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A new report has warned that the UK faces a potentially chronic shortage of skilled workers, which could undermine its stated ambitions to become a global leader in the field of connected and autonomous vehicles. The analysis, published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and self-driving technology start-up StreetDrone, found that the switch to driverless cars will create 37,300 jobs in the UK by 2035, of which nearly 10,000 would be net new positions. However, suggests the report, despite the rising demand for skills in technical fields such as autonomous vehicles, there will not be enough young people emerging from university and apprenticeship courses to meet that demand. While the number of autonomous vehicle industry jobs is predicted to grow by 9.6% each year from 2020, the number of UK enrolments on relevant degree courses is set to grow by just 2% annually, and by 3.9% for apprenticeships. In addition, there are currently only three undergraduate degrees specifically designed for the industry, warns the research. Many of the new roles would be in the direct production of driverless vehicles, found the research, but there is also potential for wider job creation as workers become more productive thanks to self-driving cars, and infrastructure is modified to accommodate autonomous vehicles. // “Despite claims that artificial intelligence is going to steal people’s jobs, this report reveals driverless technology will actually create thousands of new jobs in the UK,” said Mike Potts, Managing Director of StreetDrone. “This won’t just be in manufacturing vehicles and developing AI software to run them, but also in industries such as construction, where there will be jobs to build the right public road infrastructure, and in maintenance, where we’ll see skilled jobs to repair and maintain the vehicles. “If Britain is to be one of the best places in the world to develop, test and sell connected and autonomous vehicles, we need more of the brightest brains studying the subject – at present we’re heading for a colossal skills shortage. “That’s why our aim is to get self-driving technology into UK universities, giving more people access to testing at an affordable price. With the right investment and tools, more students and researchers will be able to build and test safety apps, which previously was only available to car companies like Uber and Google.” The report identifies a selection of job types set to be in demand as the connected and autonomous vehicle sector grows. A large share of the jobs associated with the design and production of the vehicle autonomy package will be accounted for by highly-paid technical jobs, such as programmers, software developers and IT professionals, according to the analysis. However, it also identifies the potential for considerable employment in skilled manual professions, such as the assembly of the cameras and sensors needed for the operation of connected and autonomous vehicles. Pablo Shah, economist at Cebr, said, “Annual enrolments onto relevant university degrees and apprenticeships are rising steadily, with around 200,000 entries into computer science, information technology, engineering or manufacturing degrees or apprenticeships. “However, if annual enrolments continue to increase at the current rate, they are unlikely to keep up with the expected surge in demand for technical skills that will be generated by the emergence of the CAV sector, and more broadly by the growth of fields such as artificial intelligence and big data.”   //    
TuSimple , a company developing autonomous driving solutions for the logistics industry, has announced that it plans to expand its testing facilities in Tucson, Arizona and create 500 new jobs to support its growing development program. The company, which has been testing its Level 4 autonomous trucks in the state for over a year, says the new jobs will be in a variety of fields, ranging from engineering and autonomous truck driving to office management. TuSimple also plans to expand its US fleet of autonomous trucks to 200 by 2019, creating what it says will be the world’s largest autonomous truck fleet. // “Arizona has actively supported the research and development of autonomous vehicles, and we are pleased to be expanding our footprint in the state,” said Xiaodi Hou, CTO and Co-Founder of TuSimple. “Tucson welcomes the 500 new jobs TuSimple is bringing to the community,” said Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “New technologies continue to evolve and it's important that Tucson be a city that can attract and retain the jobs of the future. TuSimple's decision to locate and expand here is just the latest demonstration that our city is on the right track.” “Just a year ago, TuSimple chose Tucson for a new testing location, adding 100 new high-wage jobs,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO of economic development body Sun Corridor Inc. “Since then, they have moved to larger facilities and now are dramatically expanding their workforce. This is a great testament to the confidence in our region and the ability of innovative businesses to operate on a large scale in Tucson and Southern Arizona.”   //    
A report into the impact of automated vehicles on driving jobs, published earlier this month, suggests that a rise in automated vehicles will not displace significant numbers of truck driving jobs, but that their arrival will have some impact on passenger car driving jobs. The report, commissioned by the American Center for Mobility (ACM), led by Michigan State University (MSU) and supported by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), found that some displacement of passenger car driving jobs could occur as automated vehicles are deployed in significant numbers in the latter half of the 2020s. However, found the research, due to existing truck driver shortages, and the belief that automated technology will largely support truck drivers instead of replacing them, truck drivers are not likely to be displaced in large numbers during the next ten years – the period covered by the study. “In the near-term there is great potential for these technologies to assist commercial drivers in safely operating trucks,” said Christopher Poe, Assistant Director for Connected and Automated Transportation Strategy, TTI. “Longer-term it will be important to define, develop, and deliver targeted training for the workforce.” Driving jobs that involve face-to-face interaction, such as limousine and bus/transit drivers, or passenger assistance, such as luxury services and paratransit, are also less likely to be displaced by automated vehicles in the foreseeable future, according to the research, which was funded by ACM, Waymo, AARP and the Toyota Research Institute. Instead, these drivers are likely to undergo training to learn how to use the new technology to support their roles. // “Automated vehicle technology could incorrectly be viewed as a change that will eliminate driving jobs; however, the more nuanced assessment is that over the next decade the innovation will foster broader societal changes resulting in shifts in the workplace and workforce demands,” said Shelia Cotten, MSU Foundation Professor at Michigan State University, who led the research.  “Additionally, this level of advanced technology has the potential to lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the engineering, data analysis, cybersecurity and vehicle ‘monitoring’ areas. Based on data collected from industry experts during the study, there is already a significant demand in several of these areas related to AVs.”  ACM and the study’s authors recommend a number of steps, based on the report’s findings: Conduct research to find out what training vehicle operators in different sectors would be interested in pursuing Identify in greater detail the specific skillsets needed by the automotive and technology industries to facilitate the creation and adoption of automated vehicles, and develop training to meet those needs Conduct additional research to quantify the overall positive financial impact of automated vehicle technology on the economy as a whole, and the potential for job creation. The report also suggests a substantial change to the way workers in many industries do their jobs. The research indicates that vehicle manufacturers and technology firms working on automated vehicles are already struggling to hire enough workers with certain technology skillsets; and that as automated vehicles begin to proliferate, occupations such as maintenance will need to evolve and expand.   //
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