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TRI Joins Study of Workforce Impact from Automated Vehicles

Contributing $75,000 to American Center for Mobility analysis conducted by Michigan State University and Texas A&M Transportation Institute

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 27, 2018 – The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is contributing $75,000 to the American Center for Mobility (ACM) analysis of automated vehicles’ impact on driving-related jobs. ACM’s study, titled "Preparing the Workforce for Automated Vehicles," is being conducted by Michigan State University in collaboration with Texas A&M Transportation Institute. TRI joins other companies in supporting this important research.

“TRI is committed to advancing automated vehicle technology in ways that improve society and individual well-being, and we need to better understand the impact this may have on future jobs and employment,” said Dr. Gill Pratt, TRI CEO and Toyota Motor Corporation Fellow.  “Our participation in this study can help address the societal effects in a meaningful way.”

The research will provide several points of insight, including:

  • Identification of the jobs expected to be affected;
  • Quantification of the impact on specific job categories;
  • Identification of the skills that will be needed for the future; and
  • Recommendations for new education and training curricula.

The primary objective of the study is to understand impacts on the workforce and to lay the foundation for a training template for commercial drivers for the future, especially in the areas of freight and package delivery, taxi and ride-hailing. It is designed to help ensure that job skills evolve with new automated vehicle technology and professional drivers can remain productively employed. The study is expected to be published later in 2018.

"Industry involvement is paramount as we undergo this study, especially when we consider the implications on talent and how the potential needs of employers will shift,” said Soraya Kim, ACM’s Chief Innovation Officer who is leading the initiative. "We thank TRI for their continued commitment and for being a partner to get this important work done."

As TRI values the safety, personal mobility, and economic advances to society that automated vehicle technology will deliver, it is committed to also understanding the impact this technology will have on the future of work. Last week, Toyota Motor North America was announced as a founding member of the Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO), a collaboration committed to exploring how autonomous vehicles will impact American workers as well as identifying opportunities and developing solutions to address future challenges. TRI is actively exploring further opportunities to research the societal implications and lead collaborative strategies that provide pathways to new career opportunities and skills training that will be integral to society in the 21st century.