Jun 17, 2016 at 10:08 AM CST
Driverless trucks will be safer and cheaper than their human-controlled counterparts, but that doesn’t mean America’s 3.5 million professional truck drivers are giving up to the machines without a fight.
Across the US, truckers collectively haul more than 10bn tons of freight each year, but it’s a tough job – the hours are long and lonely, the pay is low and the lifestyle is sedentary. In many ways it’s a job ripe for disruption; robots v truckers.
“Picture the taxi drivers around the world acting in response to Uber,” says Andy Stern, the former former president of the Service Employees International Union, referring to protests and violence that erupted in many cities as the $62.5bn Silicon Valley on-demand ride-hailing firm challenged conventional, regulated taxis.