Washington, DC, March 31, 2022 – The Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) is releasing a workforce policy agenda that outlines a suite of proposals designed to prepare workers for autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. The agenda is the organization’s first set of workforce guidance that sets forth policy recommendations based on what is known about AVs and where their deployment exists today.
“PTIO knows AV deployment will improve road safety and save lives, increase access to mobility for communities across the country, and expand the U.S. economy,” said Kathryn Branson, PTIO’s executive director. “Our members formed PTIO to ensure productivity enhancements arising from AVs benefit Americans to the greatest extent possible, and we want to position our workforce and workforce system, educators, and industry for the economic opportunities and changes that AVs will catalyze.”
The U.S. is already home to a dynamic and growing AV industry. PTIO’s policy recommendations include investments in the workforce system to promote development of upskilling initiatives and community partnerships that provide career entry points into this emerging industry.
“New, AV-driven career opportunities are emerging today, and policymakers and other stakeholders must collaborate with existing workforce programs, industry experts, and educators to develop best practices in building the AV workforce pipeline,” said Branson. “The policies PTIO is proposing will support this objective and can complement continued efforts to enact a federal framework allowing AVs to scale and flourish in the U.S.”
As with previous technological advancements, AVs will bring changes to the way some work is performed. But occupational shifts and transitions will not occur overnight. In fact, even when using aggressive assumptions about AV adoption rates, economic analysis has found that labor market impacts are decades away.
“PTIO recognizes that AVs will bring changes to the way certain jobs are performed, requiring some workers to reskill for newly created jobs or secure new opportunities in adjacent sectors or occupations. But we have the opportunity and time to prepare,” said Branson. “Forward thinking labor market and workforce system reforms, like those set forth in PTIO’s agenda, will lay the building blocks to empower Americans to secure increased opportunity alongside advancing technology.”
Branson said PTIO is eager to work with lawmakers and other interested stakeholders on advancing their workforce policy agenda. “While there is still more to learn about the full range of impacts AVs will have on the economy, the proposals included in our policy agenda are a needed first step in preparing the workforce based on what we understand today.”
Launched in 2018, PTIO is led by its members at the American Trucking Associations, Daimler Truck, FedEx, Ford, Toyota Motor North America, UPS, Waymo, Amazon, May Mobility, and Locomation — leading companies and associations that are working together with government, educators, and other stakeholders to examine the opportunities and challenges of AV deployment and identify policies and programs that ensure our entire workforce can benefit from the adoption of AV technology.