New report predicts autonomous cars could result in up to 77,000 jobs lost

A recent report by The Conference Board of Canada found that connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) vehicles could result in the loss of up to 77,000 Canadian jobs.

Worst-case scenarios involve mechanics and repair shops being entirely bypassed for scheduled maintenance at dealerships.

Technology that connects vehicles through data transfer means safer travel, and would likely increase the amount of vehicles on the road, as it would provide mobility options to people who previously did not have a licence. However the report, A CASE of Disruption: Economic Impacts to the Canadian Automotive Aftermarket, found that connectivity may have adverse impacts on the workforce—even moreso than automation and electrification.

The report imagined a base case scenario which looks at a gradual move towards CASE vehicles. Alternative scenarios involve three different rollouts of automated vehicles, where each scenario replicates the base case to initiate the timeline, then deviates depending on the rollout.

Potential Economic Impacts

In 2017, about 400,000 people in Canada were employed in the automotive aftermarket, which includes any business to do with the car after it has left the dealership. Output reached about $27.6 billion in the same year.

As CASE cars are rolled out, the occupations most at-risk are skilled tradesmen in the mechanical and collision sectors. Since connected vehicles allow the dealer to gather information about vehicle performance, owners may favour dealership maintenance instead of a third-party. Worst-case scenarios involve mechanics and repair shops being entirely bypassed for scheduled maintenance at dealerships, and a lack of need for gas stations.

The report forecasts major changes involved by 2051.

The Conference Board of Canada predicts that effects range from a loss of 48,100 jobs, $7 billion in GDP, and $5.4 billion in labour income in the private ownership scenario to a loss of 77,400 jobs, $11.4 billion in GDP, and $8.8 billion in labour income in the full-sharing scenario. Most of these losses stem from the automotive aftermarket.

“The implications of connected, autonomous, shared, and electric values on the automotive aftermarket have generally been overlooked, despite the sector being a significant contributor to Canada’s economy,” said Roger Francis, director energy, environment, and transportation. “Workforce impacts are among the greatest challenges associated with these disruptive technologies and, as a result, transition strategies for the sector will be required.”

Read the report here.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Sera Wong

Sera Wong

Heyo, Sera here. I love infographics, organizing data, and making lists. I’m an avid lover of cats. Please send cat pics my way at @Sera_wong on Twitter.

  • Peter E. Humphries

    Sorry to put a spelling correction in the comments section, but I did not see a feedback button. I believe that you mean “licence.”