Report predicts new driverless vehicle employment opportunities


The driverless vehicle industry is set to provide Australia with a major productivity boost and create a range of new employment opportunities, according to a report commissioned by the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI).

The introduction of driverless vehicles will create jobs that haven’t even been considered yet
— Rita Excell, ADVI

ADVI is confident that, with driverless vehicles expected to make their official debut on Australian roads as soon as 2025, new job opportunities will be created by the autonomous vehicle industry and the development and use of new driverless vehicle technologies.

“Any job losses experienced within the traditional transportation sector will be offset by the many jobs created within the engineering, automotive, electrical and software industry sectors, which will increasingly be called on to service and support the driverless vehicle industry,” said ADVI Executive Director, Ms Rita Excell.

“There is growing agreement that connected and autonomous vehicles will significantly change how we live, use and get around our cities, and what this report shows us is that this technology can substantially improve access to jobs, services and entertainment, as well as create new industries and occupations.”

“Just as we have seen quite mainstream jobs transition over the course of time – such as blacksmiths, milkman, elevator and switchboard operators – the introduction of driverless vehicles will create jobs that haven’t even been considered yet.”

ADVI believes Australia is well placed to be a global supplier and implementer of driverless vehicles, and will see new mobility service value chains emerge.

Five sectors set to benefit from driverless vehicles

  • Automotive – particularly for software and digital media
  • Electronics and software – software costs are forecast to rise from 10% to 40% of current car values
  • Trucking and freight movement – autonomous vehicles promise to increase capacity for logistics companies, allowing for more shipments
  • Land development – as parking spots transition into housing, parks and other uses
  • Digital media – passengers will enjoy new content while travelling in fully autonomous mode

Source: Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative

“As we see more vehicles sold with Level 5 capability – where a vehicle operates without human intervention – the jobs growth is predicted to be as high as 9,221 additional direct and indirect jobs created every year between 2036 and 2045,” said Ms Excell.

“Driverless vehicles can bring new opportunities if there is a focus on producing high value products and services and the new infrastructure needed by the new extended global automotive supply chains necessary to enable the industry to operate.”

The report also identifies strong growth opportunities for leasing, fleet rental and management businesses. The introduction of new business models is expected to generate additional work for professional and advisory firms setting up vehicle management systems to hire, maintain, service, clean, recharge and store new driverless vehicle fleets.

“As example, fleet management software needs to be developed and new on-board processing, monitoring and control units will need to be developed and installed. Business user apps for passengers and back-end systems for booking, dispatching, routing, billing and customer services all need to be developed and managed,” said Ms Excell.

“Even travelling in a driverless vehicle will create a range of new roles, because someone will need to develop new forms of digital entertainment and the full range of mobile business facilities expected by consumers.”