Company car drivers: autonomous vehicles could steal our jobs

Over half (55%) of business drivers aged 25 – 34 are worried they might be replaced by driverless cars, according to research by telematics company Masternaut.

It comes as the SMMT claims that autonomous cars will create 320,000 new jobs in the UK – boosting economy by £51 billion by 2030.

According to the research, 15% of professional drivers said they wouldn’t like working with driverless vehicles and would change jobs to avoid working with them.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously said that autonomous cars would be so safe that they’d eventually lead to human drivers being banned.

He claims this could happen within the next 20 years – meaning many company drivers could lose their jobs to driverless cars.

Masternaut chief commercial officer and UK managing director, Steve Towe, said: “It’s very important that in order to get the true picture on the future of driverless cars, that we consider the potential impact on a very important group of stakeholders; the business driver, the people who use the roads every day as part of their job.

“We haven’t heard a great deal from professional drivers on how driverless car technology could affect them in the future, which is something that needs to be taken into consideration, especially considering that to date in 2015, 56% of new vehicle registrations have been fleet vehicles.”

The biggest concern among business car users about autonomous vehicles is their integration with regular vehicles (41%), followed by updating road infrastructure (37%) and insurance and liability issues (34%).

A third (33%) are worried that viruses and computer glitches could affect driverless cars, while 30% think regulations would present a stumbling block to driverless cars.

The survey of 2,000 company car drivers found that 40% of respondents in London and York were worried they’d be replaced by autonomous cars in their lifetime – compared to just 9% in Bristol, Liverpool and Sheffield.