What are the short, medium- and long-term impacts of connected and automated driving (CAD) on jobs, employment, skills and knowledge? What are the key policy areas for the European Union to take timely actions on connected and autonomous vehicles? These are some of the questions addressed in the report implemented by the ERTICO team and key industry partners on behalf of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission.

Exploring the possible employment implications of CAD, the main report presents four different scenarios outlining future CAD deployment and fleet compositions up to 2050. The main part of the report provides an analysis of the employment and social impacts (both positive and negative) along these four scenarios, which are not intended to be forecasts, but more the exploration of consistent and coherent alternative hypothetical future developments of CAD. The scenarios take into consideration a number of driving factors, including the timing of the uptake of CAD vehicles; the model of personal mobility; the conditions for the circulation of CAD vehicles in urban and rural areas; the different deployment over time in the different European countries, the degree of users’ acceptance and the cost of vehicles and services.

The study concludes that the deployment of CAD in road transport is an ongoing process, with drivers support features, to fully connected and automated vehicles, in the coming decades. The progress (technical, legal, general acceptance, etc.) that will enable connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) to drive widespread on our roads is expected to take place at the earliest after 2035. CAD deployment at aggregate EU level is stimulating growth and jobs in scenarios with fast deployment and high penetration of CAVs for private use. Results are mixed for scenarios with slower deployment of CAD and when fostering sharing modes.

The analysis reveals that demand for employment in freight transport could decline after 2035 as a result of fast deployment of CAD SAE level 4 and 5 trucks. In passenger transport services, the level of jobs is expected to be maintained, but a conversion from driver jobs to supervision jobs can be expected. For both, freight and passenger services, the number of jobs operating the systems is increasing and the level of IT skills required is also growing. On the one hand, this structural change of jobs in transport services can make the sector more attractive, including an average increase in salaries. On the other hand, it will require re- and up-skilling of the workforce in the mobility sector.

The study presents the basis for developing a social roadmap for CAD, including a set of policy options that should be taken in the short-, medium- and long-term. The policies will prepare the transition, for example by enabling knowledge generation in living labs, adapting the legislation where required, etc.; and facilitate and manage the transition towards SAE level 4 and 5, for example by re- and up-skilling of the workforce, monitoring the transition process, etc. In doing so, CAD development needs to be linked to European Green Deal objectives to make transport more sustainable and by moving towards efficient passenger mass transport and intermodal freight transport solutions.

A core element of a successful transition will be the co-operation and dialogue between industry, and transport workers, as well as authorities and the transport users, which needs to be supported by policy makers at the level of the EU and the Member States.

Read the full report here.

The study was written by Ecorys, TRT Srl and M-Five GmbH with the support of VTT, SEURECO, ERTICO – ITS Europe, IRU Projects and UITP.