent of current U.S. jobs are at a risk due to automation over the course of the next several decades.

Even some of the most conservative estimates, such as a January study from the Brookings Institution, says one-quarter of American jobs are at a high risk of being lost to automation in the same timespan.

In particular, the job losses will affect those who drive for a living as automated semi-trucks will eventually be able to blow their way through the night, as compared to the rest hours required under law by human drivers. 

Which brings us back to our main point: The machines are coming. They're already here. And, yes, it'll be the most task-oriented jobs that are at risk.

In fact, Florida may be one of the states hit hardest. Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that expands the testing of autonomous vehicles.

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