AI and robotics, particularly autonomous vehicles, are changing the job market, with the potential of eliminating over five million jobs in the next five years alone. The industry most impacted over the next decade or so will be that of the professional driver – truck, cab, bus— all of them are at risk.

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In the US alone,  approximately 3.5 million professional drivers get behind the wheel every day. That number will drop significantly as industries around the world invest in autonomous vehicles. Whether in Australia, where Rio Tinto employs hundred-ton driverless trucks to transport iron ore, or the UK, where Volvo seeks volunteers to be ferried around London with no one at the wheel, the day of the professional driver is waning.

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Need more proof? Researchers at MIT figured out the most efficient way for driverless trucks to transport goods — something called “platooning.” The guy behind Google’s first self-driving car also now runs autonomous trucking start-up Otto in San Francisco.

Most countries (and their state/provincial counterparts) are struggling to figure out the laws needed to govern autonomous vehicles, and for the foreseeable future, it is expected that a licensed driver will still be required to be in the vehicle, so the end is not yet here. But if you are starting your career, rather than nearing retirement, professional driving is probably not the best bet for long-term employment.

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