The technologies encompassed in the Internet of Things are on the brink of dramatically changing the ways in which American business operates. One of the most crucial innovations that are currently taking place is the advent of self-driving vehicles. Already, the first self-driving truck has delivered its first load, driving completely autonomously on both highways and surface streets. This ability of trucks and other delivery and commercial vehicles to autonomously deliver their loads will only proliferate from here.
Jason Hope is one of the nation’s leading internet entrepreneurs. Having founded dozens of successful startups, including the first premium mobile content streaming provider, Jawa, Hope has recently taken to the internet to discuss all of the potential benefits and a few of the potential drawbacks of the coming technologies that are broadly described as the Internet of Things.
One of the areas in which Hope foresees major disruptions taking place is in the field of logistics and transportation. Hope says that the ability of self-driving trucks to begin replacing drivers, as early as within the next five years, will radically transform the way in which products shipped all across America. Although Hope acknowledges that this will put many drivers out of work, it will still create gigantic savings and efficiency increases in the overall shipping costs that industries ranging from grocery stores to steel suppliers will have to pay. This will have the immediate effect of potentially reducing, by large margins, the cost of most consumer goods in the country.
However, there is no doubt that it will put a great many people out of work. Some economists estimate that up to 3 percent of the total United States workforce is made up of drivers of one kind or another. Because these jobs tend to be on the lower end of the skill spectrum, there are some concerns that these drivers who will face imminent unemployment may not be able to be retrained for similar jobs.
It is for this reason that Hope has suggested taking some of the vast efficiency gains from driverless vehicles and sinking them back into serious studies looking into the possibility of creating a universal basic income for workers who have been permanently displaced from their previous jobs.
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