I've said it before and I'll say it again: the robots are coming for your job.
The latest instalment of this real-life saga: GM's recent $500 million investment in ride-share startup Lyft, which the automaker swiftly followed up with an announcement that it is seeking launch a pilot program of a self-driving fleet of cabs in Austin, Texas.
While the exact date of that pilot remains unknown at present, it's as clear a signal as you could hope for about the future direction of the taxi industry. And, with some 233,700 taxi drivers and chauffeurs serving the nation's ride-hailing population as of 2014, there are a significant number of jobs at stake.
Of course, it's not a zero-sum game: all those cars will need people to build and maintain them, while Lyft and GM will surely face stiff competition for the national--and likely global--autonomous taxi market.
But still: anyone currently in a job whose chief requirement is to manual piloting a vehicle is pretty much akin to a horse-and-cart driver right around the time that Mr. Ford figured out how to start mass producing the Model T: you've likely got a few years left, but the long-term prospects for your career aren't great.Other pluses, meanwhile, will likely include fewer cars on the road due to increased efficiency, along with lower emissions (assuming the market continues to evolve around electric vehicles).
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