Sunday, September 18, 2016

Driver less revolution accelrating

Wolf Street:


No one is going to switch to fully autonomous trucks next year. This will take some time. But given the amount of resources pouring into it, it won’t take all that much time. A few years perhaps before the first significant numbers are starting to crop up.

Then what? What are the 3.5 million professional and trained full-time drivers going to do? OK, some of them are going to retire by then. But this is still one of the big job opportunities for people without a degree in engineering, willing to be trained and willing to work hard and long hours. These opportunities are now scheduled to go away.

And what are the part-timers going to do? How are they going to supplement their incomes to maintain their consumer spending, which is so critical to this economy? Are they going to tighten their belts further?

These are the questions I have been asking for a while. What are these four million people going to do? Plus there are additional jobs that support all these drivers. As more and more jobs get automated we will see more social, economic, and political tension. 

This increased automation in also making me reassess my frontier market strategy. Many of these frontier markets are using there low labor costs as a way to attract manufacturing to their country. When robots become more ubiquitous will it even make sense to even move factories overseas? 

What will that do to their development plans and my investment themes. There is much to contemplate as this trend will not slowing.

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