Supply Chain Briefing

Autonomous vehicles seem to arise at every corner.  Last week, I heard a presentation on autonomous vehicles by the executive VP of Hyundai, and earlier this week, I participated on a panel at Future Ports Annual Conference with a Caltrans researcher on autonomous vehicles.  What is clear is that autonomous vehicles are going to occur.  There is substantial testing, money and efforts going into the development of autonomous vehicles.  Amazon, Uber, UPS….all the big names are investing.  Certainly, this new technology will revolutionize the trucking and transportation industry.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Start by not burying your head in the sand.  Although there are certainly bumps in the road, there is an amazing amount of investment and effort going into autonomous vehicles.  The bugs will be worked out eventually.  Thus, start thinking about the potential impacts on your industry, your company and your career.

The positive news is that autonomous vehicles will undoubtedly reduce traffic deaths. As they get closer to practicality, the transportation landscape will change.  The truck driver shortage may not matter.  The amount of time a truck driver can drive at once to avoid getting tired won’t matter anymore.  This will speed up transit times.  There will also be radical implications on industries and companies.  Do you know whether you are likely to become a winner or loser in this reality?  What should you be doing to come out on the winning side?  There will also be substantial infrastructure and legal changes.  Changes abound.   Start by taking stock of how autonomous vehicles are likely to impact you. 

June 26, 2017

© Lisa Anderson