How Will Autonomous Vehicles Affect HR?

self driving, autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars at work, workplace autonomous vehicles, HR automation

In a recent post at Omega HR Solutions I talked about Uber’s efforts to develop autonomous cars and how that might hasten the replacement of Uber drivers now classified as employees. According to the website CB Insights there are 33 different companies, in a variety of industries that are trying to develop autonomous vehicles. That got me thinking about how HR could potentially be affected by the change to autonomous vehicles.

What Might Change?

On the surface it might seem weird to connect autonomous vehicles to HR. After all, what does HR have to do with employee’s cars? As it turns out there are several ways I could think of that HR might be impacted. Here are some of them:

  • Attendance: With autonomous vehicles traffic accidents and the resultant traffic jams will disappear. If traffic jams disappear so do the excuses for being late. If someone is late in the automated future, it is because they did not get out the door on time. Employees will have to take responsibility for oversleeping and cannot blame it on the traffic.
  • Lost time days: Accidents due to driving will go away or at least greatly diminish. Worker’s comp insurance needed to cover employees that drive will diminish significantly because people are being taken out of the equation. These autonomous vehicles could include over-the-road trucks or internal vehicles such as forklifts.
  • Liability insurance: You can now have company parties that include alcohol and not have to be concerned about the liability of sending an employee home as a drunk driver. Drunk driving will become a thing of the past.
  • Driving as a job will disappear: All those people you have employed that drive for a job will have to be reassigned. The delivery companies of the world will certainly be impacted by this. Do you let them go or reassign them? Of course with automated sorting systems and autonomous forklifts there will not be a lot of jobs to reassign them to. Monitoring drone flights perhaps?

What Will Change In Your Company?

The purpose of this post is not for me to try to guess how every HR department will change. It is an exercise to get you to start thinking about how YOUR company may be affected by changing technology, such as autonomous vehicles. The time to start thinking about this is NOW. Technology is going to advance much more rapidly than you think. There are over 33 companies working on developing a variety of autonomous vehicles. With that power of development we are already seeing these vehicles on the road, even in India where the traffic is notorious for being bad.

So put on your thinking cap and try to figure out how your company could change if technology was introduced in the _______ department and how might that change HR?

Try to be ahead of the curve.

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Mike Haberman

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, speaker, writer of HR Observations, and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. After over 30 years in HR he got tired of the past and focuses here on the Future of HR. Connect with Mike.


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