New research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Detroit Mobility Lab (DML) has found that self-driving and electric cars will help to create more than 100,000 US mobility industry jobs in the next decade.
However, demand for as many as 30,000 engineering graduates with degrees in computer-related subjects could significantly exceed the expected supply, exacerbating the industry’s existing talent shortage, warn the authors.
As vehicles become more complex with the advent of autonomous and electric cars, they will require engineers with more sophisticated systems-level skills, according to BCG and DML.
In particular, notes the research, because of the interconnected nature of newer automotive systems, the industry will require engineers who are cross-functional ‘tinkerers’, with a grounding in mathematics and physics, as well as skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, data sciences and software. They should also have a ‘passion’ for cars, note the authors.
At the same time, however, other industries are also modernising, and seeking to attract the same engineers and skilled workers. Xavier Mosquet, the BCG senior partner who led the research, warned companies not to delay defining what their workforce needs will be for the next few years.
“Those that delay could find it difficult to compete,” said Mosquet. “Jobs will also be created where talent is developed.”
The research found that while 30,000 additional engineers will be needed by the US mobility industry to work on self-driving and electric cars, the number of new positions could be pushed higher by other emerging forms of mobility, such as autonomous trucks and drones.
In addition to engineering roles, researchers said that current mobility trends could create more than 65,000 jobs for skilled trade workers, including mechanics for automated and electric vehicles, and safety drivers for autonomous vehicles.
Industry developments could also lead to the creation of several thousand additional jobs for remote-support staff for self-driving vehicles and fleet maintenance.
However, some existing jobs will be eliminated as technology advances, while staff will need to go through retraining or upskilling to equip them for others, found the research.