Most jobs in the US are still performed by human hands, and jobs that aren’t are usually performed with a great deal of human oversight. We’re all well aware that a great shift is occurring faster and faster with each passing year. Automation is on the rise, and human oversight over these machines is evaporating. The top jobs of the future may very well be performed by robots.

So what does this mean for life in the US?

1) How many accidents have occurred due to autonomous vehicles?

The number of accidents in which Google’s autonomous vehicles have been involved since they were first placed on our roads stands at eleven. Only eleven accidents for nearly  two million miles of automated driving. More interesting, however, is for how many accidents their vehicles are at fault. The number currently stands at zero.

Two recent accidents occurred while human drivers were in control of the vehicles. Another two were caused by other drivers on the road. Google says that the story is the same for the duration of its six years testing these vehicles. How many drivers can say they aren’t responsible for a single accident after driving a million miles?

For this reason, driverless cars are inevitable. The commercial applications for these vehicles are innumerable. Transport and delivery trucks will one day be automated. Taxicab and ride-sharing vehicles will one day be automated. Even planes, trains, and sea-faring ships will one day make the transition. Many of these vehicles are already being used abroad.

Speaking of automated vehicles…

2) Will Amazon’s autonomous drone deliveries really happen?

A lot of people believe the potential for autonomous drone deliveries is hyped up, and it’s more likely to never happen–no matter how much some of us may want it. But don’t worry too much about the skeptics, because economic realities around the world guarantee the future of automated drones used for commercial purposes.

Yes, drone regulations are iffy here in the US, and we’re getting nowhere fast. We also sue people for anything that might change our increasingly wacky, conservative way of life.

Other countries certainly have the edge, partially because they’re already way ahead of us when it comes to testing drones and introducing relaxed regulations. Also, they don’t sue people nearly as often abroad. Some foreigners don’t even understand the concept and think we’re idiots. For similar reasons, they aren’t forced to deal with nearly as much red tape, and progressing from one point to another isn’t as political or time-consuming.

That’s why other countries are already authorizing businesses to conduct not only testing, but deliveries. Amazon’s plan to use same-day delivery drones is already gaining steam in countries like Australia, Canada, and the UK. Someday, this could drastically reduce the need for delivery services like FedEx, UPS and USPS, as about 86% of Amazon’s deliveries fall into the “under 5 lbs” category that drones are capable of safely transporting.

That would result in a massive change in the way we handle both commercial transportation and mail delivery.

3) Will automated research and development dominate the top jobs of the future?

To finish things up, a little food for thought: what if humans weren’t responsible for research and development? How would this change the way we approach new ideas and concepts in science?

It turns out they already use machines to independently perform these complicated tasks in the UK. Check it out:

It really makes you wonder how we’ll look at automation ten or twenty years from now, and how many of the top jobs of the future will actually be performed by human hands. How much will the economy change, and will we accept those changes? Let us know your thoughts on these predictions in the space below!


About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running MMR, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.